How not to die in Australia

How not to die in Australia

This is a message for archaeologists of the future that might find me hibernated in the carcass of a bus: my expression is due to the jet of air conditioning coming from the vent above my head. Before you get the mental images and let rise to assorted conspiracy theories, my dear archaeologists, know that at that moment I was just cursing while waiting to exit the bus at a more than acceptable temperature of thirty degrees. To avoid further misunderstandings, I belong to Homo Sapiens Sapiens and as much as  my face is creepy, am not at all the missing link.

Let’s continue.

This is house research time. The one where I live now has everything I need, it  is pretty and in a nice area, close enough to the city but far enough away to feel out of the traffic (already bearable) to Perth. A few steps away I have four cafes and a little further on a jetty from which to enjoy a great view. In short, it would seem a  beautiful place to live. It has only one flaw: the owner.

With personality as friendly as a pack of piranhas in a tub, she does everything she can  to get  every day closer to that thin invisible line that separates life and death in her sleep (with a pillow crushed against her face). Every day she arbitrarily creates a new rule to be followed:

  • not to use the dishwasher ;
  • not to use the dryer ;
  • air conditioning should not be used, except in cases of disappearance of Earth’s atmosphere. In any case, the remote control mysteriously disappears and then reappears when leaving the hag to the return of the shrew (at the level of syntax I should not repeat the word hag in the same sentence, but it gives me too much taste so forgive me here ok?);
  • total curfew after ten o’clock at night, when a complete silence starts, deeper than the one  audible in space (a rule which is mysteriously broken by the same hag at six in the morning every Saturday and Sunday, when she is taken from an urgent and pressing need to water the micro-fucking-garden right in front of my window, or vacuuming, or talking to herself ).

As if that was not enough, the person suffers from a sudden change of personality due to alcohol intake, ranging from antisocial behavior, with peaks of extreme cordiality, which go so far as to make her ask for akward  requests, such as to have a hug.

Come out of this body.

For some time now I am training at a school of  ninjas to learn  how to master the ancient art of shadow warrior, for me to wait hidden in the ceiling of her room, flattened at the top and in the dark, and then lay my silent fury on those mushy limbs and that  shapeless body .

Not before, however, of making her sign a transfer of ownership and a sheet where she  states “had enough of the system, I am departing to unknown places, with particular emphasis on the “do not look for me , you won’t find me”.

I will keep you updated on this important matter.

In the meantime, I rented a car.
Driving in Australia after three years of break and on the other side (unless you count a brief experience described in another post) involves some small additional risk, such as to cause some discomfort to other vehicles. Nothing serious of course.

In addition, I rediscover with horror the countless number of actions that are performed before activating the indicator, as the lever is on the opposite side to that to which we are accustomed in Europe, while the ordinary place is the windscreen wiper stalk…
I also discover that all the automatisms that make driving fluid in Italy disappear in an instant, making driving awkward, sometimes jerky.

The differences noted so far are the following:

  • looking at the view out the window, driver’s side for twenty seconds in search of the rearview mirror that fits comfortably on the other side;
  • grab a ghost belt on your left before you grab the real one at your right hand;
  • look at the air outlet to discover that the navigator is on the other side;
  • driving ten miles over a sidewalk and then realise that perhaps it was a bit ‘ too far left;
  • persist in letting the wheel slip after turning risking to invite yourself for  dinner at someone’s house after coming through their house wall.

Aside from that, it’s  alright.

The purpose of having taken the car for these ten days is to want to see a little of the  surroundings of Perth without having to endure the long time which inevitably involves the use of public transport. In addition, there was also a desire to go a little more in the taking advantage of these days off. On the first day then I headed towards Mandurah, a small town about forty-five minutes south of Perth, that was built between quiet beaches and a harbour. I set the navigator, I activate the wipers and enter in the street.

The parking lot is located exactly in front of a beach called Silver Sands ( a name , a promise ) that is divided between a permitted dogs area  and a only for humans one. We  continue to the second one and after a while of fighting with the wind we can set the towels. Sunscreen protection level “t-shirt”, a good book and relax.

Now let’s face it, I’m not a bad guy, but my endurance on the beach doing nothing borders on the ridiculous, and is far less than that of a teenager on the first intimate contact. I turn and I turn to the sun in search of the perfect position that does not exist, I sit , I lie, I turn around and then all over again. If I were to be recorded and then reviewed at  a slightly accelerated speed, I ‘d look like a poor man with  convulsions or demonic possession.

Eventually I decided to get up and point the clear, blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

The temptation to jump  is strong, but the thought of a stroke of bad luck that sees myself  flying in for the perfect dive, pointing to the center of an open mouth crowded with teeth is just as strong, so I limit myself to go in slowly, enjoying the water, but maintaining a certain vigilance. At the first  unidentified shape I am ready to walk on water as the famous JC (Jesus Christ, ed.).

You can tell me I’m paranoid.


However, last week, when I was paranoid, but a little less, I threw myself calm and carefree through the waters of the same ocean, at the City Beach, a few miles from Perth. The next day, same beach, same waters, the local newspaper reported the graceful appearance of a cute tiger-shark, not failing to point out, for the brave swimmers, that millions of years of evolution have given to this particular species of shark capacity to get to shore. To the delight of the limbs  and future life projects.

squalo tigre

Please note what remains of a not-paranoid guy

At least there are no jellyfish.
On the other hand a yellow sign at the entrance of the beach warns you of the possible presence of snakes.

I mean, it’s not like one can think of coming to Australia and hope not to die at least once, right?

The day rolls away fast and when the sunset comes we are already seated at a table waiting for our well deserved portion of Fish & Chips, opposite a small jetty full of moored boats and tanned people. After the meal and finally satiated we head towards the car ready to go back home.

In the coming days there will be other destinations to reach, places to visit and stories to tell. Obviously we hope to not end up crashing the car into a shop front or not flying off a turn ramp while I slide the steering wheel. We’ll see, but for now, I’m enjoying the end of a wonderful first day of vacation.

I settle my  belt, active the rear wiper and enter in the street.

This post is also available in: Italian

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