Diary of The Travelling Seanchai :-
The Law has finally caught up with me!
2007-08-17 to 2007-08-21
Just as a PS on Africa let me add that their air stewards are the biggest, no nonsense, uber straight men you will find in any airline!! I got into Perth airport and when it was time to have my bags scanned by quarantine the officer asked if I was Irish to which I responded, `Aye.` For reasons that I didn`t question, he started laughing, said “Aye, he says! Haha! Off you go mate” and promptly directed me out of queue towards the exit?! So if you ever want to bring some contraband into Australia, just come through Perth and wear a leprechaun hat!
I had a few minutes to wait for my cousin (cosidering I had been rushed through customs) and I saw all of the emotion of the arrivals hall. I love it at arrivals, the anticipation and eagerness of those waiting and the explosion of emotions when that special person walks through the door.
It occured to me that some enterprising person could arrange for people who aren`t expecting anyone to be there to book a welcoming committee, granted of strangers, but who would be paid to fuss over a person when they walked through the gates, hugs and kisses and someone carrying their bags to the car! www.happyarrivals.com? Ok, maybe I had been waiting for too long there!
It was great to see my cousin Fiona again, 7 years since the last time I had passed through this airport for what was supposed to be 4 months in Oz back then but which had turned into over 6 years.
We went out that night and met up with Matt, Ollie, Kat and Linda (all of whom I`d met in South Africa) for a reunion and a half! It was a big night where we nearly had another pool/fight related incident where I am glad to say I did not initiate. The `Kalbarri Shaggers` group had walked up and taken our $2 off the table where we were waiting and started to play and when I pointed out that he had taken our money I was informed that “There`s 21 of us and 3 of ye so what are you going to do about it?”. Hmmm, a very good point sir, well made!
We kicked on that night and there are fewer pleasures for a mischievous bloke than getting his mates kicked out of a bar for something that you started! A silly beer fight had started (ok I started it) and with my spider `bouncer` senses on high alert I went into the throngs of people at just the right time as Ollie and Matt got lifted out of the bar! Their young, they`ll learn, it takes years to develop these finer instincts!
Next day I was dropping them out to the airport and chatting away to them, not noticing my speed but keeping in time with the car in front. To my left I saw a cop hailing me down so I pulled in and reversed back to him and he informed me that I was 14km/p/h over and that it was going to cost me $150! Needless to say that that fine will more than likely not be getting paid anytime soon!
Fiona and I went to see her team, The West Coast Eagles, play an Aussie Rules game that evening. These fans are nuts (like all good fans should be really!) but they took partisanship to a new level!
Next day, we took a drive down to Cottesloe and Fremantle, two beautiful areas outside Perth and home of the Sunday Session around these parts! I wanted in big time but since I was driving I thought better of it and thankfully so, because on my way home I was breathalysed for the first time ever! I passed it obviously but I was starting to get a decided Big Brother Feel about the place.
Not planning my trip is a conscious decision on my part and for the majority of the time it has reaped dividends. But trying to get out of Perth (the most remote major city in the world) was proving troublesome. Not for the first time I dreamed of my www.getmeouttahere.com website and how useful it would be. Can someone please go away and create it and pay me back in royalties?!
I took the car and drove to see the Pinacles, this amazing landscape of decidedly phallic rock formations about 2-3 hours north of Perth. It was beautiful but maybe a long drive just to see some rocks! I took a drive around Perth and got to know the city because I got well and truly lost!
The next morning, I had to get up at stupid o`clock (4am) to get a lift from Allan (Scottish) who was driving to Geraldton on his way to work in the sheep shearing farms.
I had a plan to do some hitchhiking up the coast. Now the movie Wolf Creek has made this particularly difficult but I had no idea how crazily hard and hazardous it would turn out to be…