Sunday, November 14, 2010

and i quote 5

"Hopefully the people getting out of the car are paleontologists!" - Helen, a friend I met along the way, to me, at Gantheaume Point in Broome, being optimistic about the profession of the people who'd just pulled up into the parking lot.  On a whim, we'd decided to look for dinosaur footprints that are hard and dangerous to find and we weren't really prepared.

"Sorry about the view!  I know it's not my best angle." - Gaylene to me.  We'd walked into a narrow hallway at her work and she was bent over in front of me, rummaging for keys in her bag to unlock the next door.

"F*#$, he could have a seizure right now!" - What I was thinking to myself as I was going up the scenic chairlift at The Nut in Tasmania (a volcanic formation) with Craig, an epileptic friend of a friend.  Craig doesn't have the same type of warning signs that some other epileptics do, which means he could have a seizure with zero notice.  He's a pretty big guy too and the safety bar was pretty unsubstantial...  Thankfully nothing happened, except for me reaching a new level of appreciation for Craig's ability to not live in fear.

"You're Canadian." - A glassy-eyed Aboriginal man to me at Town Beach in Broome at sunset, after I'd answered his question about what I was doing there.  Based on just a sentence or two, he was able to successfully guess where I'm from even though he's never left the Kimberley region.

"... pretty good visibility for crocs, ...." - Roger, my tour guide for Cape Leveque, listing out the highlights of the beach we'd just pulled up to for a swim.  I think he was kidding but made sure I had people around me as much as possible while I was in the water... just in case.

"And what, you couldn't manage to get a tan in that amount of time?" - A loud Australian tourist who described himself as fat, balding and middle-aged, to me after finding out that I'd been in the country for almost 5 months.  A tan is one of those funny things that sometimes only you know you have.  I didn't bother letting him in on my little secret...

"Save our planet, it's the only one with beer!" - A Wicked camper van in Broome, trying to spark a new wave of environmentalists.  (Wicked is the name of the company, not an adjective on my part.  They're known for having graffiti-covered vehicles.)

"You've got to look after your health, don't you?" - Lorna, one of my tourmates, to the group of us standing around eating frozen treats at the rest stop.  She'd just informed us that the bar she'd chosen was equivalent to drinking one glass of milk.  It was her second treat of the day (mine too) and she was trying to justify it...  I didn't need to, mine was made of frozen mango so it counted as fruit :)

"I'm not very good at counting." - One of the tour employees to her co-worker as we were on our way out to the jetty to catch a boat for a day trip snorkeling on Ningaloo Reef.  She was trying to figure out how many passengers were on the bus and was having some difficulties, as people were moving around.  It turned out the co-worker wasn't very good at counting either - he did the headcount after the first site, where we ended up accidentally leaving someone behind...  Luckily that individual was still there when we went back to pick her up (and hadn't even noticed that the boat had left!).

And now, for a few from my time in Adelaide that get a bit lost in translation...

"Sa oled kodus siin. [You're at home here.]" - Endel, a 91-year-old Estonian Australian, to me, after I arrived to stay with him for a few days.  Although we'd never met before, he was waiting to welcome me on his driveway with open arms.

"Ega sa seda hullemaks ei tee. [You're not going to make it any worse.]" - Endel to me as we were eating dessert.  He'd found a can of fruit salad to open up and wasn't too impressed with the quality, so he was encouraging me to put sugar on it in the hope that additional sweetness would make it taste better...

"Üks, kaks, kolm, neli... [One, two, three, four...]" - After just two days of being immersed in the language of my childhood, I found myself thinking in Estonian, while counting out the number of potatoes we needed at the grocery store.

"See oli kaua aega tagasi - umbes viisteist aastat... [It was a long time ago - about 15 years....]" - Me to Endel.  He'd just asked me if I could write in Estonian and I'd answered that the last time I did it regularly was when I was still in Estonian school, which I finished a number of years ago.  I trailed off as I realized who I was talking to, and that it really is all relative...

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