Unfortunately—from a storytelling point of view—there was nothing uncomfortable, palpitating or even vaguely gruesome about my stay in Perth, other than the outrageous prices on everything. It’s a lovely city, lapped by the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean, with spectacular beaches, a decent local music scene and a food environment that, really, is a bit lacking in imagination. Thai and Nepalese are about as outré as it gets.
But it’s really the people that I met that made Perth memorable. Sharon, my Couchsurfing host for about nine days, was a total gem. John, the organic gardener and character extraordinaire, was great. And the various other itinerants I met along the way—all under 30 and laboring under what seems to me a pretty exploitive work-holiday visa regime—for the most part delighted me. And a big shout-out to the rodeo crew who made New Year’s a blast.