I'm looking out the window and its snowing quite hard. It is not that cold but as I stared at the snow I started to think what I could write about today that was totally different.
I remembered a trip to Australia in 1977. We had landed in Sydney, loaded down with camping gear, because we planned to rough it a bit, since fancy hotels or hotels of any kind were not on the budget.
We did all the touristy things, like visiting the famous Sydney Opera House, I have the pictures to prove it, and the fantastic Zoo they have there. I liked Sydney but there was one episode that was upsetting.
We decided to get a decent breakfast, so we stopped at a restaurant in a small hotel. There were not that many in the restaurant, as I suppose the rush was over. The service was slow, but I noticed the waiter would go to everyone, including those who came in after us, but would not go to a couple who sat in the corner. When he came to offer us coffee I said to him, "Those gentlemen have been waiting for a long time", he looked at me and said "I don't wait tables on them", actually he used a derogatory Aussie term which I don't recollect. The fact was these were obviously East Indian businessmen, complete with turbans, as I recall. I found this very disturbing, and felt I should say or do something, but what, and I did not want to embarrass my partner. We left the restaurant shortly after that, but I have never forgotten the episode.
We took a bus up the coast and camped on Bribie Island for a few days and then caught the bus to Cairns, which is on the Gold Coast. We found a campsite and set up our tent. The mosquitoes were like small helicopters and I could hear a kookaburra laughing at us in the trees. We settled for the night and half way through it started to rain. We had gone in March, unaware that this was monsoon season. It wasn't long before the water was seeping in and we were wondering what to do next, as pretty soon we would be completely awash. We grabbed everything, and ran for the toilets, I didn't know which it was, the guys or girls and I didn't care. We piled everything on the floor and sat the night out on the toilets along with what seemed like a thousand tree frogs who had come in out of the rain.
The following morning we ventured out to town and all over the road were huge cane toads that had come out of the cane fields during the rain. Many had been run over leaving large green splatters.
Despite these mishaps I had a wonderful time in Australia, and I found most of people very kind, however some were concerned that we might be 'Limies', the Aussie term for British people. We decided to tell everyone we were Canadians, it worked for everyone, despite our accents.