Here are the top two things I have learned since I arrived in Sydney.
#2. Textbooks are not only great for learning things, but also awesome for killing cockroaches too.
This was a particularly fun and exciting lesson I learned while I was alone and in a brand new place today.
The How To Guide
Killing a cockroach in only thirteen easy steps:
Spot cockroach and make an annoying whiney sound.
Realize nobody is with you, so nobody can hear your annoying whiney sound and nobody is coming to help you. This, like everything else on your trip, is up to you.
Get your priorities straight and take a picture of the cockroach for your girlfriends to see.
Have a conversation out loud with yourself and debate if you should figure out a way to save it and set it free, or if you should just stop stalling and kill the damn thing
Pace. Repeatedly telling yourself to find a book. “ok, a book, a book, a book, I just need a book. I can do this, a book, what book should I use? I just gotta get a book, I can do this…a book, a book.”
Oh come on, you know where your damn books are… just go get one.
Wrap the textbook in paper towel.
More paper towel.
Drop the textbook on the very large insect.
Repeat whiney noise when you realize you have to pick up the paper towel. Bloody hell, just pick it up already.
Pick up the paper towel and drop it again when you see your new dead friend splattered all over it.
Take another picture of what you have accomplished… your girlfriends would be proud.
Discard paper towel and cockroach.
I was very pleased with myself, I mean I am no expert, but I am thinking it takes most first timers at least 15-20 steps to kill their first cockroach.
The number 1 thing I would have to say I learned from being here is…
I have a profound respect for foreign immigrants!
Being in a new environment where you don’t have your support system and you really know nobody and nothing about the city is a challenge every single moment of the day…. AND I SPEAK ENGLISH! Granted, nobody really understands anything I am saying with my Canadian accent. They just stare at me, cock their heads, slightly drop their bottom jaw–so that their mouth is in a kind of O shape, squint their eyes (I’m not sure why the eye thing, they can see me just fine, I thought this was more of an ear thing) and wait for me to repeat what I am saying. The few people who do understand me, initially disregard my questions and ask me what part of the states I am from. But I mean eventually we get a conversation going and some friendly person helps me. What do foreign immigrants who don’t speak English do?
Right about now I am feeling like a bit of an asshole for all the times I was annoyed when I called a restaurant and a foreigner answered the phone. What was my problem? At least they went out and got themselves a damn job, which is more than I can say for myself right now. Yeah, yeah, I know I know, I’m going to school, but still, no more Mrs. Impatient Pants to the guy on the phone who is trying to learn English as fast as he possibly can, so he can get the hot-food delivered to her gluten-free, dairy-free majesty.
One of my wishes for myself during 2014 was to learn how to have more patience. Lucky for me, so far, one of my wishes is coming true. Damn it, I knew I should have wished for a billion dollars.
Cheers from Sydney