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A week of three months worth

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 7 March 2013 | Views [926]

An 'instagram' style shot of our feet at the Bootleg Brewery.

An 'instagram' style shot of our feet at the Bootleg Brewery.

We all know that certain things are contagious. Yawn and you'll see everyone in the room do likewise before long. Sneeze with the flu in an elevator and you'll halve your office's workforce for the week. SDbjijberf saajsdbkj......Sorry, that was a battle between my fingers and my sense of decency over farting in elevator jokes and references to STDs and condoms. What I just found out is that personality traits are contagious as well.

How else could I explain my girlfriend missing her flight? Yeah, she's a considerate person but no one in their right mind would go AWOL on a flight just to make their boyfriend feel like less of an ass. So a traffic jam may have been to blame, but I've always had plausible reasons too. Not good ones, but plausible in that no goodbye can be drawn out too long or that seats in airport waiting lounges are actually made by sealy posturepedic; possibly. Being five minutes late didn't stop the Jetstar staff from smiling moronically as they took some perverse pleasure out of flying a plane to Melbourne at less than 10% capacity. The $320 for the replacement flight was only spent begrudgingly when it became apparent no hit-men were around to do a quick joby on the uncaring and uncompromising check-in staff.

Other than a heart stopping phone call to tell me we had more in common than I first thought, g/f (short for girlfriend for anyone who hasn't learnt how to send an sms yet. Surely abbreviations like that would have been handy in the days of morse code and smoke signals as well?) arrived in Perth at the alloted time. That was late by my reckoning, the next day by hers due to the three hour time difference. She was welcomed in to my home by a room mate and some party goers drunk enough to think it was any day but the day it actually was.

The next day I got drunk enough to think it was any day other than the first day my g/f was in town. It all started casually enough, 1pm being a casual start time if you're not planning on turning into a pumpkin. It was hot enough to make eyebrows run and beer drinking was deemed to be the solution. To what exactly we didn't care, it was just the solution. Turned out to be the solution to me not acting like a pumpkin that forced us home before I left behind my dignity instead of a golden slipper. Being shit faced wasn't a hinderance to playing masterchef, or homicidal maniac depending on how you intepretted my intentions wielding a knife. Clothes weren't necessary, thanks to the heat and my nudist proclivities, but I was entreated to wear an apron lest I cooked meat for the first time since becoming vegetarian.

The second day felt like the first, except for when I was shown photos of the previous days hijinx. That just felt like a de ja vue and was likely to become a precedent when close friends came over for a meet and greet that afternoon. OKA were playing at a local pub and alcohol is often needed to add some sense of rhythm to my convulsive dance moves. And I will lay the blame solely on alcohol for what became of my body has these Brisbanites pumped out the beats. I thought it was dancing of the highest order. My gf thought I looked like an epileptic unable to decide which side of the bed to sleep on.

Wanting to distance myself from anyone who might have thought I had escaped from somewhere I shouldn't have, the next day we hopped into Ashs car and drove south to Margaret River. Combining the fact that it is a major tourist destination in Australia with the confession that I had never made the 3 hour trip before shows that I am a fan of natural or cultural highlights making the effort to come and see me. How much better would a Mardi Gras be if everyone went dancing through your own living room? The Ashes being played in your own backyard? An amazing waterfall on your garage roof without having to run over a fire hydrant first?

Having to change a flat tyre in 38 degree heat drove home the point that sight seeing wasn't easily translatable to a PS3. It gave me a rare chance to show off my manly abilities but changing a tyre doesn't rate very highly on the scale of unforgettable holiday events. Apparently seeing a kangaroo in the wild did though. As Australians, I thought seeing a kangaroo was tantamount to eating one, a virtually universal thing, but Tasmania obviously isn't as inundated with them as the mainland. Nearly running one over in the dark made my gf excited in equal measures to me shitting my pants at the prospect of a marsupial shaped dint in a car that wasn't mine.

Sleeping in a tent without the rain cover, secretly hoping for rain if it cooled things down, the stars were like the tiny torchlights of invading aliens. Ones that won't be here for another hundred years if it was any indication from the glow their lights gave off. Having a kangaroo wander around eating while we fulfilled another biological imperative was a highlight to one of us, a voyueristic exercise worthy of an admission fee to the other.

