Published: May 20th 2008May 20th 2008
First of all: sorry about the lack of updates in the last couple of weeks, but I had to sort myself out first before writing anything new in here.
As you might have already noticed, I am in Perth now, a bit prematurely according to my original plans, but I thought it best for my general well-being and mental health to come here earlier. I just couldn't get myself to go on to Russia after Estonia at that time, especially not alone and without knowing a word of Russian. Sure, I can read a bit of Cyrillic, but that doesn't mean that I understand what is written, it's really only helpful to know where trains or buses go to. I know, I spent lots of money for visas I won't get to utilize, but that doesn't really matter to me. My plans are not sacrosanct, and I can change them whenever I want to, it's my own decision, so there's no 'I have to go there', if I don't want to. Russia can wait. I am indeed a bit sad about not going to Southeast Asia, but then, I can't be happier than being here in Australia, so Asia is
postponed as well.
After the last entry, I made the not too exciting trip from Pärnu to Kuressaare on Saaremaa and back. Stayed there for two nights, had a bit of a look around, didn't do much though. So I went back to Riga via Pärnu, spent a night there in Reinis' place again, and caught a plane to Hahn on the next day. Spent a night at home to sort out my stuff, repack everything, and take a bit too much luggage on the plane the following day to Singapore. The fact that my checked-in luggage weighed 27.6kg caused me to be in a bit of distress for the next two days, since the baggage allowance on the flight to Perth was only 15kg.
But before sorting that, I had a very pleasant day and two nights in Singapore, exploring the city, indulging in the great food, which is as diverse as the people who live there. Sure, the city is ridiculously commercial, with shopping centres merging into one another, people being more posh than Hitler, and you get fined for almost everything, except breathing maybe. But where else can you enjoy authentic Asian culture while getting
around on the most modern transport, having a very clean and safe environment, and not being regarded as the rich westerner, probably because most of the people there are richer anyway. Nobody would bother stealing my camera, since it's not the newest and most expensive model. Plus, it's just great to walk around, stopping at juice or snack bars, which were especially good in Chinatown, without having to watch my back constantly.
So Singapore was a nice experience. Taking the plane wasn't as nice, though. I had to repack my bags two or three times, before I finally got my giant trolley to weigh 15kg. The fact that my hand luggage consisted of a small backpack, crammed to the max with books and other stuff, my laptop in its bag, which wasn't so light either, and my big backpack, not fully packed but still too heavy for hand luggage, and that all of this weighed a lot more than the assigned 7kg, and probably a lot more than my check-in luggage, didn't seem to bother the airport staff. In fact, the Indian lady at the passport control was more interested in my piercings, and called her Mandarin colleague to
Probably the worst tourist mascot in the world
check out my lobes.
But really, it was ridiculous how much stuff I was about to carry on the airplane, I could see it from the glances of my fellow passengers, who eyed me suspiciously, while I was shifting around my stuff from shop to shop to get some presents, and to get rid of my small change of Singaporean dollars. But I did get on the plane, I survived the Australian immigration procedure, and I was fetched by my wonderful girlfriend Jaclyn and her mom at Perth airport.
So far Perth has been a great place to stay at, being more laid-back than Sydney, but offering enough to make even longer trips worthwhile. Together with Jaclyn, who is doing everything to make me feel as comfortable and at home as possible, I went to Fremantle, to Rottnest Island, to a didgeridoo show, to the movies, to museums, to uncountable good restaurants and second-hand book shops, and to Cottesloe beach to body surf (and get sunburnt in Australian winter, crikey!). And there's a shitload more things coming up, I have so many options for day or weekend trips, Western Australia definitely has it all, and I certainly won't get
As you see, I'm quite excited to be here, and I sure as hell haven't made the wrong decision by skipping Russia and other potentially evil countries to come here. Cheers from Aussieland, mates!
There are more photos below