4th January 2012, a bit of people watching
Thu 5 Jan 2012 09:01
We’ve chatted to some fascinating people in pubs and camp kitchens. I had a long chat with Michael, who is 63 and retired. There was a load of background rowdiness but I got the gist of it. He’s moved around a bit with jobs and said that wherever you go, it is very important to have a job. He was a driver, working for a big company who provide accommodation in the settlements. The other families in the settlement view you as quite a catch, and want to marry their daughters off to you to get them a “better life”. So far as I gathered, he resisted.
We met Ray on his birthday. Everyone was wearing birthday stickers on their bush hats. He looked quite the worse for wear and kept forgetting what he’d started the sentence with, but very happy. He gave us a tour of the pub’s photo gallery and history as a shrimp port with boats coming upriver from the sea.
Sally the sad bar lady told us she’s from Brisbane but has been travelling for the last 3 years. She has a daughter in Brisbane, who was going to go travelling but got pregnant, and Sally was disappointed with her. She hasn’t met her granddaughter, who is now one and a half, and she missed her daughter’s 21st, and doesn’t know when she will go home. Wonder what that is all about?
A landlord we met (no picture of him), Dave, very candidly told us he had bought this country town pub “because it’s a black man’s pub”, the logic being that a very large proportion are on welfare, so you know they will always have money to spend.