Did everyone know that the new Air Jordans came out this morning at 9am? Basketball shoes. You can buy two pair for $450. Actually, you have to buy two pair. Minimum purchase. Come one come all people were camping out for it last night. I saw them on my way home, in front of every shoe store in downtown Melbourne, camping, waiting for the new Jordans. And I thought it was a protest.
Although I still have a few more months here in Australia, I can feel my time winding down. I'm making preparations to leave that I have been putting off for months. Like replacing my shattered rear hub in my bike. And replacing the rear rack that cracked through in Tajikistan. And renewing my passport. It will expire in May. Today I set off to do my taxes, and was put back into the perpetual state of fury I knew in Margaret River. To claim taxes back you need to provide an ABN, (don't ask me what it stands for, Archaic Bureaucratic Number is my best guess) that is an identification number for businesses, for each employer. I got every single one except for the one from Vinepower, the labor exploitation artists that indentured me and several hundred other grape pickers this summer. They don't provide it on their payslips. I think they're conning someone here. I tried to call the people who could help me, the business card gives four numbers. Only one picked up. Jim claimed to have no idea, stating that he was, "only an employee". He told me to call the numbers I already had. I drank some tea, calmed down, and resolved to put this off until Monday when I could call the office, today being Saturday. Am I really writing about doing my taxes?
I'm planning on buying my plane ticket back to the Western Hemisphere any day now. I often dreamed of that day while in the shackles of itinerant farmwork. As it approaches, I'm afraid of it. The Western Hemisphere is my hemisphere. I actually feel some ownership and responsibility about how things go there. Going back to Margaret River, our angry gripes about our situation in Australia would often turn into amateur and ill-informed dissections of the problems in our home countries. The Italians would often discuss Italy's current plummet, and how their friends' and parents' wages were dropping and dropping, and what to do about it. Some nights would end in great passion and great declarations. One night, Andrea bet Cris 100 euros that he was the "man who would change Italy". I love this grandiose talk and expectation. It's infectious, and as the day approaches when I eventually will return to the United States, I laugh and think of myself as: the man who will change America!
I saw Batman the other day on a 70 storey Imax screen, the third largest movie screen in the world. This led me to wonder what are the top 3? Google searches easily provide numbers 1 and 3, but number 2 is pretty elusive for the second biggest movie screen in the world. It was pretty cool though.
I hooked up my roommate's record player, after 2 months of procrastinating. It's very nice.
And tonight I'm going to see Monsieur Remi, freshly back from a 10 day silent meditation retreat, play at Open Studio on High Street in Northcote. Remi is my French guitar playing former roommate. He sings live karaoke most Thursday nights at La Niche on Gertrude and Smith, in French and in English, and is the man to play at any wedding, bar mitzvah, or summer music festival.