Thursday, 31 August 2006

At home she's a tourist

Warning Non Sequitur Risers, the Mistress is still banging on about her recent travels in Tasmania.

This trip I was so keen on seeing parts of 'Tassie' which i'd missed on previous visits that I organised a day trip with a touring company to Tahune Forest. A guided tour was my only option as i do not know how to drive, there is no standard bus service to desired destination, and curiously my sister busies herself with other activities apart from shepherding me about and indulging my every whim.

I was strangely excited about this excursion. Pictured myself on a poopy and luggzuriously appointed coach with at least 20 other tourists, mainly seniors but a few backpackers too, a chubby and cheerful male driver in hat and uniform, and a perky blonde guide a la Julie McCoy from the Love Boat, dressed 70's stewardess style, i.e. sporting powder blue or tomato sauce red coloured scarf around her neck and knotted on the right, if it's knotted on the left it means you're an homosexualiste or 'hot' for Gopher, sorry can't remember which so don't ask me about earrings and their significance, who would be talking on a microphone informing us of our whereabouts and history and that. Once at our destination we'd be left to our own devices and then regroup at a certain time to return to Hobart.

During dinner the night before the guided tour, Lucy, Mark and I discussed the tour and then the conversation passed to foolish risks we had taken in our youth hitch hiking around the time of Milat, in true non sequitur style my recounts occurred out of Australia but imagine if they hadn't... , - not the most settling of discussions for nervy b drawers. I comforted myself by musing on the coach's size, its fixtures and fittings and general aesthetics, never the destination merely the means. Mark suggested that it might only be me and the driver and i'd be in for a personal tour in a hatchback; we chuckled , i somewhat nervously feeling a tad freaked out imagining the awkwardness of such a tour, not to mention downright scariness. I consoled myself that it could not happen as there'd have to be a sizeable number of passengers for a tour to take place.

The new day dawned sunny and blue skied and at 8.45 Lucy deposited me in Elizabeth Street and i skipped towards the bus terminal happily observing a neat and sleek looking coach parked outside the travel bureau. I was about to board it as i saw other passengers seated but thought i'd better first register so entered the office instead.

I checked in and as i turned to leave stating that i would go and board the bus was advised that it was destined elsewhere and i would be travelling in the stationwagon that was parked behind the bus.

wa wa wa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

My face must have fallen, once you pass 40 the elasticity just plum disappears, doesn't it girls- yours Maggie T, which is rather surprising as my face generally serves as an impenetrable mask to my emotions, for the woman at the cunter assured me that the trip in the stationwagon with two other passengers and a driver would be a wonderful way to tour.

So a seniors couple, the driver, sans hat sans Julie McCoy sans practically everyone, and I explored the Huon Valley and the Tahune Forest from 9 until 3. It was somewhat intimate. One's mind was rather feverishly imaginative at times, particularly when we were completely isolated or the driver advised that we'd take a detour from the scheduled itinery, loopily working out escape strategies for me and the seniors from a crazed and murderous chauffeur. I kept hearing the doors automatically locking. I had read in the Mercury that morning about a Northern Tasmanian tour operator, who was suspected of murdering an Italian tourist, being found murdered the day before. Rollercoaster of fear, my dears.

At 3 p.m. returned to Hobart safe and sound with suspicions and paranoia well intact, driver's reputation in tatters, the seniors and i bade each other a friendly farewell, and I was very glad that i was alive and able to hop on a metro bus to New Town to meet up with sister and nevews at the nevews' swimming lessons. As nephew major's swimming lesson drew to an end, nephew minor entertained himself by mucking around the swimming centre's blackboard upon which he wrote a most original maxim :

Friday is not available to pull your pants down

which is rather sound advice for anyone really, wish i'd sought his counsel about other matters.

Look, as Malcom Fraser, speaking of fallen trou, used to begin most justifications to the Press, I will definitely get my licence before my L's expire, madly saving for the lessons as I type.


David said...

We need to know more about the seniors in question. Names, ages, style, type, could you sketch them?

Mistress Bel said...

Eva, can't remember the man's name, she would be early 70's , born in Zargreb then emigrated to Australia just before wwii, he was early or mid 70's, 3rd generation Australian, his grandfather fought in Gallipoli. The couple were married in 1957. she looked like a woman from Cawfee Talk, he kind of looked like don adams but his eyes were more intelligent and kinder. they were very friendly, happy and interested in life. She had a wonderful mannerism where she'd punctuate a joke or dismiss something by moving her hand back showing palm then immediately flicking it forward again, you know how dick emery used to do while saying ducky, they are very close to and proud of their children and grandchildren.

David said...

And you can't remember the man's name.

Mistress Bel said...

yeah i know, big picture person me.
i could have asked of course, and generally do in that situation but yellow shirt seemed a lot warmer at the time, besides he had already been calling me by my name, Mistress, respectful that, for a couple of hours. No one ever said his name again.

Lord Catch said...

the woman at the whaaat?

Mistress Bel said...

Miike Myers is Linda Richman.

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