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

Five in Five on Five

NORFOLK ISLAND | Sunday, 5 June 2016 | Views [711]

I'm as angry as her!

I'm as angry as her!

Yesterday morning I left Brisbane in the eye of a nasty storm, and the flight was very turbulent. Touching down on Norfolk I had a sense of euphoria that I can stand atop the old hospital, stretch out my hand comfortably, and scream “I’ve been to Norfolk Island five times!!” Next time I’ll have to start working on my other hand. Margaret Buffett would give me a hug as I went through customs, the last time I'll see these officials when I travel to Norfolk. My first few hours on Norfolk were as turbulent as the flight itself. Dave has been going through many personal issues and has received a fair bit of harassment as a result of being on TV last week. Heading over to Racheal’s house, she was deeply upset about something and wasn’t even in the mood to give me a hug. The weather was really foul as well. Australia is set to fully come in on 1 July and there’s a “tent city” of protesters camping at the old government house.

Reluctantly I walked down that way but I wasn’t sure if I’d receive any hostility. It was nothing but love, warmth, and good times at the camp. Several locals fondly remembered me from Foot Nort and elsewhere. Although I initially wasn’t up for drinking, I had a few wines with Brett Sanderson and then was invited to join them for dinner. Chips and beer-battered fish were the specialty; some of the best beer-battered fish I've ever had. What I planned on being a short visit turned into more than three hours of hanging out. The symbol for “Hands Up for Democracy” is a green outstretched hand, and as a spoof I could paint my hand green and hold it up for five visits to Norfolk. It was a rather chilly night, and as I hitchhiked toward town I was picked up by Tiarna and her partner. I thought she was studying in Brisbane but it turns out she's back for a few weeks. I was thinking we’d all hang out but it turned out they were doing their own thing. It was at the RSL last night where I got really angry! This guy named Jacob, known as “Blocka” (“Blockhead” is a more fitting name) starting calling me "retarded" and a bludger. He annoyed and upset me so much I wanted to hit him. My first night back on Norfolk wasn’t the best, and lying in bed last night I had that feeling of “I’m sorry I returned to Norfolk.” Hanging out at Jolly Roger’s just after the episode at the RSL I was again reminded of being drunk at Foot Nort. The most popular rumour is that I was seen having sex in the bushes. Nowadays I take it in stride with “OK fine, I had sex in the bushes and it was better than Sex And the City.” Those people are haters; the only sex they can get in the bushes is with the bushes! I've always been an outcast so I guess it's not a bad rumour but at the same time it annoys me; why am I reminded of being drunk at Foot Nort and not of any of my really positive blog entries about Norfolk? Or speaking on radio or at the school? Through the good and bad I speak so positively of Norfolk and all I can be reminded of, by some people, is being drunk and (allegedly) being seen in the bushes (I’ve heard names of at least three different girls I was "seen" with). We all do things when we’re drunk but it’d be nice if people didn’t spread rumours of me doing unrealistic things. I guess worse things can happen when you're drunk yet after all, Nuffkas love a good rumour (or "trumour" in the words of one local). Pugnaciously, I could fire back saying it's an "untrumour." Over time I've learned to watch what I say and who I talk to about specific things, otherwise the next good rumour pops up. Last night I went home sad, as if after a huge fight with my soulmate.

All night it was really windy! Pods from the tree land hard on the tin roof, and I lay in bed for awhile feeling sorry I returned to Norfolk. Unlike last time I don’t have the drama of my card being skimmed and Alison’s drinking antics but I’ve been dealing with other issues. I’m more of a fighter than I used to be, and if that guy speaks to me like he did last night I won’t put up with it. Busking has made me thick-skinned and if somone wants to play tough I can turn around be tough fivefold. A few months ago I was being harassed by these guys in Melbourne and I had that backed-into-a-corner mentality and I went after them tough, and they all got scared and quickly scattered. Two bouncers at a nearby bar would note that's one thing they really like about me; I'm just me and I never hide my feelings.

You know what! I jumped up this morning with a chip on my shoulder, determined to make it a better day today. Sunday is a great day for catching up with everyone, and Bounty Day is just around the corner. It’s my first time travelling to a place for a specific holiday. It's the fifth of June and my fifth visit to Norfolk, and fittingly there are five new geocaches that have sprang up since March. “Snoop” gave me a lift into town and I picked up some phone credit but it turned out I had $5 left from my previous visit that I’d forgotten about; good things must come in fives rather than threes on Norfolk. My Norfolk flag towel has never surfaced so I made a flyer to hang up, asking for it to be returned. I’ve gone to great lengths to return lost property so I’m hoping for some good karma. In another “only on Norfolk” moment, I went to the airport to jump online real quick as the airport has the only free wifi on the island. A new geocache is at Longridge monument on the road to the Bumboras. Whilst I got one short lift I had to walk most of the way. The cache was signed quickly and I got some good photos of the monument; every other time I only got a photo or two as I rode past in a car. I planned on going back into town but I was picked up by two ladies heading to Kingston for a kid’s footy match, so I opted to go there. Cristina was there and she’s the second hug I’ve received since returning. Dave was surprised he hadn’t seen me much of the day but I’ve just been doing my usual Norfolk Island routine: run around, catch up with people, and go geocaching. Another cache was on my radar this afternoon: a mystery cache called “Show Me the Lights” which involved deciphering coordinates using numbers from airport runways on various Pacific Islands. The puzzle was easy but getting to the cache itself was tricky. Finding a path wasn’t easy and I had an angry sooty shearwater snarling at me. I think she was sitting on her eggs. For awhile I was completely in the wrong area but I figured out where I had to be, and the view is incredible!

In terms of of terrain this is probably the trickiest cache on Norfolk, but it’s an area you certainly discover as a result of geocaching. Pizzas are on the radar for tomorrow evening but tonight Heide would cook for me. She always does a simple but nice dish of rice and either beef or pork with oyster sauce. Norfolk Island is a great place to walk at night so I would do just that. Walking past the old convict ruins you get a sense of what took place nearly two centuries ago. “Alcatraz of the Pacific” is perhaps the most fitting term is there was absolute zero chance of escape. As it started to drizzle I grabbed the geocache near by bench overlooking Lone Pine and Cemetery Bay. A night walk on Norfolk is almost a cure-all for stress, especially when it's dark with no Moon.

Like my last trip to Norfolk, this one has started slightly on the wrong foot. Hopefully it doesn't turn as foul as the weather has been. This is one of the few Norfolk stories where I've written with frustration and fervour, and over these past two days I've had moments where I've been as mad as that sooty shearwater I saw today. The people of Norfolk are what make me return most, and as the island's greatest asset they have the power to change my mood and feelings. Let this be a time of humour, good fun, and catching up with mates rather than being called "retarded" and being reminded of Queenstown-esque nights at Foot Nort. 

Norfolk Island is like the love of my life: we can get into fights and we can be angry at each other but my love for her is always there. She has the power to change minds, moods, and feelings quickly and it'd be no surprise if she does so again!

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