“what are kings, when regiment is gone, but perfect shadows in a sunshine day…”
too bloody right.
you know that song from aladdin? “a whole new world…” yup. i found it. it’s in australia in the infamous red light district of kings cross. it is a whole new world over here in the dirty, brightly lit sinful streets.
think vegas, but grimmer…less glitz and glamour. think bourbon street, without the beer bongs and hurricane lanyard wearing street patrons. this place is lined with strip clubs, bars and discos, convenience stores and sex shops. literally that’s all there is here. the occasional kebab shop or overly priced eatery, backpackers hostels galore and a few tattoo shops-ironically probably the cleanest facilities in the entire district-seriously…but every spot i frequented in my short week stay, was of a minority, i assure you.
and yet, in all its gritty glory, this area is a gem in this city and is one of the most backpacker hopping places in sydney. if you’re young (and by young I mean under 25) and you’re traveling with mates, you have found where you belong. there is much people watching to enjoy and a lot of fighting for clean air to endure, but i will say, the cross was a great place for me to start my first week in australia.
the funkhouse backpackers is where i resided for the past week…read ‘solving for s’ post for more on hostel living…and it’s pretty cool, really, how the local night time businesses work with the hostels to reward the pack schlepping travelers with free club entries, drink deals and a place to dance their blue suede shoes off…okay, their 6 inch platform pumps…i chose flip flops as they are the fanciest shoe option i’m rolling with these days. it was actually a bit painful to not be dressed fancier in a club dress and heels on my one and only night out, but i managed fine. i even made it in a club photo at what was my final destination out last friday night…the scary canary…or what my new (and so far only) american friend, jon, cleverly coined it…the cackling crow.
i have currently lost count of how many germans i have met in australia, but it’s significantly more than any other foreigners i have encountered here. the gal next to me, was one of my german dorm mates, martina. the two girls behind me, are from sweden…probably why i can’t remember their names…shame on me. dude resting his elbow awkwardly on me, also from germany, also don’t remember his name. guy in the glasses was sean from south wales and wouldn’t you know it?! the short bloke in the back…also german. we went out with the hostel to two places. the sugar mill, just down from our hostel, is where i enjoyed my first vodka drink in oz…prior to that, it had been goon (aussie boxed wine) in a cheap ikea mug in our dorm room. after taking the train back from the neighborhood the cackling crow was perched in, i had a recommendation echoing in my head from my oldest friend back home. “have a kebab after a night of drinking”. so i did. and it was the best over priced booze munchie food i have ever tasted. thanks amanda for that one. according to my club stamp, “i don’t get drunk, i get awesome…” also true. i have yet to be a drunkard in the land of oz, but it’s a sure bet, you’ll feel buzzed…even when you’re sober…when waltzing through the cross.