bintang, being stranded and becoming a man, my son.

Bali

‘hello daarrlinng’ ‘oooh sexxyy’ ‘you want transpor-‘ ‘please look thank you darling’

The seductive soundtrack of Bali!

These few days have been quite magical.

I’m currently sprawled on white linen, nursing a sore head and shin splints I think, which could be a product of bopping and spinning to shitty top 40 electro/dance songs last night.

So I’m drinking expensive crap wine (must be the only downside to Bali), smoking gloriously cheap Marlboros and stuffing my face with complimentary biscotti – it can’t get much better, right?

 

 

Last night was dinner with my Mummy before she went to the airport – I treated her to a couple of days with me here in paradise and it has been wonderful. Once Mumma got over the culture shock – a much repeated phrase in the first few hours after i found her sweating at Arrivals – bless, all was magnificent.

Upon Mumma’s departure, there was a wild goose chase trying to find the restaurant an old friend from Noosa chefs in. I eventually did, after two taxis, a hundred cigarettes, 2 Mades (Balinese name), a lychee and rose petal martini at Ku De Ta with this view –

 

 

fucking heaven –

 

 

 

I finally arrived at Karma Beach in Batu Belig and met my old friend and his fabulous, fabulous Indonesian girl.

 

There was free champagne, beautiful, click-in conversations and a stunning ocean front bar; knowing my chef mate – the food will be stunning too. It’s new and not many people know about it, i.e taxi debacle but fuck it, it cost around ten dollars to get there in all and was well worth it.

 

Then there was the helmet-less Vespa ride from Karma Beach to the champagne bar. Then there was the meeting of Dr. Dublin. Then there was another helmet-less Vespa ride to ‘La Vida Loca’ (you can imagine the standard) but jesus wept,

I did not stop laughing all night, and dancing, and drinking and then it was 5:30AM and I can’t tell you if what Dr. Dublin was saying (lots of ‘jaysus mudder and meery’) was remotely funny but my cheeks hurt all the way home and I couldn’t stop smiling into the dawn.

 

 

 

Perth

I started this post on Friday night and it is now, yes, Monday afternoon. There’s my brief Bali anecdote. I wrote a lot whilst there; this proved difficult when you take into consideration the amount of Bintang or expensive bloody Two Islands shiraz I guzzled beforehand. Below is a snippet of a short story I’m working on, it’s still on slow cook:

Men wrapped in safety goggles and fly nets, bent over, baring K-Mart elastic waistbands. I can’t remember the feel of designer bras and the fresh fan of a ninety-dollar hair cut. I can’t remember skinny jeans and leather boots. I can only think in leathered skin, sweat and wrinkled, faded singlets. Dreamtime and scattered shells, where they talk. Our feet prickle over Stella bottle tops and cigarette butts; our meeting place, where we talk. 

In Bali, I was pampered, rejuvenated and well boozed; ultimately I couldn’t have faced this week if I hadn’t have visited Bintang land.

Then there was the old toothless scooter driver that asked me if I was married – ‘no’ -‘ooohhhh how much for me please (hands together, praying), you give me special priceee??’

I politely told him to get fucked, though he must’ve thought this was a term of endearment because he smiled, laughed even and offered me 100, 000 rupiah.
Which is nine bucks.

But hey, happy days.

Arrival in Perth (supposed stopover between Bali and Karratha, approx. 2 hours) to several voicemails/messages. Some heart wrenching, some lovely and welcomed, some just pure Air-Asia-Alcohol-Free-For-Four-Hours fucked. The latter would be this:

Voicemail: Yeah Hi Eizabeth, this is Aaayydrian from Qantas. Just to let you know your flight tomorrow to Karratha has been cancelled. Please call us back on a totally fucked number where you will wait on hold for several years listening to an excited woman telling you how checking in online is totally awesome and queue-free, oh and don’t forget to pre-book your meals to ensure your culinary needs are met.

Seventeen hours later:

Me: Hi, I’m just returning the call re. cancelled flight to Karratha, TODAY, at 2:40 this afternoon.

Julia Gillard: Yes, Eli-zaa-beth, your flight has been rescheduled.

No worries, couple of hours on the free cab sav and WiFi in the Qantas lounge slash peering over the top of your Macbook perving on the business dudes till the next flight out. Not a problem.

Julia Gillard: Till Monday, the 19th March at 4:40PM.

It’s Saturday.

Me: Um, I dont live in Perth, whaddya mean? I’ve just come from Bali.

Julia Gillard: Yeahhhhhh, you’ve got travel insurance?

