Posts Tagged ‘coca cola’

First day after Bali.

June 24, 2015


It shows some courage to begin writing again so soon after Bali. One does not really know how one is affected by surroundings and mood of a country, till one leaves. It is even stronger on the return. While Bali’s airport seems just as busy as Sydney’s if not busier, the smiles were still free. I don’t know if smiles are free in Sydney too. We just did not see them. Perhaps they were in hiding, deep inside the multi pocketed ‘Border Control& Protection’ uniforms.  There were hundreds of them carrying serious frowns and some had guns!

At Sydney’s airport rail station we asked for 2 tickets to Bowral. The man did not look up from his computer; kids or adults, he asked crankely?’   ‘Have a look,’ Helvi smiled back. ‘That’s 42 dollars then’, the man said grimly. ‘We are pensioners, Helvi said!’ ‘That’s 28 dollars,’ the station man said, and ‘show me your pension card’. Fair enough, but does it have to be so unfriendly and with so much officialdom, such sticking to facts and rules? Many foreign people arrive in Australia as tourists. What do they make of that sort of treatment? He could have smiled. He could have advised us the nr of platform and the time of departure. Helvi always smiles. No, we had to ask for each item separately.

And now the train; It was unheated and for us it was a killer of a downer. I mean at 7am Sydney’s winter is serious and at 9c climbing steadily towards a balmy 12c at 10am, it wasn’t tropical. We were prepared but not to the arctic blasts coming through the doors every time they opened. Again, there were some people with huge suitcases. They might well have been tourists. You wonder what they will report back? We had to change trains at Campbelltown. Again, difficult to find out which platform. A loudspeaker kept saying, over and over, that the train at platform 4 was not to be boarded because it had terminated. That was fine, except there was no train to board (or not as the advice was bleating) at platform 4.

Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

Another message warned people that all platforms were smoke free. All the platforms were in open air and outside. A strong wind was merrily blowing around. Surely, someone wanting a smoke could have been given that freedom. There were no shortages of Coca Cola machines and chocolate bars, crunchy violent bars and other snacks to tempt the terminal obese with. I would rather see a smoking person than hear a slurping Coke being downed.  Anyway,  both sugar and smoking is bad, so perhaps I am just cranky or being difficult again. The loudspeakers at Campbelltown rail station certainly work and the next dire warning came soon after the advice of not boarding a non-existent train.

Listen carefully to this one now! ‘Will all train passenger, please disperse along the entire platform, please (second time). None of the 4 platforms had more than 12 passengers. I can only surmise the messages were on an endless tape that would just drone on and on, giving the warnings over and over again. The last message now. Again, a beauty for making tourists welcome and safe; ‘All platforms will be regularly patrolled by our police to make sure no criminality will be committed on our platforms or trains.’ Indeed, we noticed police and dogs strolling around the platforms. It made us pass the time as there was 55 minutes waiting for the next train (another unheated one) on platform 4 to take us to our final destination. The loudspeaker was still warning us endlessly not to board the train at platform 4 as it had terminated!

Ah, we knew we were back. All this made us feel home!

The plight of a serial Seducer

March 17, 2011

The Plight of a serial SeducerPosted on March 15, 2011 by gerard oosterman

The plight of a serial Seducer

Some years ago at the time of cheap Fish & Chips and Barossa Pearl and Tooth beer, we knew a man called Shane. He was from Irish background with a penchant for loud singing and whistling… Apart from that there was nothing particularly remarkable about him. There was one aspect of him though that has kept us fascinated and spellbound for many years. He was an amazing character when it came to his adventures with the opposite sex.

