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Day 335 | not another 40ºC+ day (104ºF): well, it is summer

Esperance Day 37

Bathers Paradise Caravan Park where I’ve been holed up since arriving in town is a Kiwi enclave.

The managers are Kiwis; C, my neighbour, born a Pom, is a Kiwi. Even G the Canadian says he is a Kiwi, well, there’s the passport to prove it. I guess Team Kiwi a few sites down are Kiwis too. We are all Kiwis although I’m coming up to equal time between NZ and Australia and haven’t lived there for half a lifetime.

Being a bro’ has meant I’ve been squeezed into site 54 1/2 over Christmas when the campsite has been fully booked for months.

There’s plenty of kooks here.

C catches too many freshwater Brim up at Woody Lake and distributes them, mows the lawns to escape paying rent and tells stories, long rambling stories about making, and dispensing with, truckloads of money, marrying and divorcing various wild and dangerous women back in the 70s and 80s, stories that I occasionally listen to. He’s managed to avoid big cities all his life, much of the time he ran a hippie shop in Whangarei and stocked up in Thailand, or Auckland, a city he always felt he had to get out of by nightfall.

Now he’s compacted his life into the smallest vehicle you could classify as a bus. A minibus that he claims runs well, but coughs and splutters for 15 minutes almost flattening the battery before rumbling off for his daily early morning fishing meditation. There’s a few leathery areas on his body that have escaped being scribed by now faded tats and plenty of philosophy of the incoherent kind.

I like him and his generosity. No one asks questions about anyone’s past or what they are running from, instead I have my version of 20 Questions for the motorised brigade: how much fuel does it use; is it easy to drop the engine; range and power draw of the driving lights: what about changing to a 6 cylinder, etc, all the bloke stuff.

Eventually the history pours out, the whole miserable life story in 3 minutes, the bad marriages with beautiful women for whom everything would still not be enough, the children they never got to know. The stories aren’t compelling enough for me to remember the details but the tone says I’m your friend and I like you.

I must look sympathetic.

No self pity though, the 3 of us pseudo Kiwis are cheery as, the present is pretty good in our own Little Paradise and the future just the next Little Adventure.