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Conversations on the Road III

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 26 April 2008 | Views [796] | Comments [6]

(from Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) to Tennant Creek and Mt Isa)


Jett – Mum, I’d really like to be a police man, but I don’t want to have to do what they do. I don’t want to be in danger. And I like firemen too, but I don’t want to have to fight a fire and maybe get killed.

Tiffany – Well, there’s this band Jett, they’re called The Village People. They really like the uniforms, the look, of the policeman too, and other uniforms, but they don’t have to do any of the dangerous stuff. They can just look tough. And, they get to sing and dance too.

Albert – Exactly.


Tiffany – Look, I’m feeling a bit tired. You have to be patient with me at the moment. Remember how I told you about the baby’s room, how it cleans itself out every month. Well, now its about to do it, and I feel tired.

Albert – He doesn’t know about that stuff. He doesn’t understand.

Jett – Yes I do. She’s got her Pyramid.



Albert – Gaawwwwd, I wish I was gay.  Its my biggest dream.

Jett – Why?

Albert – Spend time with a simple man.  Just to drink beer all day, watch the footy. I don’t know.

Jett – But you have Tiffy. You can’t be gay.

Albert – That’s what its all about.

Jett – Mum, do you know Romeo and Romette?


The Art of the Finger.

The Lonely Planet people call it the friendly finger.  We’ve had an on going discussion and tally to try to come to some sort of answer.

Who gives what on the highway of hellos?

Campervans, caravans, 4 wheel drives, and back packer cars (often ford falcons)  lift a finger, lift two fingers, or lift the whole hand off the steering wheel in salutation to on coming vehicles. Mostly, they do nothing. Trucks we have been unable to record as their cab is too high to notice if they greet in any way.

Some, however, give you a thumbs up.

Of uncounted vehicles passing us, two caravans gave us the thumbs up. 8 gave us the friendly finger variation (that remember, may include the full palm), and quite a few did nothing.

Campervans/back packer cars (wanna be campervans) gave us one thumb, and 11 fingers.

Four wheel drives gave us one thumb and 6 friendly fingers.

A bus did something but was unidentified. (UFF – unidentified finger fling)

We suggest, before planning your trip, to practice, in the mirror, what suits your image. Are you the laidback Bob Marley type? One finger.  A bit more hippified and flower power? Two fingers. You like to be open and honest, and are still enjoying the on the road experience? Then the full hand could be your ticket.


Telescope – look a little closer

I just finished with some paper towelling, and offered Jett the cardboard cylinder. He was more delighted than I expected. I had memories of a younger Jett playing with cylinder, pretending it was a telescope or a speaker while he played pirates.

‘Mum, do we have any tape?’


‘Oh, but I want another one of these, then I want to put it together and make a gun –‘

There was a definite glint in his eyes and yes, the idealised innocent childhood images were shattered.

Have I mentioned before I’m a vegetarian, peace loving with leanings towards Buddhist teachings- yoga practitioner?


(Imagine Marge’s face when she sees Homer walking the pig across the ceiling. I spend a lot of my time looking like Marge)


Jett – What if our van turns into a transformer?



Jett – Mum, Grover’s unhappy. He says he doesn’t want to sleep alone.

Tiffany – Oh, then, maybe he can sleep with you?

Jett – Ohhh, Mum! Why do I have to sleep with him. I’m not a baby. Why can’t he sleep with you?

Tiffany – Ahh, I already have a big person in my bed. I can’t have another one. There’s no space. Maybe Albert will roll over and hurt him. I think its best if Grover sleeps with you.

Jett – But why? I don’t think its fair that I have to sleep with Grover.

Tiffany – Grover sleeps in your bed. That’s it. End of conversation.

Jett – Ok, you can sleep in my bed. But only tonight. You big scardy cat. (meanwhile nursing Grover like a baby)

Tags: allwelcome, ambassador van, humour, t a j



be kind to grover jett,
we miss you in our bed in the morning,
little tap on the door,
hugs from us

  nan &granddad bill Apr 26, 2008 5:56 PM


I better remember to bring somebody with a child on my next trip. Then I'll get some funny quotes, brilliant questions and interesting conversations.

...and if i get tired of it, I can just get up and leave....

  Vidar Apr 28, 2008 11:22 AM


Last night Jett started moaning. I said, what now? and he said, but what if Grover becomes real?
What's so bad with that, i say, he's your friend, it would be cool.
'But what if he's angry with me?' (and honest-to-god crying)

The final line - I had to take Grover into the front part of the van and put a cloth over him.

  allwelcome May 3, 2008 12:27 PM


Let's get this straight Jett. Grover can not become real when he already is.

And remember, the best thing about Grover is he never gets angry and will be forever your friend...


  jj May 6, 2008 2:05 PM


:) Here here!!

  allwelcome May 9, 2008 1:49 PM


And Happy Birthday!!! JJ!!

  allwelcome May 9, 2008 1:49 PM

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