MONDAY 1 MAY DARWIN
It seemed a bit cooler today, which was the official first day of the Dry Season.
We drove to the large Casuarina Shopping Centre and spent ages browsing there. Coming up to Darwin, in the couple of spare days we had, was mainly so we could so a bit of stocking up, since this job and location were different to what we had expected, when we packed at home.
John bought some shorts and a polo shirt. I bought some basic T shirts. We bought two CD’s and a DVD. Had lunch at the food court area – always a treat for John, who bought a bowl of stir fry. I managed to find a salad sandwich.
Did some grocery shopping too, at a supermarket there.
Refuelled Truck – 378kms – $1.42cpl.
We took a round about route back to the van, so John could suss out the bowls clubs at Fannie Bay and Nightcliff, for future reference.
I roasted a chook, and vegetables, for dinner, in the electric frypan, outside the van.
Being at Casuarina brought back a memory from 1990, when I’d brought a group of students up here from my Melbourne school. I was driving one of Kormilda College’s Coaster buses, on loan, and had just dropped my load of students in front of the Casuarina shops, and was about to head off to find a place to park the bus. An elderly indigine, very much the worse for alcohol, climbed in before I’d shut the door, and demanded to be taken to Kormilda. It seemed he had come to Darwin from one of the remote Top End communities, in order to retrieve the teenager who was promised as his wife. He was quite angry that her family had sent her away to boarding school – possibly to get her away from his claims? He had read the school logo on the side of the bus and seized his opportunity. I was just grateful that none of my students was still on board. It took quite a while to convince him that I had only borrowed the bus, that I would not take him to Kormilda, and that the students there were away on holidays, anyway. I had to threaten to get the police and eventually he shuffled off, muttering to himself. I was quite shaken by it all – had felt somewhat threatened, there, for some time.