I really don't want the situation between me and my good friend to influence the remaining days in Western Australia as I'm supposed to be enjoying every moment spent here, exploring the city and its suburbs and not sitting in front of Swan River, feeling lost.
So, how was the first day in the city like?
Well, having to rise at 3.30am to prepare for the early morning flight was of no fun at all and as a result, my mind was turned topsy-turvy and not in its normal state. My eyes felt like it was to be sewn shut by the lethargy as I slid my way around the kitchen, preparing a quick breakfast to satiate our hunger before the hour-long drive to the airport.
Throw in the realization that the clouds threw buckets of showers during the journey as well...
2.5 hours later, after the smooth check-in and attempting to no avail to find a Coffee Bean retail outlet, we were at the airport's Starbucks, savoring cappuccino to temporarily knock back the weariness as we retired to bed rather late the night before.
Duty Free Area, Perth International Airport
The moment we arrived on the grounds of Perth International Airport and alighted from the aircraft into the duty-free area, I was taken aback with the growing queue at the Customs before noticing the Singapore Airlines stewardess queuing at the special lane. Ah, so two planes (AirAsia X and SIA) disembarked at the same time, leading to a rush of passengers at one go.
Because Mama Carrie hid the pouch containing the AUD$100 that we converted at the money exchange centre and I didn't know where she placed it, I forgot to bring it along with us. Yes, I know I committed one of the serious mistakes in the traveler's book of tips as you can forget anything but the passport and adequate amount of money in the currency of the destination you can forget anything but the passport and adequate amount of money in the currency of the destination you're headed to. We'd have been stranded in the airport until our return trip home if it weren't for our Aussie debits cards that I remembered. As if that wasn't bad enough, on the Aussie yellow (Mama Carrie thinks it looks more orange than yellow) declaration card, I miswrote the current year of 2013 as my birth year before I realized the mistake, corrected it and initializing it before touchdown. It was a relief when the Immigration Officer didn't pay much attention to the mistakes and the ETA that we applied for showed in the system, immediately paving the way for a smooth entry.
After spending ten minutes waiting for the connecting shuttle bus with our luggage to Terminal 3 and another ten minutes thinking of what to do next there, we found ourselves sharing a cab with a sweet lady from Melbourne and a friendly lady from New Zealand's South Island, exchanging words of conversation while we all headed to our separate destinations. I didn't know that my tone of speech resembled a foreign accent when I was replying to the Melbourne lady's question until the Kiwi lady inquired if I was from Canada or the States. Whoa there! Like, really?! O.O
The amount of biscuits I bought - for my own consumption
The need to satiate the growing stomach and the giddy head grew by the hour and with that, we threw the luggage in the hotel room and set off in search for the nearest grocery store. There was no choice; we were exhausted to our core and needed to catch something light or suffer a wave of intense hunger pangs until the end of Christmas Day Mass.
We were slammed by the chilly evening wind the moment we stepped out on the streets and regretted in that instant for not bringing the cardigan from home along. Please don't flip, dear, but while we were pursuing the ample Australian edible products in the supermarket, a local shopper grazed the bottom of my pants (whether accidentally or on purpose, I won't know) and probably decided to make us uncomfortable by following especially me around.
He probably meant no harm, but it was still freaky enough.
The breeze intensified as we began the return walk on the eerily silent road to the hotel with the necessities such as fruits and milk on hand. It momentarily and mentally transported me back to the time spent in Taipei as I threw my head back and allowed the chill to engulf me.
Some random Christmas decoration at the hotel
That's pretty much how we spent Christmas Eve. We were supposed to attend the Vigil Mass at the nearby St. Mary's Cathedral, but the idea of treading to the hotel by foot an hour or ninety minutes later didn't fall well with me and crashed in early.