Saturday, 8 December 2012

Irashai Mase

Life with the Tigger is never dull. Especially when I travel. Leaving my two, precious, four-legged daughters behind with a mate, I hit the road through heavy rain and headed to Darwin. My dramatic change of plans meant that I was now going to be flying to South Australia rather than driving. I stayed with my friend in Humpty Doo that night and we stayed up for hours just chatting.
The following day it was another friend, Stace, that I was going to catch up with and she was going to take me to the airport. Both of us being hungry we decided lunch was on the cards so off we went down to the Wharf and dined at Ocean Fresh. There were things on the menu that we had never seen nor tried before so we selected 4 things on the entree menu and decided to share them.
After spending the morning talking oysters with my friend in Humpty Doo then watching a cooking show featuring oysters on the television not even an hour later you can imagine what I was craving so first up it was Oysters Vinegarette. They went down well... just like the Gazpacho Oyster Shots (sadly non-alcoholic so lucky we had a glass of white wine).
Next was Buffalo Mozzarella and Pickled Octopus. The Buffalo Mozzarella was not anything we expected it to be. No buffalo beef at all! Just chunks of mozzarella on slices of tomato with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top on a bed of rocket. The octopus on the other hand, I didn't mind it, but Stace couldn't even finish her tentacle. God bless her she tried but with me red-faced from laughing at her gagging, she spat out the last piece into a napkin while I laughed at her more.
When the waitress asked if we would like more wine we declined, then realised the time, paid our bill and scooted off in the pissy, little hire car so I could miss my flight to Adelaide. This put me in a fantastic mood of course.
After being miserable and unmotivated and Stace feeling fluey and headachey in the motel room for an hour or so we decided to get out and do something. So we went to Crocosaurus Cove on Mitchell Street and scored a Locals Pass for being Territorians. We were kept amused by the various reptiles, amphibians and fish especially by one pissed off goanna. One of the handlers fed a rat to a Woma Python and we watched mesmerised as it tried to consume the rodent. The same handler brought out a Bearded Dragon that we both held, now I want one as a pet. Originally the dragon was named Brock till one day it laid eggs and now it is known as Brooke. She was off to a kids function to be tormented by various, over-excited children.
When we finished poking at perspex we headed off further down Mitchell Street to Go Sushi which boasts the largest sushi train in the Territory.
"IRASHAI MASE!" I had the absolute life scared out of me when we stepped through the door. Every employee yelled out "You're very welcome" in Japanese.
Stace and I sat down at the train and looked at all the Japanese goodies streaming past us. Thankfully, a large pamphlet told us what each dish was. One by one we pulled down a plate that interested us and by the end of the night we had eaten between us Smoked Eel, Inari Tofu, Seaweed Salad, Seafood Syumai Dim Sum, Crab Avacado Sushi, Vegetarian Sushi, Prawn Parcels, Lobster Mornay, Tuna Nigiri, Beef Nigiri (the beef needed shooting because it was still running around the paddock), Green Tea Ice Cream and Daifuku Rice Cake which was gluggly and despite it's pretty pink appearance was not near sugary enough. To top it off was another glass of wine each and a shared bottle of Asahi, a Japanese brewed beer.
The following day I made my flight. We made a point of having lunch at the airport so that I wouldn't miss it. I got grilled at security by a a pimply, scrawny up-start because I had forgotten about a pair of nail scissors in my toiletries bag and a knife in a corksrew that I never knew I had. But I didn't miss my flight and after a while of dordling around the terminal I was on my way to Adelaide via Sydney.

All that we ate!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Habits of Nocturnal Wildlife

Everyone has their little falling-asleep nuances. But none I have found more strange than the one that I am currently experiencing. Some people turn on night-lights (but they wouldn't willingly call it that). Some drink a warm beverage. Some people, like me, have a teeny-tiny background noise. I play a movie on my laptop but have the volume so low that it can only just be heard.
Helping a friend move into the home of a bachelor that works away saw me temporarily staying at the same residence as was offered by the man himself. It was quiet and peaceful and we went to sleep early so we may feel refreshed for work the next day. Then the bachelor went on his fortnightly break...
He cracked open cans early in the morning and got around all hours of the day or night in his vehicle or on his quad bike. He had sessions with the neighbour and fixed flat tyres at 7am. But at night, when he went to bed, he did what I thought was rude and strange. He turned the stereo up. And I don't just mean up a dash, I mean up alot. Whatever was on the radio be it ABC or Hot100, it was blaring out of the speakers at goodness knows what decibel! And here were my friend and I, lying in our beds, wondering 'what the hell, could this bloke be serious?'
I slept one night with the pillow wrapped around my head, window and door closed and I could still hear that racket. The following night I just bailed. I'd fallen asleep but around an hour later the bachelor cranked up the radio and hit the hay. I was wild. I felt like tearing out the radio from the shelf and throwing it in front of my car and running over it a few times. Instead I grabbed my swag and threw it in the tray of my toyota and drove out the gates to camp further down the road, away from the din, so I could get some sleep while being attacked by mozzies.
I returned the next morning to find I should have been a little more patient. At some point during the night the power had run out (the solar panels charge batteries which provide electricity for the house. If it's too overcast during the day or too much power is drawn then the batteries run out of power therefore so does the house). I should have waited out for the power outage. I would have got alot more sleep. Instead I camped up down the road to the sound of frogs and crickets and cattle in the scrub. When I woke in the morning everything was soaked in condensation. When I returned to the house, he didn't even know I had left until I arrived back.
But seriously, who does that kind of stuff? Who turns the radio up before going to bed rather than down or off like most normal people would? I know who. They don't have to work (they're on break or have no job). They drink when most people are at work. They come in at all hours and wake everyone up with their noisemaking and their cooking of strange concoctions they regard as dinner. They watch their movies loud or play their music loud and keep everyone else awake. Yeah, I know who. I've lived with a few and I am definitely more than over it!