The first week of my trip was like a continuation of a very otherworldly dream filled with accents, soccer, mountains, curry, cider, and lots and lots of Skype calls. You see, I kept waiting for it to hit me. Besides all of the weird food, weird money, and weird accents… oh and the whole driving on the other side of the road business (which I was still taking some getting used to), I did not feel like I was in Australia. Because to Americans, Australia is supposed to be flat and have a lot of dirt and sand. Red sand. And there are supposed to be tumble weeds blowing in the distance while poisonous animals try to kill you, and everyone is supposed to wear leather hats and say “Crikey!” a lot.
The real Australia is anything but that.
So during my entire trip I kept saying, “Okay, when I get on this flight it will hit me!” and then that turned into, “When I land it will definitely hit me then!”
But it never did. And to this day it all still feels like a dream that I ever made the trip to begin with.
I found myself many of times staring at the ground underneath my feet and imagining the fact that my friends and family were asleep on the other side of this large, round earth. And yes, I know that sounds very childish of me, you know, when you were young and you always thought if you would dig a hole deep enough you’d make it to the other side? Well in all reality, America was not on the direct opposite side, and if I were to dig a hole straight through I would imagine I would find myself somewhere in the North Atlantic ocean. But it still didn’t help me feel less homesick.
Not that I got homesick often though. My mother insisted I call her every single day and every day she would ask me how my day was and every time I would say, “Mom, it’s nine in the morning here… My day hasn’t started yet.”
That same conversation was held every day for 5 months.
God, I love my mother.
Tonight though, we were going out. Our first night out into the city with all of my boyfriends friends. And did I mention that most of his friends were females? Most people would find that rather intimidating, I guess I just looked at it as I wouldn’t have to force my friendships upon any strangers…. yet. So after finding an outfit to wear, which consisted of high waisted jean shorts and a leopard print top, I was ready.
We made it into the city and I instantly decided that maybe my outfit of choice wasn’t such a great idea since it was still winter, but after looking around I felt a great deal better. I made a game in my head on whether or not some girls were strippers or high end hookers, and gave them all a back story. Mean? Nahhh….. it was about as harmless as their stripper heels. On second thought…. those heels looked rather dangerous.
We ended up making it to this bar on a roof top of a semi tall building. There was a round bar with lights surrounding it as well as tables laid out across the floor. There was no roof and the view of the rest of the city below and around us was like something I had seen from a movie. I sipped on my pineapple vodka (I had no signature drink yet and I was an amateur in the alcohol business) and glanced around at all of the people. Again, I had the same feeling I had when I had seen the business woman earlier on in the week. They all looked so important. They all looked so happy.
A fit of laughter exploded to my left at a large table filled with young adults who looked like they were having a nice evening out after such a long and tiring week. I wondered what they were laughing about.
Then I felt a hand sneak into mine and heat rose up onto my cheeks. I had been caught daydreaming. My boyfriend kissed me on the cheek and told me that his friends were here. There was no need for introduction and I hugged them like it was almost a reunion and that I had not seen them in a very long time. We were practically all friends already since we talked over Facebook and such before my journey over.
With the group together, it was time to venture out to our next destination. There, we danced and sipped on our drinks, singing along to the songs we knew like we were up on stage and auditioning for American Idol. On the songs I didn’t know, because I was not Australian, I would dance along anyways and smile and laugh with the girls. Then they pulled me up to the bar to buy me a drink and I felt like a part of the group. I felt like these girls had been my friends forever. I could not believe how nice people were in this country without even a question. It was there that I had my first jager bomb. A very very large shot which consisted of jagermeister and red bull.
I took it like a champ.
After a few of those and some more dancing I heard my name being called out from the band on stage.
Yeah, you read right, my name was being called to come up onto the stage. Or rather, my state was being called up on stage.
“I hear there’s a girl here from ALABAMA?! Come on up here!!”
Sober me would have said no. Sober me would have been red in the face and hid behind a tall stranger.
This was not how you wanted to meet your boyfriends friends.
Or was it?
Non sober me said, “Hell yeah it is!”
I then proceeded onto the stage and the lead singer thrusted a microphone into my hand.
I heard the plucks from a guitar string playing an all too familiar melody and a smile broke out so wide onto my face I thought I was going to break in half.
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing and I knew every single word. This was practically our anthem back home.
So yeah, I proceeded to sing every last word of that song. The lead singer tried to sing some of it but it was evident he just didn’t know the words like this southern chick.
Another girl came up onto the stage and we went back and forth with the lyrics. I even threw in a good “Roll Tide Roll” for good measure.
This was a fantastic night.
This was a night I would never forget.
This was a night I would definitely be feeling in the morning.
Until Next Time!!!