The Beach resort and large Stomachs.

Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

We came back last Thursday from 5 days at Port Macquarie. It used to be a small town about 400 Km North of Sydney. Now it has grown into a large town with own airport and is overrun by hordes of sun and beach seeking tourists during the summer months, especially during the Christmas school holiday. We too went there as tourists and had booked a 3bedroom apartment. The building was called North-Point and bravely admitted to being a ‘resort’. The resort title was somewhat overstated. It did have a ping pong table and a pool with barbeque as a concession to recreational features. I mustn’t be too chagrined!

The apartments are being advertised as being air-conditioned and well equipped. The combination lounge-dining-kitchen did feature one of those wall mounted air conditioners. I seem to always be switching those types of air cons on and off continually. They blow cold air down on my knees at a rate that seems to vacillate at its own selfish will. Their remotes, as a bonus, are often incoherent with little things indicating mysterious options. The rest of the apartment had ceiling fans, a much preferred option. I like the reassurance of whirring fans. Perhaps seated on a cane chair one could easily drift into a Somerset Maugham at Raffles adventure. A kind of Razor’s Edge recall. In any case, with fans you can chose ‘low or high’, so simple.

Our five days at Port Macquarie, after reflection, made for a somewhat minor observation. Holiday makers, especially the beach and surf fans seemed to have grown in size! Our apartment was on the second floor of a ten story building. Each floor would have five or six entrances to other apartments. There was a continuous movement and shuffling in the corridors of people clad in skimpy bathers. Christmas holidays in Australia traditionally always included entire families on the beach and swimming. In earlier times, it was the rent of a sea-side cottage, the caravan or camping ground. Today, many seek Bali, Thailand, or, if staying home, go for the ‘resort’. Well, we chose the ‘resort with ping pong table’.

A much lamented complaint by overseas visitors in Australia is the lack of availability of Wi-Fi. Of that we were not disappointed. The resort did not have Wi Fi but did offer the name of a provider, who, for a cost, sold different packs of access to the Internet. We tried several restaurants but all offered no Wi Fi. Now, last time in Bali, the waitresses would politely ask if they could type in the Wi Fi code on your device, all part of the service. Same in Koi Samui- Thailand. North-point resort at Port Macquarie did not even gave an excuse. Of course, for us and our grandkids it was a bonus. Instead of tablet fiddling, it was swimming or table tennis, water slide and strawberry picking on a farm.

They, the tourists, came or entered the lifts all day till late in the evening. You could not leave the place without being confronted by swimmers. The lifts stated a maximum of fifteen people. Perhaps when this building was erected people were still of a moderate size. I felt like printing a sheet stating that 8 might be the maximum now. The bathers would have normal limbs but when the lifts opened up, one would be almost pushed aside by stomachs appearing first followed by the bather. There was no modesty, coyness, reticence or any kind of holding back. Why would they? Oh no, everyone was large now. It is normal. I am the freak in my long skinny RM Williams stock-yard jeans and heavy boots. Not them.

A good time was held by all. Daughter and grandchildren enjoyed themselves. I played table tennis and was surprised how my form had slipped. I used to always have a good way of putting enough spin on the ball for the opposing player to miss a return hit. All gone now. In fact, with my dodgy eyesight the ball slipped past the bat on a few occasions. How dreadful this matter of ageing. Still, I loved the salt and pepper calamari. The reason for large stomachs soon became clear. All day and at all hours people now eat. They eat while swimming, walking, driving, crossing the road, even talking. Entire streets, towns are taken up by roving eaters. You can almost even hear it.

Eating has become our raison d’être.

Me, no complain.

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39 Responses to “The Beach resort and large Stomachs.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    So, I’m sitting here snacking on some crackers and Tasmanian Blue Castello cheese. And carrot sticks for health!

    Like

  2. roughseasinthemed Says:

    People are indeed gross. I think I put on half a stone over the last ten years which constitutes my middle age spread, but as there was nothing there to start with I’m still slimmer than 99% of people my age and half my age.

    I do not like air conditioning. One of my less cherished memories of working in Sydney was dressing for a nice summers day and needing to take a rucksack of Siberia proof clothing for entering the freezing blasts that greeted you in office buildings. Evil. Much easier and more sensible to cope with the weather. We have no aircon in gib or spain, although gib has the luxury of a ceiling fan except the motor has gone. It still looks nice though when Partner remembers to dust the fans.

