2/6/10: Sydney, Australia
Last night it rained. This morning it rained. This afternoon it rained. This evening it rained harder. We tried our best to stay inside the entire day, but eventually we had to board a 7pm Greyhound bound for Byron Bay. We stodged (I can’t think of the right verb here, so I made one up) our way through the storm for twenty minutes to the bus stop, me carrying our packs over my head and Zhou using our flowery, glittery $5 umbrella for protection. We then waited for another half hour to board as the rain poured sideways into the small roof we were using for cover. We wound up soaking wet with no change of clothes in seats that hardly reclined on a full bus that probably had to drive uphill both to and from Byron Bay with no gas in the tank. And then I heard someone singing these words over the loudspeaker and everything got better:
“Ahhh, if a this ya love you want ya a go get
Gal, if a this ya love you want ya a go get.”
Yes, the driver had put on Cool Runnings to kick the ride off on the right foot. And yes, I had to look the actual lyrics up there – I always thought they were saying something about a glove found under the carpet. For the next 98 minutes, I hung onto every word that was said even though I may have known the lines better than John Candy himself. I laughed when Sanka threatened to draw a line down Yul’s head so it looked like a butt. I cheered when the team finished the trial run in 59.46 seconds. And I cried when the slow clap started during the last scene.
Who ever thought that nearly 10,000 miles away from home (and 9,300 miles from Jamaica) I would have a legitimate reason to blog about Cool Runnings? I’m not going to let this chance pass me by. Here are just a few of the ways that our journey has been inspired by quotes from the standard by which all other movies should be judged.
Sanka: “You want to kiss my [lucky] egg?”
Zhou was so inspired by this line that she brought an egg to the apex of the Annapurna Circuit and had me kiss it.
Irv: “It’s not so much the heat, it’s the humidity that’ll kill you.”
My belief that Egypt in June will be bearable is solely based on this knowledgeable advice from Coach Blitzer.
Yul: “I see pride! I see power! I see a bad… mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!”
If you take crap off of too many people, eventually you’re going to be wearing overpriced suits and traveling on buses going nowhere in sweltering heat. Either that or you wind up looking like baby Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire.
Sanka: “You mean winter, as in Eskimos and igloos and penguins and ICE?”
Like Sanka, we tried to avoid winter as much as possible, but eventually gave in when we realized how much good could come from putting up with the cold weather. (In his case, winning a gold medal. In ours, getting hong bao.)
Sanka: “All I’m saying, mon, is if we walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican, and is Jamaican, then we sure as [heck] better bobsled Jamaican.”
This one is just a good line to live by in general, especially if you’re Jamaican.
Irv: “I’m coming from two gold medals. I’m coming from nine world records in both the two- and four-man events. I’m coming from ten years of intense competition with the best athletes in the world.”
Zhou and I may have been the best push cart drivers in all of inner-city Charlotte, but we’re very inexperienced world travelers. Therefore we’ve leaned on as many people, books and websites as we have been able to find to make our trip as fun as possible.
Derice: “Who’s the big hot bag of air, who doesn’t have to comb his hair? Who doesn’t bathe and doesn’t care?”
As Zhou can attest, this has been my motto during several phases of this trip, most notably the hike in Nepal.
Sanka: “Hey, baldie, get off my foot!”
When riding the subway in overpopulated big cities, some bald guy is bound to step on your foot. When it happens, just follow Sanka’s lead.
Derice: “Peace be the journey.”
Yes, peace be the journey.
Picture of the Day: Not only do the toilets flush the other way down here, Northeners can also walk on Southern hemisphere water!