February 20, 2011
It’s incredible how often, when travelling, i feel like a fish out of water. I am sitting in the Trinity College dining hall, having just finished a breakfast of eggs, beans, ham and fresh fruit. A young man (clearly of Aborigine descent) and, presumably, his parents are seated at the table next to me. A visit with the folks to a prospective university perhaps? A weekend check-in by the ‘rents to make sure Junior is towing the “scholastic” line?
Meanwhile, there is the banter and hum of conversation swirling over the group of young students that populate the dining hall around me. These voices, for the most part, carry the distinctive ‘down under’ dialect. And do I detect a cockney accent from a young lady giggling incessantly at the jibes of a toothy, tan, would-be surfer dude?
It’s all English, yes. But for some reason I still have listen carefully to make sense of what is being said. Foreign.
As I sit and sip my cafe creme, I glance toward the north east wall. Ah, there I am! A Canadian flag hangs amongst it’s Commonwealth brethren, listlessly flapping in the early morning breeze that circulates throughout the hall. Unlike the others, the Canadian flag is partially positioned over a window – it’s transparent fabric transforming from red to pink and back again; somehow ‘exposed’ with each heaving breath of air.
I expect that, as in the case with all my travels, this space and these people will become quite familiar to me over the next several days. The ‘strangeness’ will dissipate into some form of comfort and familiarity.
But this is day#1. And I still haven’t found a map of Perth.
That makes me feel most uncomfortable of all.