    We stayed at Raffles en routs back to the UK. It was pre reformation so very Maugham and colonial. A wonderful experience. Bet it’s horrible now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I am beginning to think that large stomachs might well turn to be the greatest challenge of all times. Yes, I don’t understand the aircon temperature has to be so low. It must cost a fortune. One almost feels like taking a doonah for a good kip at a Shopping Mall. Perhaps in a corner away from MacDonalds big Macs.
      Raffles in Singapore was a must visit together with buying Sally Awe’s tiger balm ointment.

      Like

  3. rod Says:

    I don’t like aircon either. On my way to the gum factory I traveled by aircon bus but got out into searing heat. Reversed on the way back after hours moving from the hot to the cold hall in the factory. It all added down to an unpleasant feverish feeling.

    Don’t care for fat much either. My wife tells me I’m ‘fattist’. OK, I can live with that.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your holiday.

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  4. Andrew Says:

    Aircon is great in theory but rarely in practice. We too suffer from malls and the like with arctic blasts of iced air in full summer. As for the food, it is a developed country disease to which tne emerging / developing countries aspire. My philosophy is everytning in moderation excepy ice cream and pizza.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the ability to finally afford a Big Mac is seen by many in the developing countries as having attained finally a lovely life-style on par with the rest of the developed world.
      Who are we to deny those thrills? But what about the health, the health? In Bali I noticed large numbers of obese children going to schools now. An amazing difference from some years ago.
      The good news is that Coca Cola is retrenching thousands. It seems the world is seeking healthier alternatives to sugary drinks.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gerard oosterman Says:
  6. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Sounds wonderful. I love vacations that force a disconnect from the Internet. Swimming and table tennis are exactly what we should be doing on holiday.🙂

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  7. Silver in the Barn Says:

    Living in the sultry American South, I appreciate AC. Having said that, I do not appreciate having to wear a parka into grocery stores and movie theaters because they have been refrigerated to the point of teeth-chattering.

    As to your other point, obesity is the new normal, at least here in the states. I saw a young woman, a rather huge one, emerge from her SUV as I was walking. When I walked past her car and looked in, there was a can of spray cheese and an open box of crackers festooning her console. One can never go too long without sustenance, I guess.

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  8. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I think your ‘resort’ sounds perfect! I do know what you mean about A/C though, it’s a really unpleasant way of keeping cool, not least the amount of electricity that it guzzles to keep it going. Don’t worry about your ping-pong prowess – if you keep going back to the wi-fi free ‘resort’ you’ll be back to being an expert in no time! Every cloud has a silver lining😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Lottie. You always make an old man very happy. We all need silver linings. How is winter far(t)ing? Are you warm this time around? I remember how you survived so bravely last winter. Strange how I always thought Spain to be sultry and warm, hot even, with flamenco swirling dancing and people running the bulls saying ole all the time.
      Regards to Irish and Colin Snout.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        It’s a different climate down on the coast Gerard. Up here in the cold hills we need to do a lot of farting to keep warm! That said today has been a wonderfully balmy 19c and though the nights dip to -6 and there’s frost most mornings, we’ve not had what I call the Gorillas in the mist weather yet- definitely time for me to write a post, I’m well behind with all the news!🙂

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  9. algernon1 Says:

    Gerard, Junior and I went to the cricket yesterday unusual as we normally don’t go the last day however circumstances changed this year. We always take our own due to the extortionate prices and given that all the food fits into the category of carbohydrate or fat.

    We observed the “food” around us and it didn’t disappoint. They had these pizza things that looked like base, lots of cheese and specks of toppings but I’m not sure. There were these coke boxes which appeared to have a tub of coke and lots of fat but nothing of nutrition. The best value looked to be this sausage thing on a long bun with union. Forget the sauce and it might be reasonable.

    We of course had our usually badly made coffees and junior bought chips at around 20c a chip. We do this every year. He was”Impressed” free sauce this year.

    In the stands no need for air conditioning even at its steamiest yesterday there was always a slight breeze to cool things down. As for tomorrow returning to work, well I must remember to pack the jumper

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks Algy. Here it has been raining buckets. Put all our indoor plants outside including the very old aspidistra dating to 1976.
      Twenty cents a chip? Our grandson now gets bribed into eating vegetables which he hates. He loves sugar and chicken nuggets. An uphill battle for his mum. yet, he is skinny.

