We drove almost an hour just to keep driving around in circles looking for a parking spot. Cars in all shapes and sizes squeezed themselves into parallel parking even on the unpaved side roads, taking whatever space they could get.
All to celebrate the 39-degree weather at Mount Martha beach.
And also, Australia Day. But mainly for the weather, I reckon. Especially after the wishy washy summer we’ve been getting lately. I’m in fluffy warm dressing gown as we speak.
“My friend stays away from this place ’cause she says it’s full of ‘wogs,'” my sister said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Europeans. White people.” Jeff answered from the back.
Hm. There are still a lot of slangs around here that I’m not familiar with. Some which may be politically incorrect to label on people — like wogs, apparently — so those that I know about, I avoid using just to be safe even though I can’t comprehend the weight of their slur because I obviously didn’t grow up here.
So anyway, we drove on and away from Mount Martha because the frustration of finding parking alone was taking away the fun out of the excitement of going to the beach to relax.
That’s how we ended up in Dromana instead, where the universe granted us a prime spot courtesy of the couple who just drove out of theirs. It was perfect because right across from it was Rohani, this metaphysical store that smelled of incense strong enough to scare your demons away. My sister has had been talking about buying sage online. Surprise, surprise. The universe led her right to the doorstep.
I didn’t get anything for myself, though, apart from how tempted I was to buy one of those long psychedelic dresses as sartorial homage to the universe and to all Bohemians past, present, and future. I even skipped the loose crystals because to be honest, I don’t really know what each one is for. I haven’t skipped my way down that path yet.
I know labradorite is a stone for spirituality and transformation. That’s the one I have. A cobochon pendant set on silver that I got off this lovely lady on Gumtree. According to Ancient Inuit legend, trapped inside the rock is the frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis a warrior once set free with his spear, sending its majestic lights into the Canadian sky.
I’m a sucker for cool stories.
The fish and chips shop probably made a killing on this day. So did the restaurants and cafes throughout the strip overflowing with customers. (What COVID?) Too bad the calamari was a disappointment and there was more flour than fish on our barramundi but, whatever.
Life was good and I’m happy to be in Australia.
Until it got waaay too hot at the beach that we decided to get out of there after… maybe an hour? Seriously, it was boiling! Raven and I were squeezed inside our tiny tent, our sunnies slipping down our noses every other second with the beads of sweat welling like rabid dogs unleashed.
I patted myself on the back for my incredible foresight to not contour my nose earlier that day.
While Raven played with her toys and I read my book and in between taking selfies, Jeff sat in the car for 45 minutes looking for another parking spot after the 2-hour limit was up.
By the time he caught up with us at the shore, carrying with him our orders of iced coffee and milkshakes, we were like, “Let’s go?”
But not after he had to pack up the tent.
*Raven at 4 years old