Sunday, June 29, 2008

Did You Say Walking Distance?

photo of Minnawara Park (in the summer) by Clarion

I've been in Armadale for almost a week. It's a very picturesque and quiet area, and being into the whole "beauty of nature" thing, I am drinking everything in. But one thing I'm learning very fast is that the phrase "walking distance" is relative to Western Australians - probably something they develop because the state they happen to occupy is so vast.

I'm currently staying at a bed and breakfast that is walking distance from my hospital - which actually means it is about 1 km far from it, and about a 10 minute walk. It's also walking distance from the shopping center and the lovely park shown above - about 1.5 km far, and a 20 minute walk.

Over here, because it's a quiet suburb, buses stop at stations on schedule and only come every half hour at their most frequent. If you're late one minute for the train, you'll have to wait 15 minutes for the next one. There are also no buses that pass along the highway where I live after 730 at night. This poses a bit of a problem because I have shifts that end at 9pm and shifts that start at 830pm.

Walking is lovely during the day and the sun is out, but quite a different matter when it's dark out, cold, and it's raining. Everyone out here has a car, it seems, as I've gone walking home at 6 pm (and it's already dark here because of winter) and I'm the only one on the road on foot. The locals say it's a relatively safe neighborhood. But when you're a woman walking alone in the street and there are dark vacant fields thick with trees in intervals beside you, it's a bit forgivable to be a bit antsy when you're doing it.

I am definitely going to have to save up and get a little car ASAP. In the meantime, there is always the expensive but safer option of calling for a cab.

We're pretty spoiled in Manila with our public transport that goes everywhere, you can hail from anywhere any time of day, and will drop you off wherever you want. The trade off is horrible traffic and unspeakable pollution. There is no such thing as the traffic jam we see back home over here - but then again, I don't live inside the city, so I could be wrong.

But this new way of getting around is just one of many new things that I am getting used to.

I have yet to get my own internet connection - so forgive me for being such an irregular chronicler these days. There's so much to write about, and I have quite a bit of time to write about them - only I don't really have a means to get on line at the moment. Just wanted to let you guys know I am still alive and I haven't forgotten my blog in all the fuss of moving.

More soon! In the meantime, keep those good vibes and wishes coming - I start work tomorrow and need all I can get!


Manggy said...

* Sends good vibes * :)

Hah, I love how the tag/label on your post still says "travel." Have a fun day... At work! :)

I barely have a handle on getting around here-- PGH is the most effort I put into travel-- as I love taking the train and walking; otherwise it's home for me with my cooking :)

flo said...

but ... 1 km to walk to work is really close ... you should be able to get there in 5 min too if you hurry. So seems really good. About walking there, of course I don't know that for sure, but I'd say most Australians consider their towns safer then Manila. So especially with such short distances, I'd say you should be fine walking, and if you don't need the car for anything else, I'd save the money for other things. But that's just me and my (not so humle) opinion of course.

Anonymous said...

your area looks nice!

Panaderos said...

We're so spoiled in the Philippines when compared to our Asian and Western counterparts. And partly the reason as to why a lot of us have health problems is because we do not walk enough.

You're in a very nice and safe place. I don't think you have much to worry about. Keep your head covered though when you're walking so you don't catch a cold or pneumonia but hey, between the two of us, you're the doctor. Hehehe Best of luck with the new job and take care of yourself always. :)

Blog2u said...

Oh yes, been there and have heard that. Distance is a very relative term! Enjoy the breath taking walks!