I have been given a new nick-name in the kitchen:
But….seeing as how this is my boss:
Somehow I feel like it’s a term of endearment.
It’s not cold at night anymore. The humidity has started to kick in.
The locals all look up, point at a solitary cloud in the sky and say the same thing “Build Up has started.”
So, I guess there’s more than two seasons. There’s “Dry” “Build Up” and “Wet”.
Though I’ve been told that all of the wet season *is* build up, so I don’t really know?
The jackets and jeans that I used to need for opening the kitchen in the mornings have been put away.
Sleeves are steadily disappearing from everyones shirts.
It’s the kind of sticky-warm that I like best; the kind that permeates everything and leaves behind a content laziness that makes me feel like I could just lie down and sleep on the pavement in the courtyard, just like a cat in the sun.
Several days ago, we had a power-outage here at the roadhouse. It was actually kind of crazy fun, in the way that everyone got an un-scheduled break, all transactions had to be in cash and were lit by headlamp and we everyone took turns riding the “eski-mobile”, which is a cooler (which is called an “eski” here. I think the first brand of coolers was “Eskimo”, which is where that came from?) on wheels with a little gas tank attached to it.
It’s kind of like riding a lawn mower, only it’s a lawn mower that carries drinks and keeps them delightfully cool.
Anyway. We heard all kinds of stories for *why* the power was out – everything from a car hitting a pole, to a dingo getting into the lines. (I’m pretty sure that it actually had something to do with damage to the gas mains that power the electrical generators in the city, because *that* story came from a person on their phone asking google. So. It seems more likely to be factual.)
Tragically, the internet hasn’t been the same since the power went out.
(Seriously. If you’re addicted to the internet, the Northern Territory is just…probably not a very good place for you to be. On good days, pages will load. It’s sort of like…meditation? Just, pull up the page, and hope, and don’t look at it for a few minutes. It’s very much like watching a pot of water come to boil.
It doesn’t work if you’re looking at it.)
Please bear with me as I try to get the posting schedule back to normal.
(All y’all are awesome!)
This is a story that should have been told a while ago, but it came up again because there was a car show that I got to drive by the other day.
A few weeks ago now, we had the most *amazing* cars come through.
The woman I spoke with was driving a car that was one hundred and nine years old.
It was the first model of car to ever successfully cross the outback. (The model released in 1904 attempted, and broke down about halfway through. They managed to work out some of the issues in that model, and tried it again the next year, and managed to make it all the way from Adelaide to Darwin.)
Some of them had been converted, but while I was standing there, they got out, and crank-started the engine of one of these cars so they could move it around.
(One of my friends told me once that her dream car was a model-A with a crank-start engine. I thought of her that night.)
The oldest car in their car rally was one hundred and fourteen. It didn’t even have a steering wheel. It had a *lever*. The lady who drove that one is a new personal hero of mine.
I feel kind of like a kid in kindergarten on the 100th day of school; thinking of “500” things.
500 – a reasonable size for a hardrive. (Not great, but not terrible.)
500 – when I have to get up in the morning to open the kitchen.
500 – about how many miles that can be traveled in 8 hours. (When, sort of mostly reasonably staying within the speed limit…)
500 – how many miles I would walk
500 – how many more miles I would walk,
to get to you.
I’m sitting at the table, on my computer, catching up on blogging, and then I started chatting with some regulars at the bar.
I’ve been getting walked through the basics of getting through the Wet Season.
We have millipedes, mosquitoes, biting flies, toads, snakes, scorpions, spiders, ticks, fucking poisonous mud.
There will be bed bugs, there will be fleas, there will be ticks. Shower, leave your clothes outside. Bring your boots in, or you’ll have scorpions, spiders, snakes, millipedes.
Never go anywhere alone. Treat every snake like it’s poisonous. Close your door in case of pythons.
(Note: in Louisiana, the snakes live in the trees, and they’ll drop on you. In Australia, everything deadly is on the ground.)
If something bites you don’t scratch it or you’ll go “tropo”, meaning it’ll get crazy infected.
(Apparently the answer to all itchie things is organic coconut oil.)
There’s an entire Wet Season beauty regime, as well. Ditch any creams, because your face will have all of the moisture it can take. Make sure to wash your face with cold water to close your pores.
Apparently the trick is to have good soap.
It sounds like the most Australian experience I can imagine- the kind of Australia that every television show has ever wanted you to be afraid of.
I am suitably nervous at this point.
I’m still excited for it.
It’s just been about….an hour and a half of “warning”‘s now.
“The Broader the Animal, The Darker the Animal, the More Dangerous It Is.”
I love music. (This is a surprise to… no one who knows me or reads this blog.)
One of my most favourite things in the entire world is playing music with other people.
There are three ukuleles at the Roadhouse right now. One of them belongs to a fellow American, and the other belongs to a French lady.
I love being able to play music, because sometimes we don’t speak the same language, we play the same instrument.
I’m learning a French song about traveling to Italy.
(There have also been evenings of going around the circle with everyone singing a round of “In The Jungle” in their native tongue. We had French, English, Swedish and Italian. It was beautiful.)
Anyway, land snails aside, we have white parrots *everywhere*. It’s amazing.
Our Maintenance crew is extremely upset, because whenever 60 giant birds move into your trees…there is a reasonable amount of damage that goes along with them.
It’s been an entirely delightful afternoon watching people take turns attempting to sling plastic birds into the trees to scare off our cockatoo troubles.
Okay, friends; a note:
Don’t expect to get *anything* from Hostel internet. It doesn’t matter if they tell you it’s “unlimited”.
It is limited.
So, my “relaxing” weekend ended up being an exercise in patience and my ability to not defenestrate my computer when my levels of frustration reached beyond what I was capable of enduring.
I ended up with corrupted file after corrupted file that took hours to download.
Which, to be honest, I probably should have expected.
My adventures in Linux have continued to stall out.
(I did manage to get my computer *working* though, so at least now I have something functional.
Oh, keyboard, how I love you so.
I missed you when I was attempting to do…well, pretty much anything on a touchscreen “keyboard”.)
When I finally got into Darwin yesterday, I had no idea where I was staying. I knew that pretty much all of the hostels are on Mitchell Street (Hostels always seem to be clumped together. If there’s one, there’s like, a million of them. I have no clue why this is, but it seems to be extremely true everywhere.)
I was totally lost, and then there was a bikini car wash.
I was working up the courage to ask the bikini-clad girls for directions, when magically there was a couple who were both wearing the gear of backpackers.
I then proceeded to stalk them to the hostel they had the address to.
Unfortunately, that hostel had no wireless, and seeing as how my entire purpose of this trip is *internet*, that wasn’t where I was going to stay. I explained what I was after, and they gave me their recommendation for the hostel with the best internet.
That hostel…was entirely booked.
Across the street was a place with waterfalls.
I went there.
(It probably wasn’t the best decision. It was definitely a party-hostel, and people were up all night long. I couldn’t help it.