04 January 2008

enter ye, the rural abyss

Happy oh-8. Apologies for lack of comms. Am over the grumps and been swallowed whole by the rural abyss (aka Bingi, aka south Gippsland). Since departing the boat pre-xmas, have been incapable of completing any task more involved than selecting the most appropriate drink for the level of heat (scorcher = g&t; melting = gin cubes; dribbling in a deckchair = pass me the icebucket, I think I’ll wear it as a helmet).

The brain fug has made it difficult to deal with pressing must-dos, eg, organising the trip to Laos, etc. Scored a breakthrough today though: rescheduled flight home so that I can join Pelican’s Bass Strait crossing in April. I’ll need my two months of swigging 20-cent beers from the backs of elephants to work up to the cooking frenzy required to fill 20 bellies across one of the most treacherous pieces of water in the world. But wait, there’s more. The recipients of my food-love will be paddling their way across the strait in kayaks, eg, unforgivingly ravenous at all hours, godly and otherwise.

Insane? Well, denial is a wonderful thing and here’s a quick segue to this week’s discoveries, titled Things to Love About the Rural Abyss.

1. After showering the video store with wanton custom, my late fees are now graciously waived when I’m unable to separate limbs from couch in time to duly return my stash. God love ‘em country folk.

2. Bulk billing is alive and well, which I discovered when updating my vaccinations. (The doctor, though, is endearingly old-school: “STDs, you don’t need to know about that muck, do you. It’s only people who go to Bali who do THAT sort of thing.”)

3. Country markets. It’s like finding everything you love about the city (coffee, fresh produce, glittery curios, guitar bands, etc) in a grassy corner on a Sunday morning for next to nix while pocketing already-underpriced retro finds for gratis (“Oh, you can take those love, I don’t want them.”). At Kongwak I found a cute vintage top, Nepalese woollen socks (eventually it will get cold here, maybe tomorrow?), some retro fabric patches (eg, Guiding is fun!), and a Michael Hutchence biography (swoon, young self, swoon).

4. My old relics have discovered broadband.

All up, big ticks for the country. (As I write, I’m watching rough-and-tumble between two kinds of rosellas; try that view on from your city apartment!). Will upload pics from Two Bays and the abyss when am over current slump.

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