Me: Um, no,

Julia Gillard: Yeahhhhh, ya need travel insurance.

Me: What? to travel two hours in the same state?

Julia Gillard: Yeahhhhh, ya need travel insurance.

Fuck off Julia

Me: Right, no worries – cheers for that.

Then there was the journey to suburbia where my fabulous friend put me up for two nights of Guinness (St Paddys), Peroni, BBQ’s, great chats, hilarious songs and whisky on the rocks.
Thanks darling!

Karratha

So I lost a lover somewhere along the way. A complicated lover.
Bali was my processing time and the master plan was to arrive back in K-Town, revitalised, reevaluated and remembering that I must accept things as they are.
I don’t think I’m quite there yet but what I have learnt about myself is that I have the balls to remove myself from any situation, however hard it is, if I’m not happy. And some people definitely don’t.

Because that’s really what it’s all about, right?

The money, the booze, the fags, the writing, the reading, the shagging, the eating, the studying, the working, the traveling, the leaving and the loving … everything is an endeavour for happiness, all that we do. And like my fabulous Aunt constantly reminds me; this isn’t a dress rehearsal.

So here’s to happy times, and sad, they’re both valid. Aint that right Rudyard?

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And which is more; you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

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hard hats, hard goodbyes and a bali finale.

‘Oh, oh-oh … I got a love that keeps me waiting … Oh, oh-oh, I got a love that keeps me waiting, I’m a lonely boy’ –

Gosh, the episodes that are lust, work and hormones. I find myself drowsy on red and drunk on reassurance all too often;

Me: So it does get better? thought wise? … thought process wise? general fucking sensibility wise? We get better, yeah? We cope better right? We finally get it, yeah? … YEAH?

Older, wiser companion (basking in the glow of experience and my own inexperience, cracking jokes about tiny violins):
Of course! You’ll see! – you total twat.

Ha! How funny it will be when I can sit back, swirling the dregs of a decent Margaret River, with that ‘Oh to be young again,’ crinkled newspaper smile, whilst a twenty-something drama queen barely closes her motor-mouth between 700 Marlboro Reds and desperate gulps of Stella.

But the adventure is, I must say, always quite marvelous.

So. A new adventure is imminent. It’s been a while I know, but please understand alcohol monitoring, 4AM starts and a totally fucking surreal lifestyle has prohibited creativity, popular culture commentary and general life analysis quite dramatically. Especially when you are reduced to wearing this every day –

 

Yes, I look happy in the photograph but you get over it when you greet dawn with a pair of steel-capped toe boots and safety glasses on instead of a joker-esque, merlot mouth and a kebab in your handbag. Like normal people.

 

 

 

 

My life in the Pilbara has been a remarkable journey; what have I learnt?

Never, EVER complain about the heat to people that don’t actually work in an air-conditioned office.
The Scottish aren’t actually stingy (just the ones I’ve dated).
FIFO doesn’t mean Fly In Fly Out, it means Fit In or Fuck Off.
I like Germans, a lot.
Five pints of Stella is enough, whether you have to blow into a breath tester in the morning or not.
Tax is a mother fucker.
The phonetic alphabet.

Foxtrot uniform charlie kilo indigo november golf, oscar alpha tango hotel!

A few shots of MY Pilbara life:

 

Groundhog day when it comes to sunsets – in the best possible way …

 

 

 

 

Nikey, the refugee pup; lover and destroyer of Calvin Klein bras and Havianas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My day of climbing scaffolding and crawling under insulation pipes at ridiculous heights to take pictures for a brochure, aka: constant shitting of pants … but a lovely view.

 

 

 

At the local church/pub having our last supper/piss up before majority of staff left to go back to the homeland. Sad but happy times!

 

 

 

I’ve been three months with the one company on the Pluto LNG Project and it has been an experience and quite a wonderful one in many respects, if you can say that about working in construction.
I never thought I would be the fire-retardant wearing, safety glass adorning type but it is very self assuring when you can plonk yourself in a foreign situation and be more than OK with it. Yeah, I’ve learnt how to use Excel (properly) and how to write contractual letters and use boring systems and input data and blah blah but I’ve learnt, more than anything, how adaptable I can be and why challenging myself constantly is the best fucking way to go about things.

This sounds like Jerry Springer’s ‘After thought’ I know. But seriously. Cheers to the challenge!

Anyway, like I said, another one awaits! I have been offered a new job and a new, lovely, pay rise. But before that, YES –

I’m going to Bali tomorrow!

 

 

Hello old lover …

 

 

 

 

‘But I came to love you –
Any old time you keep me waiting, waiting, waiting …’