My travel to Sydney

From a dream to reality

To begin with, what I hope to do as «orderly» as possible, I will do it explaining how I got here, because explaining why I decided or where I got the idea I really don’t know, I can only say that since I was fourteen years old I wanted to come to this country, the reason? Hm I don’t know if I listened to someone or some travel report, apart from a children’s program called «Profesor Rossa» but since then I developed the idea of travelling but first of all I had to come to Australia…

It is clear that it was not at all difficult to get the visa, taking into account that I had to take the English test, toefl, twice because the first time I failed, but today it is just a detail that cost me a few extra bucks.

After a long wait of 3 weeks I got an email asking for my degree certificate, which I didn’t attach in my application because I had no idea or I didn’t read it anywhere, – which could be my dyslexia’s fault, I answered the email with the required information and an hour later they answered accepting my application, which as soon as I finished reading I ran to tell my friend Marcela, who didn’t even smile or exclamation, (situation that she explained later), then my boss and Frien and co-worker Francisco, who was, this last one, the most expressive and enthusiastic about it, maybe because he couldn’t stand me anymore, (? ), and I think that at that moment half of the company found out because my tone of voice knows no discretion, then followed all the protocol steps, resignation, notify the family, buy tickets, make reservations for hostels, I was really lucky with that decision, hostel I mean , although perhaps that was not the order but I hope you get the idea.

At the moment I am writing these lines it has been almost 7 months of my stay in Australia, one month ago I left Sydney to start travelling and try to get the second year of the visa, – what I later found out could not be done at that time for Chileans, – , in what is known here as «farm Jobs» doing those jobs that here in Australia not many want to do … (today it is already more than nine years and I think the tenth time that I rewrite this).

The truth is that between the goodbyes, at work and mostly with family and a couple of friends, I think the hardest at that time was my grandmother, well to this day it is, She always have that last minute word that breaks you and ends in tears. Similarly with Andrea was a parrty after another that I ended up drunk and lamenting on the way to work the next day.

Having already fulfilled the required rituals, and days before the flight I prepared an unnecessarily large luggage with which I would pay the consequences of the overload in my displacements, and that later I was going to get rid of at least half of it. It is almost obvious to say that the last person of my family that I said goodbye to was my mother, another moment of emotion and tears, more than of sadnes was a moment of joy since she has always understood the realization and joy in the adventures that I undertake, let’s say most of the time, supporting me in all my ideas and many times motivating me in the face of my own fear.

Already at the airport, after my friend Jorge Erazo kindly took me there and having a longe conversation, Iwent to the boardin area and I could not hide the excitement, that anxiety of something you have wanted to do all or half your life and that at some point you even thought for lost, for good or bad reasons; sitting there trying to make disappear or calm that excitement and the stupid face, ( yes hahaha, that one is hopeless), thinking «here I am, didn’t I want to go to Australia? you are a few minutes away from making it happen, and you will be able to speak English? are you sure you are going to understand? I would later realise that in the first few weeks I would often not understand a telephone conversation with Aussies at all – will you dare to speak or will I be the shy and quiet boy or perhaps make you look deaf and dumb? that and many other stupid ideas… when the time came to board, the crisis arrived, do I have everything I need? will the money I exchanged be enough? and if they ask me something in English and I don’t understand, you just say yes, I hope they don’t ask about drugs, bad joke for an airport but I was just thinking about it luckily, mmm well with so many machines to check you that they have invented, maybe they can read even your thoughts, another paraoic idea; after that started an exciting 18 hours flight without much to tell, only that I couldn’t sleep more than 20 minutes in the plane. arrived to Oakland, New Zealand, my first eloquent exchange of words with a native of the language and test passed! I bought an adapter for the pc and we even talked about rugby, then again to board the plane to Sydney, where I think I lived the most exciting of the whole flight between Chile and Australia, because minutes before landing the plane had a second, maybe two, of free fall, where you feel that there is no control of the machine, like a roller coaster but at I don’t know how many thousand meters high uff! – Turbulence due to a change of temperature and air direction, air wells they call them-, and despite the fact that one woman started to cry and others to pray, I think I was ready for the worst, scared uff YES, but in that situation nothing to do, right?….

Once at Sydney International Airport, around 7 am, with my face of not having slept more than a couple of minutes I had to go through customs and police control, where as I approached I saw people of different nationalities being checked their entire luggage, the food they were bringing, the money that was counted in front of the officers in piles, and me with my luggage that only imagine dismantling all the stipidities that I had thought to bring, among them a knife and Cuban tobacco and cigarettes, because yes! I thought I was «cool» and smoked Cuban cigars and cigarettes at that point in life, and I stupidly thought I wouldn’t get them in Sydney, poof!…. The truth was a lot less time and trouble than I thought it would be, at least for me, I only had to declare the Cuban cigarettes I was carrying under the limit. Once with my luggage, which stupidly was a lot I repeat, in the typical airport trolley I didn’t know what to do, so the smartest thing to do was to start reading the signs and get on the train, -because the signs are very useful when you read them-, in the direction of the train that previously, in a very smart way :P, I had taken knowledge of the itinerary of this one and carried a map with the address of the hostel and the nearest train station…

…which in the end didn’t help me much because I still got lost, ha. I detoured my way just to buy a mobile phone, and went to the most traditional restaurant I could find, a McDonald’s! and I don’t know what I ordered, how I paid, or how much it was, because I didn’t understand Naaaaaadaaaaaa, sorry, if I understood something, that if I wanted honey with my food, to which I said yes but I didn’t know what I had ordered even that in the picture looked like something like pancakes, and when I received them I could check that they were pancakes, so beginner’s luck, I got it. following my way to the train station and looking for the best way to carry my luggage, which I didn’t find out until later, well for a change I walked to the wrong platform with the 40 kilos of luggage with which I had to walk a long stairs twice because my insecurity of the direction I was going to, kept changing in my head until I asked someone and stopped crossing the stairs like a madman. After the platform changing exercise the train journey to my destination station offered me a fascinating view, where I think my fascinated face, which as a sensation I can only compare to visiting the streets of Santiago for the first time in my childhood when I was travelling from Los Angeles in the south of Chile, provoked a certain sympathy in the people of the city, I was provoking a certain sympathy in the aussies that were on my way, as people smiled at me, waved and made comments of sympathy for the luggage I was carrying, which only made me more and more fascinated, and with that feeling of being dreaming, I got off at my destination station, King cross, where I took my map and started to walk, I arrived at a traffic light where I already felt without north, I asked for directions, because I am macho and I am not afraid to ask, and I kept on walking, more directions and I kept on walking, after a couple of blocks, with the luggage on my back, I realized that I had walked in the opposite direction, so I stopped, I insulted myself for a couple of minutes, I arranged my luggage perfectly on my back and on my chest, you must understand that I had two backpacks of 60 lts. I started walking in the right direction, where people were still waving and smiling in the street, this time maybe making fun of me, once I had walked all the way back to the hostel which was a third of the distance I had already walked in the wrong direction, where I arrived at about midday, I checked in, understanding half of what Liz, the manager, and future boss was telling me, I think due to the tiredness of the trip, the walking and the lack of sleep on the flight, I went to what I luckily understood was my room in two trips, I took my luggage up to room 16 where once I had all my luggage in it I slid into bed and slept for perhaps 20 hours. …

To be continued…

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