Friday, November 26, 2010

The Aussie Diary, Day 7

Today was designed to be a take-it-easy day on our itinerary. We only had two whole days (3 nights) in Cairns and since we rafted yesterday and we’re going to the reef tomorrow, I figured this would be a good day to do it. Not a whole lot happened today, we slept in and decided to wander the streets of Cairns just popping into shops that we saw that looked interesting. As we got started I would be distressed to learn that I had misplaced my over-priced, prescription Ray-Ban shades somewhere during our travels on the previous day. I tear up our room looking for them, but they aren’t there. (the story has a happy ending though, I called Qantas that night and, to my great surprise, they actually had them! I collected them on our flight out a couple of days later. ) But I put this bothersome notion out of my mind as to not ruin our day. One thing we notice is that Cairns is must more ethnically diverse than Sydney. It took me until the 3rd-4th day in SYD before I counted more than 5 black people. Keep in mind: this is a town of 6 million, and fellow darkies were very hard to spot. Cairns, not so much, they came in all shapes and sizes. Sydney is very much like the New York of this country. By comparison, Cairns is like Key West. Not very busy, and all the activity seems to revolve around the reef and other water activities. We stumble upon a shopping mall as we wandered the streets and one thing that strikes us as odd is that people are fond of pushing shopping karts around the mall with small children in them as if they were watermelons or something. Strange. We finish our day by the pool, just in time for it to get overcast. I pick up a local paper and start reading about the goings-on in Oz. There are celebrations going on in the Goal Coast called Schoolies. This is when the year 12 graduates (high school seniors) get to overrun a town and debauch themselves on every type of pleasure they feel that they’ve been deprived in their long 17 years. Little did I know how familiar I was to become with this event soon enough…

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