As Broome time comes to a close and it’s time for a mini road trip in Australia, I suppose it’s time or some sort of recap.
Perhaps you have assumed, or maybe you have not realised, that the reason I have been so lacking in blog entries lately is that there has been nothing much to say. Don’t get me wrong, Broome is a completely amazing place. The thing is, however, that it has become ever so monotonous (yeah, in a place this awesome – staying put is pretty much what not to do in Australia). Was it last week, or the week before that a customer brought Manon and I to Crab Creek and the Crocodile Park? We saw such gigantic crocs fighting for those small pieces of meat… they were ever so quiet before feeding time – you could easily mistake them for statues, I kid you not. Once feeding time arrived, however, they were most definitely full of life. Yet this experience has become so lost amongst all of the everyday stuff.
My first month in Broome I lived at Cable Beach Backpackers; it was perfection… for a time, at least. It got terribly old terribly fast, though. I would finish my late night Saturday shifts ready to party to find no one there; at the same time, I would finish my afternoon weekday shifts exhausted, and the music would be pounding far too loud for rest to be possible. At the beginning of my stay it was primarily longtermers staying at the hostel… but by the end the place was almost completely run by drifters. Eventually it got to be too much; I moved to Roebuck Bay Caravan Park and spent a week camping. Ok, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love camping. But this place was… well, words can’t really describe. I will attempt to, though.
To start there was the kitchen at the campground; it was crap. There were 3 burners to cook on, so really only one or two people could cook at a time. There was one day that someone took our fridge bag out and never put it back in the fridge, causing us to toss everything perishable we had purchased. Then there was the location; Roebuck Bay Caravan Park is right at Town Beach, so the “regular” campers got a beautiful view. Backpackers, however, did not get this luxury. If you were backpacking you got stuck in the MCG; or, as we called it, concentration camp. We were piled away behind a barbed wire fence away from the ocean. When Alex and I wanted to move to the ocean front spot to be with a few friends of ours, the owner said, and I quote, “I don’t want any gypsy camp down there!” …We had been working in Broome for over a month each already. We weren’t some dickhead drifters, we were just some people who wanted cheap accommodation in a beautiful spot. Then there was the caretaker for the MCG, a horrible man named Jason. I mentioned my experience to many of my customers at the bar; everyone who had stayed there knew this awful man. He was on a major power trip – you know, give a little man a little power… Need I say more? One day one of my German friends was at the MCG playing didgeridoo (and I heard him play another night, he was really fantastic), but Jason threatened to make him pack his bags that instant – didn’t he see the sign at the entrance of the MCG? Sure enough, the sign, which contained all the normal warnings – no noise after 11pm, no campfires, etc., etc., also included a warning stating “no didgeridoos or bongos”! What a campsite! It’s hard to fully explain how awful this man was, but believe me, he was unreasonably insane. In the end, Alex and I moved to the Last Resort – a poorly named, but quite pleasant hostel close to town. This has been where we have remained for the past two weeks.
Broome has been getting old, though. It’s a lovely place, and I do so love working at the Roey bartending; the thing is that I haven’t seen anything but Broome and Perth in this great big country. I’m ready for a new adventure. After searching for a week or so, I managed to land the boy and I both jobs at the Fitzroy River Lodge, a few hundred kilometres from here. Alas, we depart on Tuesday night. It’s rather bittersweet, I must say; though they have been few, the friends I have made have been amazing. Some of them, I know, don’t even realise what they mean to me; as a bartender you must speak with your customers, but if there are many at the bar, you get to choose which ones you want to talk with. There are many regulars I will miss very dearly – one even brought me a lovely green present for my birthday!
Meanwhile, it has been a bit hard to truly connect with many people here. Here’s the thing: my travels prior to this trip have primarily been to South America. People who travel to South America tend to be travellers; they want to experience culture shock and meet people they would never otherwise meet. Australia is nothing like this. Most of the so called travellers I have met in Australia are far from true travellers. They are people on a gap year. They are people who want to earn better money than back home. They are people who want to be able to say they have travelled… and even believe this folly. The fact of the matter is that we are in a first world country; it is not hard here. Things are different from our respective homes, but not exceptionally so. These people think that they are like those I met on my other travels, but they are nothing of the sort. Granted, there are people that I’ve met that are true travellers – whether they have seen things or have yet to – but their true selves are very hidden in the superficiality that is this place. It was only two weeks in to my being in Broome that I said to Alex, “Broome is where personalities come to die.” I stand by this. Though I’m sure there are many people I’ve met who really do have amazing stories behind or ahead of them, these things do not shine through in this place. No, here everyone is about money and booze. And though I need to pay off my debt, and I enjoy having some drinks, money and booze are far from why I am here.
So, with that, I semi-conclude this blog. I have summarized Broome in far too few words, and I hope to finish it properly. Here is my attempt in words that few can understand… as it is meant to be.
Cable Beach, Town Beach, and Chinatown
Introducing everyone to s’mores on Canada day
Staircase to the moon
Cable beach sunsets
The first time I went in the pool at Cable Beach… rainy day with Cian
The time we swam in the ocean
The journal and the hand made from hand found seashell earrings
Getting a job my first day in Broome
Crab creek and the croc park
Learning to pour a beer
Middy, scooner, pint, handle (and even pot), and stubbies
That sunset at Gantheaume
…and the ones at Cable Beach, with one in particular in mind
Leaving with the guy I met on my second day
Bus stop party
Mi Goreng in general
My first birthday away from home, and the moon that night
Sports Bar and Oasis
… and maybe even Pearlers
Dorm rooms… for good or bad
Knocked off, cheesecake, chips, and a free beer within 5 minutes
Not a single traffic light… and so many roundabouts
Goddess to walk home safe
All of the skimpy collisions… many of which were on purpose
Wet t-shirt competitions – only one of which I actually saw, so mostly friends visiting me while I worked the wet t-shirt nights
I can’t deny it… to me, Broome is the Roey. And if I could bring the Roey with me while I travelled all around the world I would in an instant. All my love to the Roey, and all of the people I met there.
And that, my dear friends, is my goodbye to Broome.
For now, at least. For now.