artists and spiders and flies, oh my

Bunbury Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 15 › view all entries

yeah, i know, i's been a while.  i could partially justify the gap between blogs by saying that, despite the fact that i had free internet at jen's and plenty of time on my hands, i was constantly in good company with places to go and people to see, and its hard to dip out of good living to reflect on that good living - and i can partially attribute my lack of writing to my immediately being sucked into the hustle of the western world (even if my existence in the western world was primarily spent on a 500 acre farm in the middle of nowhere) - or even that my "creative output" in west australia came in the form of painting landscapes of breathtaking coastlines.  i was even thinking that maybe i am just not inspired on the same level by the western world (even if it is friggin'australia) as i was by the tiny islands in southeast asia... but i guess, what it most comes down to, is that previously, on my trip, i was spending most of my time alone, which created a need to express my impressions here... while in WA, i was with one of my best friends on the planet, so i had ample opportunity to verbally share the affects of my surroundings on a daily basis, thus lessening my need to write about m xperience.  so there...  here is the beginning of the blog i began to write on my last night in bunbury... and i will try now to finish it... 

my last night in west oz, then off to queensland for the last chapter before returning to the usa for an extended visit with my kinfolk.

last night, i attended an art exhibition at russ and linda's, an event that cumulatively consumed a chunk of my time here in the gorgeous coastal farmlands that make up south west oz.  jen and i drove straight from perth to pick up lianna (jens little sis who also visited me in ny last year) at the home of linda and russell, two wildly talented, passionate and successful artists who jen and lianna are tight with.

from the moment i walked into their home (which is like a 12 acre multimedia work of art in itself), linda opened her arms wide and treated me as if she'd known me all my life.   jen took me on a tour of their property and studios  to sneak a peek at the jaw-dropping paintings and sculptures that graced every wall, every shrub, every veranda  i was floored by the creative energy at this place, so when i learned that they had been emloying extra hired hands to prepare the house for their upcoming exhibit (especially because i had miscalculated my budget by a bit), i offered to show up and lend a hand during the week.  i even changed my flight by two days to stay for the show/party...

after yet another 'know you forever and love you to death'greeting, linda put a long handled broom in one of my hands and can of raid in the other.  "├┐ou're on spider duty." i gulped, wide eyed, and nodded... and spent the next 2.5 hours ridding the exterior or their ginormous house of all the spider webs and their big, fat, scary, black inhabitants.  needless to say, between the spiders themselves, which would jump out of crevices when i least expected, and the flies (which are everpresent here, and are inclined toward hanging around your facial orifices, and enough to put you in a straightjacket) i was traumatized, almost to the point of a permanent twitch.  after that job, cleaning the studio kitchen was a welcome change.

my 12 days in the west revolved around cooking and consuming gourmet food with appropriate wine pairings ( i have a new appreciation for australian wine, which i previously was not all that crazy about), being taken on an ATV ride through the overgrown corners of jen's farm... (jen thought it was amusing to hear my gasps and ohmigods and shrieks as she plowed over fallen trees and through huge OCCUPIED webs of christmas spiders (which, despite the fact that my hoodie was pulled tight around my head, managed to burrow into my hair), meeting many of jen's close friends, who, if i lived in that part of the world, would be who i would gladly spend my time developing relationships with, having heart to hearts with ann, jen's mom, stopping cars to gawk at a field full of kangaroos or an eagle flying overhead and searching for hunstmen spiders... furry, harmless things about the size of an adult hand.. which are said to be EVERYWHERE here, but which i still have not seen.  oh, and spending well earned time with jen.  after meeting in london several years ago - (she was actually the first person i met on my first night ever outside the united states) - we formed a close friendship that stood the tests of time and distance.  i am really looking forward to her visiting me in korea this year, so that i can try my damndest to repay the grandest, warmest, hooked up, downright special treatment i received from her in her little corner of the world.

and now i am sitting in the home of peter allen, a couchsurfing member who put me up in his home outside of brisbane... a sweet, generous man who i am sad that i dont have time to get to know better. 

but yesterday, while  was at the one pine koala sanctuary where i got to hold a koala and pet freeroaming joeys (baby kangaroos) and emus, i met a french girl named virginia with a campervan who is also northbound... so in about an hour, we will depart for noosa, where i will be staying with the one-of-a-kind lizzie wah, who was one of my "family members"in railay beach, thailand.  ah, i keep saying this over and over, and maybe it's repetivitive but it's fucking true - the universe, for me, in these travelling days, has been the bearer of magic.  queensland, here i come...

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photo by: gimpel