      Like

      • algernon1 Says:

        He’s 22 and has always eaten his veggies and likes them. The chips are a bit of a Cricket test tradition. You pay $5.50 for this small container which might have 30 chips in it. Mind you he’s go do with a little exercise. A bean pole when he was younger and would walk every he now tends to drive. Its raining here too has been since we drove home after the game.

        We had one of the youngers friends stay over one night a few years back. Fed them, they had no idea what vegetables were as they never ate them at home. Mrs A and I were shocked.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Was itJamie Oliver who noticed some school childen not knowing what a potato looked like? They thought chips were potatoes.
      In some European countries super markets are urged to remove all sweet and salty snacks away from cash registers and replace them with fruit or other healthy alternatives. Can’t see that happening in Australia. There is ‘freedom of choice’ and so much vested interests even if it kills more than in wars.

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      • algernon1 Says:

        I’d be all for that, Mrs A and I refused to pay for them if anything happened to them at the checkout, pointing out it was the supermarkets problem for putting them there in the first place. We visited Woolies the other day at an noticed the banks of self served checkouts with on two or the assisted ones. I pointed out that they’d be happy if everything was fully automated so we they could maximise their profits.

        The are kids that don’t know that an egg comes from a chicken or that steak comes from a cow. the Jamie Oliver experience isn’t any different as we’ve come to learn.

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  10. Patti Kuche Says:

    Gosh holidays are hard work aren’t they!

    Like

  11. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    AC built many cities I imagine. Think what Las Vegas or Phoenix would be without AC. We put our own into good use for quite a spell this year with out unheralded heat waves. One day hot the next day not.

    As to all that unsavory material masquerading as food, I have no comment. And why in the world is it always the enormous people we always see munching on it. (I know, I just answered my own question). We sat inside a Starbucks looking out a window just beside us and watched a 300 pound monster of a woman gobble her sandwich as if someone would take it from her. I know what you’re saying “Be generous and respectful Kayti, there but for the grace —etc”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Silver in the Barn Says:

      Kayti, I know exactly what you mean. We had a woman as you describe in our office for a while. She ate literally All Day Long. I exaggerate not. It got so bad we were all losing our appetites from the incessant chomping. But then…..oh god, the memories…..she went on a cleanse…..

      Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I know what you mean by remaining respectful but why are large people always eating? Well, they need lots of food to maintain their size. It is not easy. But the genetics were sound seventy years ago. What has happened since is the sugar salt and fat in processed ( pre-digested) foods now dominating the food intake of many people.
      Here MacDonalds have infiltrated school sports. Hospitals have Coke machines in their emergency wards treating people suffering the effects of too much Coke.
      I don’t know. Yestrday a huge woman got off the bus with breasts so large I felt like calling the police. But she did have a bucket of some kind of food clutched in her hands.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard, if you lived in Texas you’d pray for AC. It’s a must for our vehicles too. I don’t turn on the “air” until it gets to the id 80’s.

    We have an obesity problem here in the states. It is becoming kind of rare to see a normal size woman. Some folks are so big that they use a motorized shopping cart in the grocery store. And they just keep piling in the junk food and mounds of red meat and pork. It seems these folks have no self control and no pride.

    I think over eating has become a world wide problem. People use food to kill themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Nice to hear again from you petspeopleandlife. No doubt you are aware of many dogs being rescued out of the Korean meat markets. They were to be used for restaurants!
      Airconditioning in my car is essentail during summer too. In our house we have fans and with double glazing the temperature generally stays comfortable.
      Walking is a good way to stay fit. If it is too hot then perhaps evening strolls are possible. I notice though that in Australian suburbs people don’t walk. They drive and drive, often to food places to re-stock on food which they consume after they have driven home again.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Get the same shock whenever I go anywhere now – everyone is getting bigger and, you are right, bigger is now apparently normal.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, many Governments must be getting worried about the cost of obesity. Will they have the courage to tackle the commercial giants that push bad food on the public?
      Our Prime Minster leaves it to the voters and strongly believes in’freedom of choice’. However, the might of advertising overpowers the ‘free choice’ option and is no equal match for the consumer.
      Sooner or later something has to happen.

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  14. bkpyett Says:

    Gerard, you did make me smile. My beloved, thought he could play cricket as he had 40 odd years ago and did his knee playing with the kids at Christmas. It’s hard to believe that one’s body can’t keep up as it used to do. Enjoyable post!

    Like

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