Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am homeless

Today was our first day that was rain free since arriving in Perth.   I used the opportunity to take the children for a walk into the mall to find the tiketek to buy tickets for un upcoming Disney show.  Not quite tickets for Livid Festival or Big Day Out, but it will have to do for now.  Trying to find 717 Hay St was more difficult than anticipated.  Our hotel is on Hay St, so common sense tells me that if I just walk straight then I should find it.  (Common sense also tells me that aeroplanes should flap their wings to stay in the sky and traffic would not exist if everyone still drove the speed limit; so really it is no surprise I got a bit confused walking straight.) 
Searching for 717 was difficult because the two buildings next to each other were numbered 715  and 719.  It has been a while since I attended formal school of any sorts, but pretty sure I am up to date with my numerical odd counting sequences.  So I went into 715 and I am told that ticketek is no longer in the city, but I am directed to an information desk in an adjacent mall off Hay St, to check just in case.  I am then informed by a 15 year old Perth information enthusiast that “Dunno, pretty sure it is upstairs or something”.  Or something.  Okay.  I am not too sure I am getting any closer to the treasure here.  So back to X marks the spot to see if the invisible number has now become visible and I stand blankly outside the chemist (number 719), scratching my head and muttering to the children, “It’s here somewhere, it’s here somewhere, I can find it I know you can” while I rock back and forth.  Okay, just to clarify, I am rocking back and forth because it is just habit to do this with the pram when I stop still.  But in all honesty, with the rocking and muttering to myself, I must be looking like I need to enter the chemist for my mental prescription, so I go inside. There is always the possibility that I may just stumble across the Ticketek porthole by mistake?

I ask the pharmacist assistant if she knows where Ticketek is.  She mumbles something then walks away from me.  I am not having too much luck with directions today.  She turns and waves me over to the other end of the counter.  “Over here” she says a little annoyed.  As I get to the other end of the counter, she removes the nail polish samples off the top of the desk to reveal a 3cm x 5cm yellow Ticketek sticker on the side of a wall.  Of course, now how could I have missed that?
This is the actual size of the Ticketek sign
“Which upcoming event can I interest you in today?” she sings to me.  She obviously prefers her sales position with Ticketek more than that with the chemist.  So after I let her know how keen we all are to see adults dressed in fluffy outfits at the Disney Show, she asks the dreaded question…
“What is your address please?”
“I don’t have one.”
I receive a blank look; she obviously requires more information.
“I’m homeless.”
Still getting a blank stare.
“I live in a hotel.”
Still an empty look, not too friendly, obviously the pressures of changing between occupations several times a day is a little too much for some to handle?
“I am new here.”
Perhaps this would be less awkward if I stopped pausing for effect after each sentence like I was in an episode of Bold and the Beautiful.  This is obviously not where I am going to find my new “Westy Besty”, (Perth best friend). I am unenthusiastically told that there are not great seats left, but she gives me the option to pick the best of the worst.  Yay.  Disney Stage Show here we come… but not for a few months.
I am already regretting telling my daughter why we were walking into town.  She has ensured me that she understands that we cannot go to see Disney today.  “Okay mummy.  We will just go tomorrow.”  I reply no and try to explain that it is not until after Christmas.  “Okay mummy, we will go back to the helltell to have Christmas, then we will just go to Disney tomorrow okay?”  Time has no concept for my princess and we both agree that we will see the Disney show ‘later’, not ‘after’, but ‘later’.

So today I had a reality check.  I am homeless.  I am carless.  I have no keys, (unless you count the fingernail length key that opens the plastic lock that goes on my gypsy suitcase). Strangely enough, keys to me give me a sense of belonging and responsibility.  Take my parents keys for example; they both look like jail wardens; there are keys for cars, keys for their house, keys for security doors, keys for work, keys for other people’s houses, padlock keys, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a key to the city on there somewhere.  Not only do they have a lot of keys, but they have a few sets of keys, quite often I would hear them saying which set do you have?  Are they trying to rub it in.  I tried carrying my 2 year olds plastic music keys in my hand bag for a while, but they just didn’t give me the sense of belonging I was after.  In hindsight, there is a positive to my keyless existence.  Their keys are too bulky to fit into my back jean pocket, but my hotel key… flat plastic… and I do not stab my bottom every time I try to sit down.

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