The night did cool down enough to permit sleep, but I was restless enough to start thinking slumber wasn't a passive past time. Numerous failed attempts to find a beach, when just heading due West normally does the trick, had left me with burn blisters on my feet from wandering too far afield looking for a swim worthy beach. Rocks, sharp drop offs and sinister looking underwater shapes convinced me that burning my feet was preferable to kamikazing into the ocean from some rocky outcrop.

We had eventually found a patch of sand that lead into crystal clear waters, rather than ragged rocks, and embraced the cool waters like an eskimo would a thermos. West coast waters mirror that of tropical places you'll find on postcards of international destinations that often use the amazing natural landscape to disguise the fact the local dictator is butchering innocents with reckless abandon just out of shot. Nothing of such menace exists in Australia unless you take into account every animal that doesn't have 'homo' in it's latin, scientific description. As Homo Sapiens, some who may or may not use the second part of that title much, we are prone to many a biting nasty in Australia. Other than being an all round good sport for attracting every mosquito to herself to save me, my gf turned out to be very good at attracting jellyfish as well. And like a true hero, she sucked it up with a stiff upper lip and cut her complaining short about 6 hours before I would have.

The main reason for the holiday was not to test her venom resistance, but to sample as many of the wines produced in the area as possible. Wineries threatened to outnumber breweries to the same degree that my wine sampling exceeded the legal limit to drive, but my beer expertise was equally matched by my gf's expertise in wine. This, she had proven in every discourse on the topic up until one fateful comment proved it was probably just a front. No one who has ever drank red wine, or even held a conversation with someone as they drank the burgundy coloured intoxicating fluid, has mistaken the 't' in 'pinot' to be anything but silent. At one winery, my gf promounced it with such force, she made the 't' sound like a nail being hammered into submission through the sheer force of her wine ignorance. At least that is how the snobbish lady serving us would have seen it. I knew it to be a joking reference to the pronunciation a unknowing Bowls Club barman had used, but he had used it with the home court advantage. We were on hollowed turf and would have made a better impression on this lady simply drinking from the spitton and burping our way out the front door.

The speed with which we left the area could only be partially explained by such a social faux pas. We were expected at Trev and Abbie's for dinner that night and we had learned the folly of trying to squeeze four days of activites into 24 hours. I didn't think every winery required a visit but I seemed to be in the minority when votes were being cast. A return has been pencilled in to ensure oversights are rectified in future. One that requires four weeks, a chaffuer and jelly fish repellant.

Unfortunately, I still haven't found a way to make paying rent a self-sufficient endeavour, so I was required to work for the next 2 days. That would not have been a complete waste of time had I not been made to pay $100 for the pleasure of doing a u-turn right in front of traffic police. It seems you are only allowed to do that at intersections that are marked as such, and like any good place of learning, I was charged an exorbitant amount to be taught something that I could have garnered from Google had I the foresight to do so.

I left my phone out for a sun bake and discovered that smart phones work intermittenly in ideal conditions, utterly unreliably in adverse conditions. I paid $100 for a new phone whose first use was to call a tow truck to come and pick up Ash's car when it broke down on the way to a relatives for dinner. A 'diff' has one too many syllables for me to understand what it means, or does, but apparently it is integral to the optimum, see non life threatening, operation of a motor vehicle. Of course I could spare the $80 for a tow truck as much as the car could spare the fuel I was going to light in a fiery act of karmic defiance.

To balance such financial hemorrhaging, I though it best to cook up enough nachos to inspire a Mongolian horde to take over the other half of the known world. Unbeknownst to my gf, the nachos was supposed to feed me well into the next year and she somehow managed to squeeze all the prepared ingredients into one bowl and cook them up at the same time. Being feed the equivalent of an African villages yearly food ration made me feel as morally conflicted as an arms dealer or kiddy candy thief. It felt ungrateful not to eat until all my progeny could claim to be more Mexican than Australian, and it made for a memorable end to a week of over-indulgence in all the good things life has to offer, all unmade sexual references notwithstanding.



Tags: friends, missed flights, on the road, wineries

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