Wednesday, 11 April 2012


Out of all the town's attractions, when Wayne and Margot had mentioned the 'Dreamtime Centre' yesterday, I had wanted to go there and there alone. The place was half-outside with mock sandstone structures, which were a lot better than they sound. Another Wayne (but this one was aboriginal) showed the dozen or so in my group around and was a fantastic tour guide. We learned about the history of his people, their sand paintings (some of which are 19,000 years old), hunting, as well as giving us a digerdoo recital and letting us have (mostly) hopeless attempts at throwing boomerangs. Another man, from the Torres Straits, between Cape York and New Guinea, gave us a talk on his people and generally sparked an interest in me - especially after all the problems of modern-day native peoples I've heard about it.

Fixed the punctures, had the chain replaced again after another thousand miles in the bag and picked up a few essentials. In Maccas I did indeed have a problem with a modern-day aboriginal. There were these rowdy teenagers (black, white and mixed) in front of me, who a separate lady complained to, saying they were giving her children a bad example. One of them told her to "Fuck off", and taking her children with her, she did exactly that. I was right behind the one who swore when the young girl took his order. Because he dropped his Ps and Qs, I picked them up for him, adopting a loud, sarcastic tone. He told me where to go, that I was same sex orientated and that i should suck something I have no intention of sucking in my life. I got a bit cross, tried to reason with him, then attempted a reconcilliatory handshake. He said, "You're not my Dad" and left. I felt dreadful because I'd handled the situation terribly and abhor confrontations - even though all the staff (who of course had remained silent through out) were on my side. I think the annoyance with my own behaviour was partly because I may not have said anything if it had been a white boy.

Back at Couchsurfing HQ, another leisurely meal (a stir fry) was enjoyed by all and we continued to compare travel notes. Later, over a couple of drams of Scotch, I journeyed with Wayne and Margot along the red-penned routes on their huge library of road atlases they had undertaken, and listened to their reminiscences conjoured up by the meticulously labeled photo albums. Margot knew where everything was - when asked about a trip in 1974 or whenever, she would stare into the distance and pluck a file from her grey matter, as well as on paper. They also liked to take their caravan into the bush and 'rough camp' from time to time. Soon they will take to the roads with it once again.


  1. Have you seen any nasty cane toads yet? Mum

  2. No, but I've seen a lot of nasty humans. Will let you know.