Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 25 2001

We hung around the house most of today, a nice, re…

We hung around the house most of today, a nice, relaxing spring day. The weather was again brilliant, so we braved the flies (the one thing about Australia I am not exactly partial to so far) and went to get some instant noodles at the store nearby. Oddly enough, the staff had no idea where the chopsticks could be found. We asked a register girl, and she asked the register girl next to her, and so on, and so on, and so on, just like that shampoo commercial. Eventually we found the chopsticks, however. They were right next to the instant noodles.

Later on, Simon’s sister Claire drove us out to the Darling Range, which is supposedly the longest unbroken faultline in the world. We arrived just before sunset, and the enourmous rocks strewn about the side of the mountains were bathed in orange light. A few kangaroos were out and about, one of them with a joey in its pouch. We climbed up the rocks and watched the sun set as the ‘roos circled back down the mountainside. Later we got back in the car and drove to a lookout point where several drunken locals had gathered to verbally assault one another and listen to dodgy music on their car stereos. One of them asked Claire if she had any water. “Uh, because, you see, our radiator’s all stuffed, mate,” he said. Back in the car, we wondered aloud just how big the bong was.

Night fell as we took a long detour through the mountains. At one point Claire spotted a snake just before running over it, so she stopped in the middle of the road. Both Claire and Simon got out of the car and went to look at the snake, while I searched the dash for the hazard light button. The road was dark and we were between two sharp corners, but I didn’t find the hazards until Claire and Simon had just gotten back into the car, having driven the ungrateful serpent (actually they had determined that it was a “legless lizard”…who knew?) off the road. We got going just as two cars approached from opposite directions.

Later on we stopped at another place overlooking the city, which was by that time a glittering field of lights spread from horizon to horizon. A beautiful sight, with downtown Perth a blue jewel set in the center. The road down the mountain is apparently called “The Zigzags”, and for good reason, although I dare say your average Taiwanese driver wouldn’t think twice about negotiating it at twice the speed with a mouthful of betelnut and an earful of Nokia.

We returned just in time to watch the latest Stargate SG-1 while we consumed Simon’s mum’s Chicken & Leek Pie, wihch was excellent, followed by yet more Tim-tams. I haven’t lived with people in a long time, much less with an entire family, and I have to say that it is a wonderful feeling. Everyone is so nice to each other, you can tell that they care about each other. I realize that not every family is like this, which is a shame, but it’s nice that I get to run across people as nice as this from time to time.

Tomorrow I will board the Indian-Pacific train, bound for Sydney in three days’ time. I have stocked up on instant noodles and Uncle Toby’s fruit bars, and hopefully they’ll have food on board as well. I doubt, however, that they will have an Internet connection, so I won’t be posting for a few days. No worries, though, since I’ll be jotting down whatever happens in a notebook so I can post it here later on. Should be interesting, in any case. The last time I took any kind of long train trip was when I was little and we were visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma. That was only one day, though, and I was only seven. Anyway, I’m looking forward to it.

posted by Poagao at 2:41 pm  

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