I guess I should now continue the story… as unfortunately for me, my series of events did not end at attempting to walk away from my crazy ex boss. My Au Pair buddy forced me to get in the car that Stupid Judy had left with her. She was crying. I couldn’t let her cry on her own.
She drove me to town and saved me the 13km walk, I grabbed a Maccas and set about planning my next step. What was I going to do?
Like seriously… Where am I going and what am I doing?
I know travellers are generally spontaneous and all… and I should have felt fine, I had been ‘travelling’ for over a year now, but I was no less daunted by the prospect of having no idea what to do with myself. Fortunately, I still had friends and somewhere to stay in Adelaide, so this seemed like the best option. But getting back to Adelaide in one day was impossible thanks to mismatched bus timetables.
I was facing a nights stay in Mount Gambier – a place I later found out to be a swirling pool of incessant drug use. At the time of arrival, I was full of optimism as I grabbed a map from tourist information and began the gargantuan walk uphill to the old gaol. A very
helpful and friendly heavily influenced man stopped me to ask where I was going and pointed me towards the gaol.
When I got there, I waited for their office to open. Then I waited some more. And then I waited even longer. Their fat ginger cat continued to stare me out from behind the bins as I melted in the heat over my suitcase like some sad excuse of a choc ice. I finally got a call back from the out of office phone informing me that the gaol was fully booked for the night by students that had come for a University open day.
Just my luck. I limped my way back to the middle of town.
I settled for a budget room at a hotel on the high street, which in terms of location actually turned out to be a win. For AU$30 I got a single room to myself for the night with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. They even gave me a towel and soap. The room was small, and dark. Dark was the last thing I wanted after living in a basement for a week. I tied the curtains up and cracked open the window.
Then I laid on the bed and cried for approximately 30 seconds… before deciding that crying was not what I needed. I needed wifi, potato wedges with sour cream and red wine.
I rearranged the layout of a bar down the road so that I could sit on a sofa next to the artificial fire and a plug socket. Then I facetimed everyone and anyone that wanted to hear about my epic fail of a job.
THE NEXT DAY
I was up at the crack of dawn, for fear of missing the bus back to Adelaide, and I left the hotel super early to compensate for my now throbbing ankle. I stopped at Maccas again for a AU$2 Cappucino and a bacon and egg McMuffin. I vaguely remember there being a girl there that watched as I wobbled past with my suitcase, my rucksack and my very healthy breakfast. We exchanged smiles.
And in that moment, I had no idea that this girl would later become a very good friend.
We talked continuously for our five hour bus ride and then she introduced me to Hindley Street. Hindley Street is one of THOSE streets that you really don’t want to go to for fear of losing your life and/or dignity but secretly you love it’s run down bars and questionable looking people.
It was on Hindley Street that I got utterly wasted, contemplated the point of my existence and potentially told guys I had just met that we were going to get married. When Fliss and I decided it was time to go, things were a blur but I grabbed my suitcase, threw on my rucksack and felt a bottle of wine get shoved into my hand.
I thought nothing more of the bottle of wine.
We set out to find a cash machine and a taxi home. I was convinced that I had somehow stumbled into Pan’s labrinth. How had I lived in Adelaide for a month and not actually seen this part of town before?
Fliss walked up ahead, scouting for an ATM whilst I trundled along hopelessly with my recovering ankle and all of my belongings dragged behind me. I turned a corner and looked up to see a police car with sirens flashing, pulling up from the opposite side of the road, right next to me.
Even at this point, I was totally unaware of what I was doing wrong.
Wait, wait, wait, wait… FUCK.
I’m in a dry zone.
Most cities in Australia have dry zones. Zones in which you aren’t supposed to have alcohol… especially not open bottles of wine.
“Excuse me, miss, do you know why we’ve stopped you?”
“Miss, did you know that you are not allowed to carry alcohol in the street like this?”
I looked at my hand and then at the policeman, and then at the policewoman, and then looked back at my hand.
“Miss, did you even know that you had a bottle of wine in your hand?”
I shook my head and thrust the bottle at the police man. And suddenly I was sober.
“I’m so sorry, I had no idea it was an issue here. I don’t even want it, I’ve been looking for a bin since it was handed to me. I didn’t want to just leave it on the floor because I hate littering.”
Long story short, I was let off with an informal caution. Thankfully, because I think if I’d been fined I would have asked them to deport me there and then. Once they had left, I flopped on to the floor, crying as I frantically searched everywhere (apart from my back pocket) for my passport, which I was sure the “policepeople” had taken with them.
Once I’d found my passport (in my back pocket) I gathered my things and we went home.
I would like to say that this is the end of the events that so drove me out of Australia and back to the comforts of Mum and Dad’s, but it is not.