He was as ugly as sin and as sinful as dirt. The one thing that outshone him above all was his art of seduction. He was ugly in as far as his facial features and body shape were concerned. Rake skinny, and with lean sharp pock marked facial features with a purple sheen, immediately giving a hint to over-indulgence of the Barossa Pearl!  He did walk with a swagger though and was blessed with a cheerful optimistic nature. That at least was the opinion of many of us totally perplexed by this almost inexhaustible line up of women that he used to date. They were mainly of short but not for long duration. Inevitably he would be going with yet another Susanne, Miriam, Virginia and too many to mention here…

It was at the time when people used to hold parties. Some of those parties had to have a theme. I don’t know the history of theme parties. One of the ‘themes’, doing the rounds at one stage was’ prostitute and priests’ and we were duly invited to travel to one of those held by someone living in Manly. There was a vague connection to Coca Cola, but pardon my lapse of memory, I haven’t the faintest idea of how that drink came connected to the ‘theme’. We were all supposed to dress as either priest or whore. I wasn’t at all surprised Shane was deftly attired in a black habit tied with a white knotted rope. His demeanor would be sublimely modest and yet utterly prurient.

The legendary exploits of Shane would now be open to an excellent opportunity to study. One thing with him, he would rarely have a relationship long and steady enough to get the opportunity to be invited with a partner. He used to be married and have children but, alas, it did not last and not surprisingly. He wasn’t a man given to talk too much about his past, and was more inclined to look to the future and next exploit. Definitely, not marriage material but that did not appear obvious, at least not straight-a-way, least of all to the many women perhaps secretly harboring dressed all in white and a ringed finger, a husband keen on Bunning’s and doing wonders with a laundry!

The question in my mind was always. What is it that so many women find so fascinating with the Shane’s of this world? This priest and prostitute party would offer me a once in a lifetime opportunity in observing this Shane phenomenon at close range.  What was the magic? What power did he have? I decided to keep at close range and take mental notes, observe and study this’ artist’ at work.  I am not getting into the argument of the good or bad of this behavior, nor admit to admiration or announcing rebukes. There are many experts on the Pig’s Arms forum much more qualified to do that.

 While I could see the attraction of good looking successful men with broad shoulders, scrubbing board, ribbed torsos, tanned, sporty and tall, hefty chins or determined noses, Shane did not fall in this category.  While we often used to ponder about him, there were some snippets that women used to offer for his legendary ‘Don Juan’ status. He ‘makes me feel special’ was one that kept re-occurring. One friend told us that at one party he took her wine glass away in exchange for a proper champagne glass, he told, quote” you deserve a champagne glass”, what are you drinking champagne out of a wine glass for?  She was overwhelmed.

At one stage Shane went to a female psychologist to get counseling for this seemingly endless pursuit of girlfriends not leading to anything more permanent. He at least felt there might be a problem. But, you have guessed right. He ended up taking her out as well and she was married!

 Some weeks later, there was a sobbing woman, desperate for Shane, ringing on our phone. Shane had made a plan and promise to take the psychologist and her children on a camping holiday after Christmas. We softened the blow by letting it gently be known that Shane wasn’t always the most reliable in keeping ‘dates.’  He never saw her again. She, however still rang a few times!

Apart from his quirky manner of making some women feel ‘special’ he also was a generous soul. He never had money but managed to convey generosity, sometimes at the expense of the host but mainly on his credit card, in any case, not a miser. Flowers would be delivered, boxed chocolates and perfume gifted, all discretely and with flair. Shane knew the way to hearts; mostly he was successful in winning over his conquests but only for a short time.

At the priest and prostitute party and queuing for my sausage, bread-roll and a wine, I tried finding, ever so discretely, the seducer. It took some time. Had he left? It was when I went to the back verandah that I noticed him crouched over a woman, locked in an embrace worthy of a theme out of a Harold Robbins novel. It was all over in just twenty minutes after arrival. He had already made his conquest. I had missed the vital moment and still clueless of how and why he seemed to have had this magic attraction over so many women. He politely refused my offer of a drive back to Sydney. No thanks, “I’ll be alright”.

 The trick with champagne glass was about as far as it went for details on his method of seduction. Some women mentioned something about his light heartedness. Not being serious. His swaggering walk was questioned and analyzed. The main attraction seemed to be his ways of making women feel ‘special’. We still try and figure it out. It has now faded into a history.  

He worked as a wool broker and dabbled in share trading. He was last seen in Goulburn and rumours have it he now lives in Adelaide. In between he had married, loved but left again, a second marriage on the slate. The psychologist lady has stopped ringing.

 It was a long time ago!

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