The Stuart Highway runs north to south connecting Darwin and Alice Springs. It is a very straight road. I am currently perched not far from it! In fact, I think we could call it our driveway ;-). I can easily stand on this road and there be no vehicles in sight. I also see very long trucks hurtling past at 100km/hr! My time after work used to sit outside under the stars, chatting to my late shift working companion and catch up on all things internet, I genuinely see a few Lightning McQueen's! In my bed at night, I hear them pass. It is most definitely a dangerous place for someone who walks in their sleep!
Before I left Katherine, I stood in a clothes shop and considered a cosy looking woollen cardigan. I don't need that just now I said to myself. What am I thinking could possibly be useful right now…?! Yup, that would be right! Katherine may have been cool at night, here it is much colder. Glorious warm sunshine by day, at night I sleep in long sleeves, trousers and my socks! A blanket for warmth, a girl that I met in my last hostel who told me that I'd be cold is not wrong. Fixing my door banging from the nightly wind with one of my socks (placed in between door and frame at the handle, otherwise the resulting noise is most counter productive for sleep), there is quite a contrast between day and night climes!
My week in snapshots:
Working in a bar with all kinds of different nationalities and types of people stopping by, as you can guess there have been some interesting moments!
- Every day I get asked how long I've been here. This then requires clarification as to whether they mean here as in my current location or here in Australia. I end up giving both answers. I get asked what brought me here. The girls here asked this many a time, they tell me they sometimes make up a story to make this more interesting! Lets see what I can think of ;-). Sometimes I get asked why Australia? The better weather is usually my first response! I then get asked where I've been and what I've seen. I get told where to see! Don't get me wrong, it's lovely that people show an interest but sometimes it does feel a little like Groundhog Day!
- Walking a zucchini field, whilst not the best for your back, wasn't overly taxing physically. Here after day two, my legs and back were in agony. I forgot how much exercise you get working in a bar! Miles walked during my nine hour shifts let's see if I can negate any +calorie balances 😉
- My phrases of choice uttered here, a French girl working here said “The what? That's your thing right?” Yup, there are quite a few people in Australia who have heard me say whaaat?! 😉 She is now calling me 'Scotland!' I quite like it :-). I am calling her ‘France’ in return :-).
- Know some Japanese? Tick. Know some Korean? Tick. Know some French? Tick. Know some German? Tick. Who rolls up to the bar needing help translating the menu… Yup that would be Italians…! Parlez-vous français I say? 'Un peu' was what I got in return. Cue a 5 minute explanation of the meat on the menu and a drawing of a sausage ;-). I think I was able to help 🙂
- I was asked 'what's happening in Ireland?' Not up to date with the news I had a moment of panic. Thankfully all good, it was just someone thinking I'm Irish again! Really?! The accent is not that similar…! The frequency with which this happens is most confusing..! The Irish people I meet tell me that this situation is not applicable in reverse…!
- There are 41 bottles of alcohol here that I have not tried… Never mind some new spirits to taste… This situation has given rise to a self made mini challenge… (One has got to have goals in life 😉 ). Surely also best practice to know what the things you are selling taste like :-D. Debating whether I should work logically through the fridges or not, I decided to just see what tickles my taste buds each night ;-). Avoiding derivatives of the same brand together in the fridge, on day 2 this plan did not help my challenge as a bourbon and coke was what I wanted… Already tried, many a bourbon has been drunk since I reached Katherine where it became a new favourite ;-). Three days down, so far managing a sparkling ale (okay but not very sparkly) and an arvo lager (most tasty – I quite liked 🙂 ) there are only 39 to go…!
- The amount of times I use 'no worries' and 'how you going' during my working hours is genuinely ridiculous but I am starting to quite like it! In a tiny little way it kind of makes you feel like you belong 🙂
- As well as Irish, I have also been mistaken for English and American and told that me and a German boy that works here sound similar… Crazy! We'll go for him sounding Scottish then ;-). Though I think it's perhaps just because we both use 'whaaaat' and I talk a little German to him 🙂
- Having a smashing time, I managed to break not one but two wine glasses last night… My new French friend said to me 'ah that means marriage…' On breaking the second she said 'my gosh, within a year!' Well guys, you heard it here first 😉
Many a crazy story to follow I'm sure ;-).