Outing #41: Back to civilization

Guido Possum, posing the default alpha pose 🙂

THE WEEK IN TOWN

Coming up on Tuesday, I took the Federal Pass/Scenic Railway option as usual and after checking-in, left my pack in my stinking hot room before heading back to town for some much needed real coffee and something to eat.

After my second coffee, I no longer felt like eating so didn’t bother with that.

First stop was OPSM to ‘peruse their range’ of sunglasses. Naturally, they didn’t have the ones I wanted and I had a feeling it’d go that way before I walked in the store: you’d be stupid to even think you could just walk into any shop in Katoomba and have any choice at all.

The chick told me they could order the ones I wanted in. I asked her whether they’d be here the next day, and she told me they wouldn’t. “Nup, I want em now”, I told her and that was the end of any perusing in that store.

I would have to go to Penrith.

Telling her how much I loved my old pair of Ray-Bans, I whinged, bitched and complained about the poor customer service I felt I’d received the last time visiting this very store; months ago when I tried to get my old ones fixed.

I apologized for smelling bad, told her I’d been in the valley for a week so yeah, “a shave, that’s what I need”

Then I told her about the Possums, how they all have personalities I’ve generously bestowed upon them, and names for all the animals who’re regulars at the camp.

She asked me questions: possum this, possum that, said how great it was I was doing blah blah or whatever and after ten minutes of conversation completely irrelevant to sunglasses, she left me for a moment before returning with a voucher that would give me 30%-off any pair of full-priced sunglasses at the Sunglass Hut: in Penrith.

“Yeah, alright thanks”, I tell her, “though really, I’d rather pay full price somewhere else for something I want, than save 30% on something I wasn’t ever gunna buy anyway, but maybe, yeah thanks”

I folded the voucher and slipped it in my wallet; even though I’ll probably end-up going somewhere else, I pondered; 30% is a pretty good discount on $250+ sunnies.

Although I'm no gambler, this machine has subsidized my dinner and beers twice now.

Although I’m no gambler, this machine has subsidized my dinner and beers both times I’ve used it.

That night I went back to the pub and had a few beers, put $10 in the pokies and won $90-ish. I pulled out of the machine and left for the bistro where I had the first cooked meal since the chicken snitzel I’d bought there two weeks earlier.

Tonight’s dinner was crumbed lamb cutlets with mashed potato, gravy and veges plus a garlic bread.

Lamb cutlets with veges, mash and gravy plus a rubbish garlic bread.

Lamb cutlets with veges, mash and gravy plus a rubbish garlic bread.

Not only did I eat it all this week, I ordered a forth cutlet on its own. The garlic bread was rubbish, but figuring I might get hungry later and take it downstairs for the bar chicks to microwave I took it to my room, but tossed it in the bin the next day.

Wednesday morning I was feeling a bit less than 100% , not because I’d drank that much really, but because I failed to drink water and was dehydrated.

Nonetheless, having wet my face and hair I skulked down to the hole-in-the-wall coffee place next to the train station and returned to the hotel to drink it while I organized my tracks for the day.

Fast forward through the sluggish start, and I’m on a train to Penrith.

I hate having to go to Penrith: the smells of a hundred different perfumes trying to shove their way up your nose, sickening greasy fast food smells, car smells. There’s the heat: It’s always much hotter on Penrith because – like all the western suburbs – it sits in a plateau made of concrete and brick, with little wind to move the air.

You take a million people and stick em in any flat windless area surrounded by large, ugly buildings that further curtail any hope of a breeze making its way through and the place is going to suck.

Yeah it festers, that’s what Penrith does.

Once in Penrith Westfield’s OPSM I found I didn’t like the sunglasses I’d been looking at online, because the plastic lenses made them feel no better than the $30 Big-W ones I’d been wearing.

“Why would I pay $250 for a pair of sunglasses that feel like $30 ones?”, I asked the sales assistant, “all I’m getting is the Ray-Ban print on the frame, they don’t feel any better than the cheap ones.”

The sales assistant, of course, agreed with me, shrugged her shoulders and nodded a lot. At least she pretended to understand the frustration of finding an item that’s just right.

“Yeah, these are rubbish”, I concluded, then thanked her anyway before leaving the store.

Upstairs at the Sunglass Hut, I found a pair that had glass lenses, with polarization and – convinced I wouldn’t regret buying them the moment I paid – purchased them and left for the train station.

Thanks to the dozen or so schooners I’d had the night before I managed to remain pretty hung-over all day from the moment I’d gotten out of bed, right through the Penrith-sunglasses thing and all those hours on the train there and back.

