Monday, September 16, 2013

My Bar Maid Friend Part 2

We arrived at Ollie's sister's place in Gympie. Ollie had never told me she was from a Salvation Army family and her sister was a practiser.  I slept in  a closed in verandah, hot and sweaty. The water was heated by a stove for a bath, no shower, but no sooner than I got out out of the bath, I was hot and sweaty again. This is humidity then. I was not liking.

There was an outside lav and you had to bat the cane toads out of the way to get along the path at night. To put it frankly, the house was a dump and Gympie a pretty ugly town with ugly people. I hated both. There were no window furnishings on the row of louvre windows where I slept and when the sun rose, it shone straight on to me, putting me in a foul temper to begin the day.

There were kids in the house, I assume Ollie's nieces and nephews. I can't remember the father, but I think there was one.

I spent most of time trapping flies. Mother would never have sticky fly paper in our home. Instead she drowned flying critters with a some fast pumping on the DDT dispersal pump. This is fly paper.


Maybe it is a defective memory but sprayed flies back then used to die instantly. They don't now. Bring back the DDT, I say.

But the favoured device for caching flies in Queensland was this thing. How delightful was one's morning cereal when looking at floating dead flies. A slightly sugary syrup was added to bowl and the flies were attracted to it and flew in and could not fly out again and drowned. My anti animal cruelty does not extend to flies. But it was also a device to put over the top of flies, and that was how I amused myself. Flies would land and I would put this device over the top of them and trap them. I prefer 2013 where in such situations I can play with a very different device at the breakfast table.


Nevertheless, it was interesting to visit Tin Can Bay where I don't recall there being anything more than a rustiy tin shed, Rainbow Beach, Noosa and Maryborough where another sister of Ollie's lived. I noticed a Wonderheat heater at the Maryborough sister's house. Translated to day, wtf? Why? (Diane and her OTH have informed that you do need winter heating in Queensland.) At some point we did the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, which was much nicer than the Gold Coast.

At some ungodly hour in the morning I was back in Brisbane and Ollie walked me past some half drunk and hungover aborigines in South Brisbane to the bus depot, whereby I caught a coach home, which took a couple of days and at least one night, maybe two. My first visit to the toilet on the bus resulted in my system shutting down for the rest of the journey with no further need of the toilet. The stench from the toilet was unbelievable and permeated the coach. It must have been a very cheap ticket. I suppose the coach stopped along the way for us to buy food.

Queensland and Victoria had different times because of daylight saving, but it was the weekend daylight saving ended or began, ended I guess. I became thoroughly confused as I adjusted my watch back and forth and I did not have a clue what time is was. I was so relieved to arrive back in Melbourne. I suppose I caught the train from town to Oakleigh and then a cab to Grandmother's. I expect my grandmother had to pay the cab fare. Ollie was an honest woman and did repay her share of what we borrowed from my grandmother. I resolved there and there to never have another holiday on the cheap and without adequate funds.

A mutual female friend of an age between Ollie and myself, with whom I had once had a pash and did not enjoy it at all, gave me feedback that Ollie said to her I did nothing but whinge. Partly true, I did complain about the weather but not to Ollie about the holiday itself or her weird and slightly spaced out sister who lived in a hovel.

Absolutely broke, I returned to work, only to find my shifts had been covered because there was a mistake about when I was returning.

Ollie returned from Queensland and our 'relationship' resumed until I left the hotel. I did see her briefly a couple of years later on a tram and it was very much a 'we must catch up' conversation.

Funny, I have always liked older women. Now most of the ones I like are my age or only a little older. You could say I still like older women, but I have caught up with them.

14 comments:

  1. Oh Lordy! I remember fly papers hanging from the light shades in all rooms of the house and in summer dad going through all the bedrooms with the dispersal gun spraying out clouds of mortein to kill any mosquitoes about a half hour before we went to bed.
    I hate humidity too. Shower, then dry and dry and dry...
    Doesn't sound like the funnest holiday you ever had, but you got to see how the other half lives.

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    1. Fly papers were disgusting hey River. It was very much how the other half lived, except I had not experienced that before.

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  2. Ick. That would be the vacation-stay from hell for me... even at 18. And lfy paper. I remember diners hanging that in the corners near the counter. I couldn't eat! Just last year, I walked into a tapas bar in Sevilla and spotted a strip hanging in a corner (and covered in flies). I walked right back out.

    As for the bus toilet, I would have had the same physical reaction.

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    1. Mitchell, without doubt, fly paper is disgusting.

      The Greyhound across the US may well have been the same.

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  3. I haven't seen that sticky paper in forever! My mom and dad used to have that on the porch Always did the trick though!

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    1. Well Keith, it did actually work, no matter how disgusting the papers were, but so did DDT.

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  4. Yes indeedy sounds tres 'orrible! I must admit these days if comforts away don't match up with the comforts of home, I'm staying at home...plus there's the bonus of not having to fly :) seriously I must get over it or I'll never see Paris again! Your last few lines made me smile :)

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    1. Grace, very much how I think. Why stay somewhere that is not good as home. Although you may very well live in a bombsite at the moment.

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  5. You've just unleashed a tsunami of memories by mentioning Tin Can Bay. In the mid 70s [I have an old photo somewhere] the main drag had a general store with two petrol bowsers out the front. The pub was a block or two further back.
    Lots of the permanent residents seemed to be very closely related to each other - and some very colourful characters many of them were to boot.

    But, I suspect my stay there was nothing like the holiday from hell you experienced. I'm trying not to laugh. Honest.

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    1. FC, you have a better memory than I have. I can't remember it all and I have no photos. Re closely related, yes, Gympie had that feel to it.

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  6. The fly paper and the DDT, I remember from my very young days. Can't remember the last time I saw it hanging anywhere. I expect that was how Garibaldis got the nickname of dead fly biscuits.

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    1. Fun60, I am sure you are correct about the biscuits. So UK had fly paper too. I don't remember any flies there.

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  7. You are so right about humidity. People can wear more clothes if it is cold, and can run aound and can sleep naked if it is very hot. But what can you do about humidity? As you found yourself, a 100 baths a day and you still felt awful. Ennervating and dirty :(

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