Overheard in Kings Cross
My last week in Australia – after nearly two years spent traveling and working around the country – I spent in Sydney. It’s a great city; beautiful, vibrantly thronging with people from all over the world, and there is so much to do and see.
I stayed in a hostel in Kings Cross – a slightly seedy neighborhood, backpacker hovel and red light district. The people watching was, needless to say, quite interesting. I spent an inordinate amount of time eavesdropping, enjoying the myriad of different languages and accents and reflecting on my time as a backpacker in Australia. Two conversations struck me in particular.
Late on Sunday night, my last night in Australia, an Argentinean bloke was idly talking to his mate:
“Do you know how to smoke opium?”
Laughter. “I haven’t got a clue… why don’t you google it?”
One morning, earlier in the week, I was trying to sleep in my eight bed dorm room – a near impossible task (one of things I will not miss about backpacker life is all the lost sleep in hostels) – when two English girls came in and started chatting.
Girl One: How was work yesterday?
Girl Two: Good. Busy. But the chef died in the morning.
G1: What?! Oh my – what happened?
G2: I don’t know. My boss waited until the end of the day to tell me. He said he had some bad news. I thought he was going to fire me. But then he said the chef had died. Honestly at first I was a little relieved I wasn’t getting sacked, like.
G1: Oh my god… so what was the chef like?
G2: Don’t really know, I only worked with him one day, the day before he died. He was upset because someone complained about his quiche. I keep thinking about how he must’ve gone home that night complaining about someone complaining about his quiche. And then he died.