Chilled to Hectic to Chilled

On the night of the 23rd, I spent my last night for a while chilling out mightily with the crew at Bay Fm. They were mulling over the coming council election the next day, and staged a mock interview of two "candidates". Voting, by the way, is compulsory' I just hope no-one picked the people spouting these opinions. Then again...

A fine evening. The next day, however, was a bit rushed. I woke up at about 10-ish, after a nice sleep, and after watching a not particularly good film ("Just Cause" with Sean Connery). Bec sautered in - "You've got about an hour until your bus goes". She should know because Bec is now doing the run from the hostel to pick up backpackers from the bus stop. Me - "No, my bus is at 11.10 tonight, not this morning". About 10.45, though, I decided to check, just to make sure. So I phoned Greyhound (the bus company) just to check, and sure enough, my bus was at 11.10 in the morning!. Cue 20 minutes of frantic packing, only to meet Bec returning from the bus stop to tell me that the bus had already gone. Bugger - that was $64 down the drain, as my ticket was a special, half-price, non-refundable affair. So, I wandered up to the ticket office to moan at the woman, as I'd specifically asked for an evening bus. As anyone who knows me knows, mornings are not my specialty. Hence my assumption that my bus was leaving at 11.10pm. But at the bus stop I saw a bus, headed for Brisbane (where I had to change to Airlie Beach); I then saw the bus pulling off. This caused me to leg it back to the hostel to shout at Bec for a bit, then I went back up to the ticket office to moan at the woman. Her advice to me - "Hitch". Thanks a lot.

I left the office fuming as only a Radford can, then ambled back to the hostel. There I found out that Mark, who was taking over my job, was driving up to Coolangatta to see his parents, at midday. From there I could catch a local bus to Brisbane, which was only 100km away. If I could get to Brissy by 4.30, I could pick up the connecting bus to Airlie, arriving there at the original time of 8.55 the next morning. Mark put his foot down all the way up Route One, Oz's premier national highway (mostly one-laned). We got to Coolangatta at 1.25, and there was a bus to Brissy at 1.33, getting in at 3.45. Made it, got to Airlie the next day, no problem, checked into the YHA. Phew.

There was one guy in the room when I got there, Brent, from Sydney, looking for work. He went to get his haircut, and when he cane back, asked me, "So whaddyathink, mate?". I didn't have the heart to say that he looked like he's been attacked by a sheep shearer after a particularly heavy drinking binge owing to the loss of his "cutest" sheep, if you get my drift. "Err, very nice, mate", I replied. This was nothing on the Irish guy who turned up next, looking like Renton from Trainspotting's haggard older brother.

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