I didn’t drink at all that night when I returned to the pub; simply ate whatever, drank some coffees then went to my room to read until bedtime.

Focus, focuuusss.

Thursday and Friday I honestly don’t remember what I did, though I know I shopped for food and stuff on and off, that’s right of course! Thursday I went down the laundromat, where I spent an hour waiting around for my clothes to wash and dry.

You walk into the laundromat and there are these women who always seem to be there folding clothes and I swear the way they look, you’d think they’d spent their lives in some slave-labour sweatshop; no facial expression at all, just long, drooping mouths and eyes that give the impression that their souls left them years ago.

Two weeks ago I had to wait about forty minutes just for a washing machine to become vacant, so this time I was thrilled to find empty machines upon my arrival; I could get out of here and away from those miserable, dead-eyed zombie-looking women that much sooner.

Anyway I’m bored writing about washing.

Come Friday, having packed my food and drunk a longneck in my room while listening to the noises downstairs (they had trivia and a disco that opened at 9pm, I was notified of this via the 2000W amplifier in the pub directly below my room) I figured I’d spend some time with Google and then read until bedtime.

You know, I’m bored writing about that too.

Let’s get on with the animal stuff.

THE ANIMAL STUFF

All the animals are fine; Bobbi and Guido, Alphonse, Fat Martha and her baby, Daisy, Weazel, Broeski and the Bushrats are all kicking and doing what they do.

A new, juvenile Lace Monitor has also been around the last few days. Although he’s only about one meter – mostly trail at that – he’s very small yet had the same light-colored ‘X’ on his forehead Broeski has.

here’s some pretty photos.

The little Lace Monitor: this was taken just today - as I was dumping leftover food outside - and although you'd have to zoom-in to see, the X is there.

The little Lace Monitor: this was taken just today – as I was dumping leftover food outside – and although you’d have to zoom-in to see, the X is there, on his forehead.

Here's Guido scoring some pats and flat-bread what, about a week ago now. I haven't seen him the past two nights, even though I've opened the tent at midnight he just hadn't bothered turning up.

Here’s Guido scoring some pats and flat-bread what, about a week ago now. I haven’t seen him the past two nights, even though I’ve opened the tent at midnight he just hasn’t bothered turning up.

Guido Possum, posing the default alpha pose :)

Guido Possum, posing the alpha pose 🙂

...

Here's a quick snap of Bobbi taken with my phone's camera, hence the bad quality. She's started bashing her last Joey - Alphonse - around, even though he's only been out of her pouch for two months or so.

Here’s a quick snap of Bobbi taken with my phone’s camera, hence the bad quality. She’s started bashing her last Joey – Alphonse – around, even though he’s only been out of her pouch for two months or so.

A Currawong, just minding is own perched outside, having had his share of crackers.

A Currawong, just minding it’s own business, having had his share of crackers.

THE SPRING CLEAN FINALLY HAPPENED

The new woman tells me she wants to come out and see my camp: a camp whose location – even general whereabouts – I’ve gone to great lengths to keep private ever since I’ve been out here.

I don’t feel like saying no to her, and inform her, “sure, as soon as I’ve got it visitor-ready, you can come out”.

I subsequently say that by about halfway through the next outing I should have it done: couple of weeks.

She tells me, “Next weekend works for me, how’s that?”

So three days later, the camp is clean.

Cleaning wind-blown and animal-chewed plastic and wrappers took the bulk of the time, though I got bored with that halfway through, decided to re-clear the paths I’d made, before becoming bored with that and deciding it wouldn’t be much more effort to lay a border.

Re-clearing aforementioned shit from the paths I cleared when I first got here. Man I bodied these tracks clear with my foot, sticks and pulled-and-tossed dozens of small pants to make it nice and trailesque

Re-clearing aforementioned shit from the paths I cleared when I first got here. Man I bulldozed these tracks clear with my foot, with sticks and pulled-and-tossed dozens of small plants to make it nice and trailesque

Bush rocks, being used in the bush! Imagine that!

Bush rocks, being used in the bush! Imagine that!

...

Even now there’s bits of rubbish around the greater area, I can walk just twenty meters and pickup several rat-chewed Leggos Pasta sauce wrappers, rat-chewed empty long-life cream boxes and the list goes on, but it’s effectively clean enough that a once-over tidy would be enough.

Anyway, this post could’ve been longer and more amusing, but I’ve been cleaning and getting all Burke’s Backyard on the place the last few days. I said I’d post it before the days end, and although 11:59pm is cutting it fine – it’s posted, and with only 9 revisions 😉

Thunder is beginning to roll overhead.

Outing #41: Back to civilization
4.4 Guidos (8 ratings)

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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