I am a state of shock right now. My brain feels a little fuzzy, my body is sore, I am quite overwhelmed by my new reality. But also there is a warm feeling of accomplishment, an oozy goodness that tells me I am on the right track. It is only small, but it is starting to grow and that is something. I have made it through my first week teaching up here in Darwin, and wow, what a week it has been!
Every day was a challenge to get into the car and drive the 30 mins to school, knowing it was going to be hard, different, unusual, provoking. But somehow by the end of the day, I felt good, I made it, I had some wins I suffered some losses, but overall it was okay. I started dreaming up an escape plan, even before I started, I know I am crazy like that. When things get hard I just want to flee. And this week the need to flee was at a critical high. But I resisted, I pushed through the uncomfortableness of it all, pushed out of my comfort zone, and into a whole new plane of existence. Slowly I am getting more used to this crazy top end life.
Here are some surprising things about Darwin that you may not know:
- Every morning I have to clean bat vomit/crap from my car. Seriously, it’s annoying. Bats fly through the sky here and love to crap on cars, I think on purpose. I think they are specifically aiming for my red car because its pretty. The car next to me seems to suffer far less damage. So every morning you have to get the hose out and squirt down big clumps of black crap and scrub it off with a broom, otherwise your paint will suffer. Currently I have no undercover parking so my poor car is not too happy.
- There is a massive Greek population here in Darwin. Many greeks moved here post war, as did many europeans at this time, like my Dad from Latvia. They came for work opportunities and a new life. It seems many of the greeks are here from Kalymnos island. I love the greek islands and greek culture, so I am hoping to make some greek friends up here. In fact the strapping young lad sitting next to me at work is from Greece, he is lovely. Like a gentle giant, and has thighs like a trojan! Quite impressive!
- There are bogans everywhere here. It is an quite an uncouth place. Loads of swearing, drinking, loud mouth crazy behaviour, it’s wild. I was out yesterday and over head a girl amongst a group. Her friend was spraying deodorant around, not sure why, and she saids ‘Oh yes spray me I smell like arsehole’. Nice. What a lovely young lady! It is quite laughable.
- It is 32-36 degrees in winter every day with blue skies, no change. The weather is hot and dry in winter and hot and incredible humid and wet in the summer. Weird, different, unusual.
- The bush and nature is beautiful and my saviour. So many amazing new plants and trees and birdlife to admire, this is one major part of the place that I love.
- Every night there are incredible sunsets, mostly due to the smoky haze in the horizon, helping to generate more reds/oranges and pinks. They do many burn offs at this time of year, so everyday there seems to be some sort of haze/smoke pollution, it’s not terrible though, but quite necessary to prevent major bushfires.
So at school I have 2 excellent classes, and 2 quite awful classes. It is a challenge. I am hoping to make some changes next week to make it more bearable. Thankfully 50% of my classes are going to be great. I am already getting some great work out of one class in particular so that is brilliant. Focus on the good!
Although there is still that super restless part of my mind seeking escape, I have managed to trap her into a corner and keep her at bay for the time being. I keep planning fun things to do, keep being busy and aim to make the most of my time up here, exploring nature, making new friends and doing as much as I can to stay sane and happy.
Yesterday I went back out to Lichfield National park with a new friend I have made. It was amazing. We did some walks in the bush, looked for bird life, and went swimming in the most spectacular fresh water rock pools, in the middle of a gorge with a waterfall. It was beautiful!!! I loved it. I just wish I had taken my underwater camera to capture the waterfall in all its element. Lime green fernery peaking out of the rocks, pummelling warm water, multiple rainbows and the magic white noise of falling water, a perfect reset on my manic mind. I will aim to photograph this next time I go out there. It is only 1.5 hours out of Darwin so quite easy to get to, this could be a frequent weekend escape.
Okay, for now that is it! I hope you are enjoying my writing and stories, feel free to say hello or comment! Next weekend I am heading out to Katherine for more waterfalls, walks and outdoor fun, I just have to get through my first full week of work! Arghh!!!!
Insane in the membrane,