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

On Air

NORFOLK ISLAND | Friday, 16 May 2014 | Views [946]

Today was another action-packed and activity-filled day on Norfolk Island. I was on air today with Norfolk Island Radio to discuss my book, my travels, and Fearless Journey. This morning I was awake early but slowly as I made some tea and ate a couple of bananas. I was thinking of cycling out to Anson Bay before my radio appointment at 1 PM. Nicki showed up a wee bit later and it started raining. I wasn’t out the door until nearly 11 AM and wanted to stop and see Cristina first. Morning hugs were shared and then I tackled the hills toward town, stopping at the op shop along the way. The owner saw my Ethiopia jersey and asked “what took you to Ethiopia?” before telling me she’s volunteered at hospitals in Addis Ababa. When I explained that I have Asperger’s she said I should meet a lady named Bindi at the Strawberry Fields. Whilst I didn’t find a Norfolk T-shirt I got a nice pair of pants for only $1. It was a bit late for me to ride all the way to Anson Bay but I thought I could go part way there. First I stopped to grab a sausage roll and then cycled up the road leading to Mt. Pitt. When I turned onto Mission Rd. I had to search a bit for the Strawberry Fields. They’re down a steep hill, so whichever way I came back to town would be up a hill. Now I was pressed for time, even as I photographed some cute, comical parking signs.

The road directly north of the airport is a tough one, going steeply down and steeply back up. Fortunately I made it back to town for my interview and Louci started asking me questions on air. My highlight of this trip has been speaking at the school; I explained that part. Next I explained how I found out about Norfolk and what brought me here. I also shared my book and Fearless Journey and in closing I gave shout-outs to Nicki, Gaelene, Hayden, and Cristina for their warmth and generosity. Louci made a copy of the recording for me. It was time for coffee with Denise Quintal. Whilst she wasn’t born on Norfolk she married a Quintal. Why do I mention Denise? She put me in touch with Nicki. An interesting chat we chat; we agree that we should get to live wherever we want without visa restrictions and the like. It was nice to get to personally meet and thank her for putting me in touch with Nicki. Dave said he’d pick me up shortly. I told him to take his time since I was doing some writing at Café Tempo. Their coffee is probably the best on the island. Conveniently next to each other are the bottle shop, post office, and customs house. I wanted a bottle of wine for tonight’s party, and then send postcards to María and Craig. Just before the customs house closed I got to say “Wutawieh” to Natalie and Kev, the officials who greeted me into Norfolk Island. Dave got stuff to make pizzas on a tortilla; I made those last week at Erica’s house. We dropped the bike at Mokutu since there’s no way in hell I’d be cycling to the party and absolutely no way in hell I’d be cycling home. Dave was too tired to go out so we hung out at his place. The sunset tonight was gorgeous!

A book on speeches that changed the world interested me. “The only thing to fear is fear itself” quoted FDR in his inaugural speech. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech is another great one! Dave owns a copy of Bounty, about the mutiny. Despite my deep fascination with Norfolk and Pitcairn Islands I haven’t read a whole lot about the world’s most famous mutiny. Pizzas came out great tonight. Dave recently flew with Hayden in an ultra-light aircraft over Norfolk. It’s basically a hang glider with an engine, and if the engine fails it doesn’t glide; it will fall straight down. Dave showed me photos of various things including his home in Australia. Tonight I was ready to party! I’ve had quite a contrasting mix of activities in only a week: public speaking, on air on the radio, making cocktails, shooting photos, signing books, eating excellent food, and going to parties. I’ve spoken to kids and then partaken in activities not for kids. Foot Nort (meaning “why not” in Norf’k) is the island’s largest home at more than 12,000 sq ft. It was built by a Canadian doctor who passed away a few years ago but his family has been unable to sell it. The roads leading to Foot Nort are heavily potholed and very hilly, so it’s a good thing I didn’t attempt cycling here! Foot Nort is absolutely beautiful. There’s a large pool, full bar, several balconies offering (during the day) commanding views of the sea, a large lounge area, pool table room, squash court, music room, and even a tatami room in a complete Japanese setting. Even if I had the money I could never live in a home this size (I’m too humble) but it’s an extraordinary place for a party and great to visit. It was down to business: sipping wine, mingling, and having good times with the people I’ve met as well as new friends. Troy and Shari showed up, as did Tyna (from the school), Carli, and several others. Carli, with her wonderful smile, and I got the nicest photo.

Carli & I

Dave wasn’t connecting well with people at the party so he headed home and I assured him I’d find a way home. The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to being at parties and functions is being chill and acting appropriately. In the past I’ve been at gatherings where I’ve drank and then did things, such as attempting to kiss girls or playing with their hair, and then not realized I’ve done that. On New Year’s of this year I was invited to a party with some French CouchSurfers I was hosting and I got wasted and didn't realize that I did a lot of uncomfortable and inappropriate things. That party especially marked a turning point, and I understand now that if I’m going to be invited to parties then I need to act appropriately. Nowadays I pick a spot to sit and if I’ve had a few, I remain there. If I’m invited to a party where I don’t know most of the guests, I’ll ask whom I was invited by that if I do anything silly or stupid whilst drinking, to gently pull me aside and have me sit. It hurts me if I’m making others uncomfortable, because I’m not the type of person to intentionally do that. Tonight I had quite a few glasses of wine and I decided to sit at the bar and be chill. A gorgeous girl named Rachael came up to me and seemed to like me. She was all over me and also wasted, but “why me?” I thought to myself. I’m an admitted outcast with the worst luck in the world with love. As I chatted to Rachael I was offered some Norfolk wine, yet I remained chill and just sat. Tonight I partied so much I was out! The last thing I remember is Rachael kissing me, then I was with her in someone’s car and then the next thing I remember was waking up at Mokutu. After radio interviews, pizzas, chatter, partying, cycling, and all-night fun, I can yell loudly “It was one hell of a day!”

The following day I was nervous but there were absolutely no complaints about me. Being chill helped! Nothing inappropriate occurred, I met a new lady, and everyone told me it appeared I was having a great night. The party marked an even better turning point, and now I know exactly what to do and how to act right!

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