Unable to book a tour to Fraser Island, I found myself in Hervey Bay trying to find things to do here that weren’t tours to Fraser Island.
It was a small and charming town, however I couldn’t help but notice the average age of the residents being approximately 108 years old. I took a walk and passed by multiple funeral homes and denture shops. The occasional nice white haired couple passed me by with their jaws dropped. If there’s one thing I’ve learned: What feels like appropriate clothing to you is usually incredibly inappropriate to your grandmother. It was hot though and my skin needed bronzing.
I felt so uncomfortable and didn’t get the dress code memo, so I beelined it to the beach because that’s a decision one will usually never regret.
I thought, if it wasn’t such a sleepy small town, I’d have so much opportunity here as a geriatrics nurse, but I needed action, I needed to feel alive baby! Someday, I thought, when I finally won the lottery, I’d buy my parents a nice Caravan here and let them age the rest of their days gracefully, parked under a nice shady gum tree. (They’re reading this rolling their eyes.)
The closer I got to Cairns, I noticed the increase in heat as well as the increase in possibly dangerous creatures thriving around me. I began researching the difference between a spider and a ‘f%#k no spider, checking in my sheets before bed and wearing shoes a bit more (unless it involved being in a grocery store then I’d hide my shoes outside and join the others in the cooling sensation under your feet)
Anyways, I’m out on the beach when a young man approached me. I say ‘young man’ by Hervey standards, he was around 75. I recognized his sort of hybrid Aussie/English accent and he luckily confirmed originally being from the UK without me having to ask and look ignorant.
When you’re alone, female, and wearing half a tee shirt, you unfortunately have to put yourself on high suspicion to everyone. I’d like to pretend everyone’s got good intentions but as my nice cab driver said in Brisbane:
“There are always a few bad apples in every orchard.”
Plus Peter seemed a tiny bit drunk -but hey- we are all a tiny bit drunk right?
Anyways, after a quick psyche assessment I deemed Peter to be a nice happily married gentleman simply in search of some friendly chat. We stood on the beach and mostly just talked about weather and that’s when the most Australian thing ever happened.
A house cat strolled right next to us dragging a massive half eaten headless snake into the ocean. I squealed in shock and excitement and ole bloke Peter hadn’t even flinched.
“Peter!!! AHHHHHH!!!! Holy Shit!!!” I screamed.
“yehhh the cats get the snakes….”
Then Peter nonchalantly went back to telling me about the climate.