Them Sheep!

It happened in December. Suddenly, I couldn't sleep. I was an insomniac. 

Such a chronic one that it started scaring my friends. Some asked me to count sheep, others asked me see a doctor. One advised me to get drunk and pass out. 

The last one, actually, was the only plan that worked for me. 

I blamed it on my job. The hours. The lack of hours. The timings. The lack of timing, rather. 

It went on for three months. The constant tiredness. Nodding off in the bus, five minutes before the stop where I would have to get down. Then the long and painful nights, some of whom were used for constructive purposes; but mostly whittled away wondering what was wrong with me and how to fix it. 

Then suddenly, towards the end of April, it all went back to normal. Eight hours a day. And everyday at that. 

The results: Fell behind on my reading, fell behind on my to-watch list, couldn't run in the mornings anymore, got increasingly more bored in office, started waking up early, started getting to office early, bus rides became longer, train rides became insufferable, sounds were clearer and more deafening etc etc. 

Today. I haven't slept yet. 

The results: Went for a walk, started reading again (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), sat up and thought about writing about this, sat up and wrote about this, made myself breakfast, read the paper, didn't count sheep, finished watching a series that I had wanted to watch. Oh I don't know. 

If those sheep and doctors had done any permanent damage to me, I wouldn't be writing this. 

I can complain I guess. And I probably will also. But have to admit, being an insomniac is probably one of the best things that can happen to somebody. Imagine all the extra hours you get!

(Image courtesy:

So THAT is Australia!

Yes. I work at a good enough place. Good enough for them to send me to Australia for three days.

Now. I've never been to Australia before, or anywhere else outside India for that matter. Hell, I just got my passport a couple of months back as part of my ground-breaking Project MMXI

So it was that one fine night, I got to Brisbane airport.

First impression: Looks like a nice place. (Day 1, 2031 hrs, Location: Airport/On road to Caloundra)

Why? People smile at you. The roads are clean. There is this strange silence that I've never experienced before. What IS that? Then it hits me! Nobody here honks!

Yes goddammit! You heard me, people there don't honk. They put on their indicators, stick to their lanes and let other people pass by. Fucking brilliant I say!

Second impression: I could live here. (Day 2, 0843 hrs, Location: Breakfast buffet @ Oasis Rdyges Hotel, Caloundra.)

 What more could you ask for? The people are nice, the weather is nice, there is a beach nearby, and the beach has benches where you can sit and forget everything! 

And the food. Steak and bacon and hash browns and (sigh)... Here, I might actually put on some weight for once!

A dream come true for any lazy ass. 

Third impression: They'll kill me if I stay here too long (Day 2, mid-morning to late night, Location: In and around Caloundra.)

Ah, you don't know what it is like when you hear it on TV, or watch in that movie. Being in the moment while you're being racially abused, well, is.. you know, funny!

Disclaimer: I DO NOT take pride in being an Indian, or being brown skinned, or being born a Hindu etc. I also DO NOT aspire to or want to be like an Aussie, American, Espanyolish Amigo or haughty Englishman. 

Hence, I really do not get racism.

I found it funny that these people were so quick to judge me, shout at me, wave their fingers (read finger) at me and stare at me without even giving me a chance. I mean, who's the bigger man here? Me, and I never would've thought that I would have the privilege! So there!

Fourth impression: No place is perfect I suppose. (Day 3 + Day 3 and 1/2, Location: Caloundra/Brisbane.)

Look at us in India. We can barely put up with each other. We have stereotypes about language, tradition and all that nonsense. 

Now. You take the same people, put them in a different continent, and have them give shit to the local population. What do you get? Racism of course. Aussie people, I do understand how you feel about my brethren. 

It's just sad that you thought I was one of the multitudes. You can obviously tell from my aura of awesomeness that I'm different. Then why?!

But. In the end, I suppose you're never comfortable with any place. There are assholes everywhere. Question you've to ask is whether you're willing to put up with all of them just to be there. 

Is the bacon and steak really worth it? Is the lack of sound pollution worth it? Are the pretty women worth it? 

Questions, confounding questions.