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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

A day in the Alice

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 22 January 2007 | Views [1019]

Today was my 14th day in Oz, and my last full day in Alice Springs. I ended up sleeping in until 10:00. I’ve never done that on a trip. Last night I had a dream that I bought a plane ticket to Japan to climb Mt. Fuji. But, I woke up thinking “how did I end up there.” I had nothing planned today, so I wasn’t sure what to do. Harold asked me if I’d like to go to the Reptile Center. I said sure. I got ready and walked up with him and his mates and I stopped at the Shell station for a Red Bull and some cash. The four of us walked a few blocks to the Reptile Center, and we got in at a discount because we were staying at Toddy’s. At 11:00, the show was underway. The host, Justin brought out a bearded dragon, which I’ve seen plenty of. They are native to Australia, and I used to own one. I sure miss Spike! Justin then brought out a blue-tongued lizard, which is very slow and has a fat tail. After that, he brought out a two-headed lizard. It gets its name because it tail looks like a head, and as a defense method, it folds itself into the shape of a “U” so that when a predator tries to attack, it goes for the tail because it looks like a head. Next, Justin brought out a black-headed python. Justin talked about it while it slithered around. I got a photo with the snake, and he talked about Australia’s venomous snakes. I learned that most snakes in Australia don’t inject venom when they bite. If you’re bitten, you should remain calm and not panic, and then wrap the bitten limb (or part). Most people who succumb to snakebites do not so because of the venom, but because of improper treatment. After following the steps above, you should seek medical help (have someone else do it, if possible). After the show was over, I checked out the venomous snakes and the monitor lizards, and saw another crocodile. I thanked Justin, and Harold next wanted to visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Museum. I was kind of reluctant at first, but then decided I’d go too. I paid $7 and then we watched a video. Some people have stories of how they feel their kids wouldn’t be here without the RFDS. I also learned that the RFDS isn’t just for people in remote areas; that people in big cities needing organ transplants have relied on the RFDS. Afterward, I checked out the various aircraft they use (and have used) and where all the stations are. I also saw what the inside of a RFDS airplane looks like. It’s a flying ambulance. I took some photos and got a pen and a postcard at the gift shop. I’m glad I did that museum visit. I’ve actually learned more on this trip than my first trip to Australia. Harold wanted to go to the library because he heard the internet was free, but I wanted to eat. We split up and agreed to meet later. I started walking toward McDonald’s and an Aborigine asked me for $10 for cigarettes. However, I didn’t give it to him because I don’t support peoples’ bad habits. I got lunch at Macca’s, but I should have ordered it to go because there were construction workers using power saws the whole time and it hurt my ears. It was so annoying! After eating I stopped at the library, but the internet isn’t free. I then walked to the internet café and emailed everyone about my adventures in the Outback. I really wanted to hire a bike and ride up to the Tropic of Capricorn, which is only like 25 km away, but I couldn’t find a bike hire place. I then walked back to Toddy’s and relaxed for a bit. I met a few cute girls by the pool. This guy that was there hated Americans. I don’t care because I’m an Aussie right now. I wanted some cinnamon raisin bread that this girl Kate, from Adelaide, had, but she said it had to last her a week. I thought I’d walk to the store and get some stuff because I’m sick of fast food. I walked all the way to Coles and I then had to walk some more because they didn’t have a bathroom. One thing about here is that most public places don’t have bathrooms. I walked around Coles and I was a bit surprised because they have a Mexican food section; I never thought I’d see Mexican food in the Australian Outback. They didn’t have any of that bread, but I got a steak, some croissants, a can of pears, a pack of Tim Tams, and some juice mix, all for less than $10: one of my best buys on this trip. I got the steak to cook myself. I really enjoy cooking, but I don’t get to do it much because I’m always working or at school. I thought about walking up to ANZAC Hill again, but I’ve already been up there so I passed on it. I walked all the way back to Toddy’s and then met this very pretty girl named Lana from Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s 34, but she looks much younger. I then borrowed a frying pan from another young traveler and I cooked my steak. I sprinkled some pepper on it. It turned out to be very good. I never thought I could cook meat. I then went and talked to Lana some more and I gave her my email. I even offered to fly to Vancouver to meet her for a date if she were ever interested. This is my last night in Alice Springs before I leave for Brisbane tomorrow. I went and showered and then hung out with these guys from Germany. There was another guy: an Aussie, who was drunk. I told him I’m a traveler and not a tourist, and he didn’t understand and then made fun of me. Oh well, that’s what happens when you’re drunk. I went and talked to Lena, the girl from Switzerland I met the other day. I got some pictures of her, and she gave me her email and a nice hug. She told me she was headed up to Darwin within the next few days. I’ll miss her and I’ll miss the Outback even more. I will be back someday to do a complete Outback run; I could easily spend a year or more out here! I then went and sat with the German guys again, and that drunken Aussie bloke was gone. I met this pretty tour guide named Fiona, and she’s 30. I talked with them for about 15 minutes before calling it a night. I then laid down realizing how much I’m going to miss it here. The birds’ morning calls and the red dirt will always be memorable. Harold and I are on the same flight to Sydney tomorrow. I’ll see you in Brisbane tomorrow night.

Tags: philosophy of travel

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