Travel theme: benches


According to Where is my backpack?, this week is all about benches : “Every park bench has a story to tell and when I see one, I can’t help dreaming up a history”. Yes, benches have a lot of story to tell and today, I have one for you.

gary's girlfriend This bench is located by the little beach in Fremantle, Australia, and it has a statue of a fat woman wearing a tiny bikini seating on it. I never knew her any name, and we never got around to find one for her, but for me she’ll always be “G’s girlfriend”.

As I mentionned to G. a few days after we met that I was leaving Perth to try living in Fremantle he said: “I love Freo, I have to introduce you to my girlfriend’. And there she was, gorgeous beach babe on his phone! Little did I know then what she would mean to me in the next few weeks and how much comfort she would give me as came the time of goodbyes.

G. came down to Freo to visit me the very day I left Perth and as we were randomly walking around town, we ended up facing her and we sat with her chatting for a while, his hand on her breast the whole time (don’t ask why but if you knew the amount of people I have seen with their hands on her boobs!).

G. left the next day, three weeks working up North and I would often come accross her on my way to the beach. I would send him photos of her, being patiently waiting for him to come home. But he came back to me, and we ditched her for the pier, desperatly waiting for the dolphins to come by… Eventually he had to resume work, our lives like this for a wee while, on and off…

The last time he came to visit me, we went to the little beach, had a chat with her and that’s when she became the statue of my broken heart. As I let G. go that day, and the world kept on turning as if he never happened she was the only thing, that one piece of evidence that he happened to me.

My very last day in Freo, I went to bid my farewell to her. I sat on the bench, but she said nothing, we did not need too, the two of us tearing up for the same man who never would be bound to anyone or anything. The tears I had proudly held back all day started to overflow all over my face and I had to go, but as I left and looked back at her it seemed to me she was saying: “don’t worry I’ll be here, when he comes back I’ll tell him you came”.

Today, G. has left Australia for four months already and I have for eight months. Time flies and we all get caught up in the flow of our little lives, but she is still there, quietly waiting for him to come back, and at least her, she has the chance of being his girlfriend for always.



She’s coming home!

Camel in Broome

Camel in Broome

Tonight, my dear C. is having her last night in OZ. She’ll be departing tomorrow – we WHV in Australia do not leave the country, we depart it  as we’re sure once we are out, our lives are over – and right now, she’s at the point she says she can’t come home, she just can’t do it. When I think of how long she’s been there for, and all that she’s done, I start to think indeed, she won’t make it! However, it’s been just a year that she’s there, just as I did, and if I thought at the time I would never survive, unfortunately, I did. She’s been such a long way since she first arrived,  maybe it feels so long because when I met her it was the end for me, but for her it was just the beginning.

I remember the first time I’ve seen her. I was chatting with W., my best friend at the time at Pirates Backpackers and she arrived, droped her Gerard Darel purse on the table, and looking gorgeously French she started talking with W. without even aknowledging I was here. My first thought? ‘Brunette. Brown eyes. She’ll steal my W. for sure. Bitch’. And crazy bitch definitly she is and I wouldn’t want her any other way! It’s only a week later or so that we started bonding, over breakfast one morning. All my mates then had left, so I said ‘where about in France are you from?’ ‘Tours’ ‘No way!’ ‘Yes, why?’ ‘Me too!’. She likes to say we had to travel half way accross the world to find each other and I like to think that it’s true. My boss started calling us the twins, and so did everybody. Travelling sisters we became for sure, and I wouldn’t have done half the things I did if she hadn’t been with me to do it, or behind me telling me to do it. She says I’m a wild travelling beast but she should look at herself! The best party girl, the best travelling companion, the best sister I never had…

I know she’d hate me saying this but at least when she comes home it means we’ll be on the same continent again. When I left Oz, my face full of tears and my heart just a big sob, she said: ‘be strong, we’ll be back here. We’ll be back here both’. I wish I could take her hand just the same, and tell her all the things that she wants to hear. But I can’t because I know there is none of that. You think that when you leave you’ll be stuck and it’s true.

However, I can promess her, we’ll back there under the sunshine, because there’s no other place we belong.



You saw my pain washed out in the rain


Conemara scenery, back in 2008

Conemara scenery, back in 2008

I have rarely felt less inspired… I think it’s this place. Don’t you find that some places are more inspiring than others?

It was back in December when I was traveling New Zealand with mom. She came over to visit me for three weeks, we rented a car and drove all over the South Island. I did all the driving because she did not feel confident enough to drive in the left side. When I’d find myself driving for hours, on the empty roads surrounded by moutains my mom snoozing beside me, this story came to my head from start to finish and I had no way to write it down. It can get very annoying, sometimes you just need to get the ideas out of your head or it will become like a broken record inside your brain and turn into an unhealthy obsession.  I put some of it down and then when I came home I continued it. I would sit at my desk trying to concentrate on my thesis writing, my head would fill up with so many words, of course none of them being thesis related…Then I went to visit London and Dublin and these two places are just incredibly inspiring. I love the UK as a whole, but the old libraries and old cafes in Dublin, it’s terribly exiting! And sooo many writers were born or lived in Dublin it’s quite surprising for such a small capital city.

But since I arrived here, my mind is blank. I can’t finish it at all or even remember the meaning of it. They say write with your heart, write about what you know. To be true, I feel nothing these days. Numb from the heart. The boredom of the daily routine, the dirty weather, it’s hopeless. I can’t believe one month ago I was still aching so hard I could just cry and scream everyday, now that it’s all gone I wonder if it’s all real. One thing is sure it wasn’t worth it. You think you’ll love forever, and you think you’ll ache from it forever but you don’t no matter how hard you want to hold on to it.

Maybe the story was shit, but I think that’s beside the point. I need inspiration again, and I have a feeling all it would take is a nice summer ale, with a fish and chips watching sunset on the beach…



Watching to better horizons... Connemara, Ireland

Watching to better horizons… Connemara, Ireland


I’ll be home in a little while…

In Monkey Mia paradise...

In Monkey Mia paradise…

I will be strong. Not for you, but for myself.  One day I decided to let go. Oh, it did not happen just like that, I had to be strong and fight, to agree that you had your flaws and that our relationship, it ended. Not because you died, but because you wanted it to end.

I’ve fooled myself thinking that you did not warn me you were dying to protect me. You just did not care.

I told myself the journal, you left it to me because it had the answer. You were just being funny.

You said you shouldn’ miss me at all, there is nothing to miss, you should hate me if anything. But hate, it’s still a feeling.

You said don’t believe a word of what I say. But you never stopped talking.

Today, I stop questionning. I am something outside of you, and wether you’re here or not I still am. Australia it was my land. You said go home, but home, it’s nowhere. Or everywhere, and I want it to be Australia.

And so I’ll be back without you because Australia I loved it before I loved you and I wanted my life there before I wanted my life with you.

Our story, you wanted it to be nothing, but it will be a start.