So I guess this must be autumn

2 Sep

‘You should have been here in August,’ people say. It was hotter then. More humid (one hundred percent humidity). I stand in the school corridor recovering from the walk, the sweat so thick it is a second skin.

When we first moved to Port Pirie my Mum would say, ‘There’s only two degrees of hot…there’s hot and bloody hot’. She was wrong. There is this.

Later, at the intersection, one of the mums I recognise but do not know calls from her 4-wheel drive window, ‘Hop in.’

‘It’s okay,’ I call back, ‘We’re nearly home. But thank you…thanks so much, that’s really kind.’

She furrows her brow as she winds the window up.

We are nearly home. If it is thirty degrees. Even if it is thirty five. But it is forty degrees. Humid. And two o’clock in the afternoon. I am carrying all of our bags. Those ten minutes are long.

‘It’s all right,’ I tell the boys, ‘we’ll have the car tomorrow, or maybe the day after that at the latest and then we’ll drive until the weather cools down again.’

Like everything here, the car is taped in red. The buyer and the seller must be present at the buyer’s bank, the seller’s bank, there is a valuation not more than 5 days old, a trip to a government department, forms, more forms, photocopies of forms. But it all goes smoothly and we take possession of the car. No, not ‘we’, the mister.

Our car is a humble one. It is not gold-plated. It is not a Lexus or a VW Golf. It will spend its nights parked next to a Hummer. Again, not gold-plated.

I have always preferred to walk or bus or tram. Here, that I am trapped without a car makes me feel twice as trapped. It is an odd kind of claustrophobia.

But my google reader brings hope. Look, it’s spring at Cristy’s and at Pav’s While you spring, we will cool down, and in a month or so, we will be out of the car again. And in the meantime, I can enjoy an Australian spring, without getting hayfever.

From 13th street
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7 Responses to “So I guess this must be autumn”

  1. Cristy September 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    What do you mean it’s not gold plated? Why did you buy it then?

    All the best with that heat. I hate the heat – real heat that is.

  2. peppermintpatcher September 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    silver-plated? diamond encrusted? At least a glossy paint?

  3. Melody September 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    I saw a car at Marina Mall the other day – a brand spanker (of course) silver-plated Range Rover. It was the shiniest thing I have ever seen. Lyndon said it was probably white gold. He was probably right.

    Ourselves? We are still hiring our bloody car. With all construction workers on shaky ground it has been too a bigger risk to buy one. If we had word that we were definitely here for X number of years we’d purchase… In the meanwhile, we wait.

  4. planetnomad September 3, 2009 at 3:12 am #

    Ugh. You have the worst of my two African countries (that is, the 2 I’ve lived in so far…)–the heat of Mauritania and the red tape of Morocco. I’ll go for Morocco any day though–today in Rabat was cool and we won’t even need a fan tonight! 🙂

  5. faithh September 3, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    I’m a walker. So much so I never got around to getting my licence! But I feel for you, trapped by the weather like that. Can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to walk everywhere. here it may sometimes get to 47 but at least its always dry heat! Hope it cools for you soon.

  6. Kath Lockett September 4, 2009 at 2:27 am #

    Sounds like Darwin’s dry heat. In the two years we lived there I could barely muster up the will to walk to our letterbox and back, but the second year saw me playing tennis!

    Springtime here also means you’ll luckily avoid the sudden and utterly trivial interest in horseys and wearing stupidly big hats to racing carnivals….

  7. Isabelle September 5, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    Oh, you’ve gone! I’ve been so busy at work (sigh) that I kept forgetting to check up on you.

    It was lovely to meet you. I hope we keep in touch. And I hope the second novel goes well.

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