A month goes quickly here… I’ve just realised I’ve not posted anything since I went on my little museum visit, and that doesn’t seem that long ago, but apparently it is. This blog’s practically become fossilised in the manner of one of the exhibits we saw at Jurassic Lounge that night.
While the site’s been sitting idle, I’ve been anything but – getting a bit too involved in Rugby World Cup banter, planning the imminent exciting girl’s trip up Australia’s East Coast (from Sydney to Cairns), hitting the races (and losing lots of bets), going to day festivals in the rain (yes, it does in fact rain in Australia), working (of course), gymming, celebrating new years (not so much fun away from family), and starting an exciting 30-day illustration project which is taking over my life, but in a really good way! Just thinking about all this makes me want to curl up under my desk and go to sleep right now, and that list is the abridged version! At least the East Coast trip might provide the odd opportunity to sleep – on night buses, because let’s be honest, it’s going to be six weeks of non-stop activity!
I can’t wait. Even in the planning stages it’s provided endless amusement, with me and my friends Sydney Jenn and Dayle swapping been-there-done-that advice and tips, while London Jenn, Ali and I fire squealing/ giggling/ horrified/ logistical messages at each other via phone, facebook, twitter and smoke signals. Well, not the last one, but we could have tried it I reckon… if you were allowed to light bonfires in Australia, that is.
For me, the funniest moment so far came while I was trying to get a quote for the key parts of our trip (Fraser Island, Whitsundays and the essential Greyhound tickets). A couple of friends had recommended an independent travel company to me, so I went in to chat to them a few weeks back just to get a few ideas. The guy I was talking to told me that as the manager (Steve) was just on a trip up the coast, I should wait and speak to him when he got back as he’d have the latest tips. So that’s what I did.
Steve was busy with some customers when I called him, but promised to call back later, which he did… when I was at the pub (no I don’t live there) watching the rugby world cup. I’m not quite sure what happened in the 3 minutes of phone banter, but somewhere along the line the two of us decided he should come to the pub and we’d talk travel business there… When I told my friend Sydney Jenn, she almost fell off her bar stool laughing, and then decided this was the BEST thing she’d heard in ages.
Sitting watching the rugby (and the door for a total stranger, who we have never met so have no clue what he looks like), this guy walks in to the totally packed pub looking around for a sign/ familiar face. Jenn sees this, goes ‘that’s him!’, waves wildly and the guy smiles and picks his way through the pub to where we’re sitting. ‘Steve?’ we ask. ‘Yeah!’ he says, smiling.
We all introduce ourselves and then, after a slightly confusing conversation about his having come to meet his mates at the pub to support France even though he’s Scottish, he says he’s going to get a drink and we should catch up at half time. Fine… But then, as he walks away and I say to the girls ‘I swear he sounded Aussie on the phone. That’s weird’, I get a text from Steve saying ‘I’m by the bar’. Odd.
‘Erm, girls, I don’t think that Steve is actually Steve.’ They look at me, confused. I show them the text. They look more confused still. ‘Surely not, Alanna. That would be impossible. Maybe there’s a delay with the phones because it’s so busy in here?’ says Dayle. Now I’m just uncertain, so I just send another text back saying to meet at the bar at half time.
When the whistle blows, I head over to get some drinks for the gang. Steve is nearby but just looks at me strangely when I say hello again. At that moment, I get another text: ‘I’m outside smoking.’ I look up, look at ‘Steve’ who is clearly NOT outside smoking, and start to laugh. I knew something wasn’t right.
After I go outside to meet the REAL Steve (much friendlier, funnier and more Australian than the other Steve), he comes back in to join the gang, stopping to get a drink. I take that time to explain to the girls (who thought I’d been abducted) that Scottish Steve is not in fact Steve, he’s an imposter! Sydney Jenn almost falls off her stool laughing (again) – ‘OH MY GOD. FAKE STEVE! What are the chances?’
About as good as the chances of talking business at the pub, I’d say. We didn’t. But I did book our trip through our new mate in the end, because he deserved the commission for even just providing us with a proper giggle (and a lot of awesome travel advice, of course). Thanks Stevo!