Friday, May 30, 2008

First impressions don't always last

Andrea is...talking about her first day

Bad experiences on the first day in a new place can really tarnish your opinion of it. But a few good experiences and/or getting a better picture of the place can go a long way in changing your impressions.

Fortunately, I had no choice but to stay in Broome following my first day although I was very tempted to turn around and head back to Perth or even Melbourne.

I wasn’t in a good mood when I arrived in Broome, so my first impression was ‘what am I doing here???’ as I waited for my luggage in the arrivals shed and then struggled to find my dog
. Amos and I were sad to leave the friends we were staying with in Perth, I was nervous about working at a new station, was tired, still feeling stressed after leaving in a hurry that morning, and was angry that the travel agent had failed to book me a vegetarian lunch on the plane.

Armed with luggage and dog, I eventually found the taxi rank which had two people waiting and no taxis in sight. It was a good twenty minutes since everyone else had left arrivals, so this was fair enough. When a taxi finally showed up and agreed to take the dog, we ditched my luggage at the youth hostel and then went in search of the house where Amos was to stay. I was dropped off at the only house on the street (to which I had to give directions to the taxi driver!) but with no one around, I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. A track continued from the end of the road, so I trudged though the red sand (Amos was excited – he must of thought we were at the beach!) to find it was a (4WD) cut through to a different street. So we found a straggly tree near the house and sat and waited. It was 32 degrees, I was in trousers because I hadn’t had my legs waxed, I had little water, was hungry and fed up. After half an hour, we walked back up the street to find a shop. A Gatorade and bottle of water for the dog cost $7.00 at the BP, so I was glad that work gives me a good allowance for travel days – I needed it!

Back at the house, we find the guy had arrived as we had been walking up the street and said it
had been good timing. What???! I had said we’d be there at 1 and it was now 2.30! How is that good timing?

I was a little concerned and sad about leaving the dog there, and felt bad for dumping him on them, as they were the friends of a friend of a friend whom I had never met!

The offer of a lift back to town I had been hoping for never came, and I
didn’t want to hang around any longer waiting for a taxi, so I walked the long 3km back to the hostel. I had to stop at Target anyway to buy a towel as I hadn’t been able to fit mine in my pack and would be desperate for a shower when I finished my long, hot, dusty walk.

When I got back to the hostel and discovered the bar below my crappy room, I needed that shower to cool my temper!

I headed into town despite my aching legs just to get away from the hostel. I found it was mainly made up of pearl and other tourist-y shops and cafes and restaurants that were too expensive to justify eating at. I also found myself stuck talking to a guy standing on the veranda of a pub, being asked for money by some locals and feeling generally out of place.

I went back to the hostel, had a $4 glass of goon (aka cheap box or cask wine), a $10 microwaved lasagne and an early night despite the noise.

My opinion at this stage was that Broome was hot, dirty, over-priced and not somewhere to walk around at night. Actually, I still think that it’s over-priced and don’t like to be out at night, but I’m liking it a lot more now - stay tuned for reasons why!


Sueblimely said...

I am really pleased your first impressions are fading. Are you missing your car up there or is the bike OK because of shortish distances?

I look forward to reading of your good impressions - golden beaches, glorious sunshine - and any quirky things you come across too :-)

Jayne said...

Good to hear things are improving :)