Why hello again, Melbourne.
It’s a Friday morning, and in some circadian shenanigans my body decided six AM was an appropriate weekend hour to get up. After a few futile minutes of staring at the ceiling trying to let sleep again take me, I begrudgingly decided to maximize this early start to the day. Oolong with Tasmanian honey in hand, I step out into the cool morning air and walk the five minutes from where I’m staying to the Seaview ‘shops’ – a charming cluster of local stores, including a butcher, a grocer, a liquor store, and an open-air fresh fruit and vegetable store. A gentle breeze off the kilometer-distant ocean twirls eucalyptus leaves and wafts the exotic aromas of this country to my unaccustomed nostrils. I can’t remember the last time I noticed a scent on my walk home from work in Saratoga, but here every corner I turn it’s something new to pique my interest: heavily sweet fragrance of flowering daphne or the earthy smell of root vegetables at the market. The warbly call of the ubiquitous magpie reaches my ear; my mind’s a dizzy buzz of rushing stimuli.
I love it. I’m beginning to feel more myself as rest conquers jetlag, and as the feeling of the ground moving under my feet pulsing up and down subsides (which, for the record, I attribute to ocean paddleboarding before hopping in a plane and sitting motionless for the next 16 hours; I would strongly advise against this). The delight I have to look forward to is the moment when my Northern Hemisphere brain gets fully oriented and I can start to tease apart the now tangled web of sights and sounds; to sink into clear appreciation of just how gloriously far away Australia is.
This week has largely been, as previously mentioned: sleeping off jetlag, getting settled into my living arrangements with my good friend Andy, and recalibrating to the ostensibly backwardness of this place (only waited on the wrong side of the road for the bus once so far). Monday I was able to get down to the beach for some yoga. The practice was challenged with a few technical obstacles: most notably 1) the wind that kept flipping up the edges of my mat, 2) and my having unwittingly chosen the friendliest of dog-friendly beaches and having to direct some not-so-peaceful warrior energy at a soaking wet terrier lest he shake on my laptop. That practice rectified a bit of the physiological havoc wreaked by my door-to-door 73 hours 13 minutes and 21 seconds travel time, and with my freshly-acquired oatmeal, flaxseed meal, coconut oil, chia, and dark chocolate, I look forward to even more closely approaching homeostasis.
As long where I’m traveling has oatmeal, I will be OK. The intermittent-fasting psycho-Paleo people can get stuffed. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day I will fight you.