Puja's Adventures

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

countdown begins

You know that saying about leaving the party while you are still having fun, well its a great analagy for around here considering the early morning starts as a consequence of staying to long. I think I've pushed myself just that one too many drinks, and should have left by now. Its alright here, but i am just feeling restless. I dont like becoming close to someone, especially when this place is your whole world, and then them leaving and having no one and needing to reform friendships that you also know will enevitably disentegrate after a few weeks. But i will have fond memories of around here, I dont hate the place, like one of the little pixi girls who worked here and fondley referred to it as kaka-dont. I mean where else can you live where you sit out for dinner every evening with dingoes, corellas, geckos, wallabies, kites (hawk like birds), goannas, magpie geese and mangoes?
I handed in my 2 weeks notice at work (only because i like my manager and wouldnt want to stuff her up, otherwise i would leave straight away) which leads me up to Sunday 5th of November. Still no definate plan as to where i will head, but i did get an email from my friend HopeJoy (for those of you who dont know her shes about 5 feet of bubbles and a not so innocent Jehovas Witness mother of Eli), who said she will be in India in a couple of weeks time. So i am thinking of flying into India and then going from there up to Nepal, they're neighbours after all, so it can't be that far away.
I have had an interesting time here, and certainly saved money, though I worked long for it. because the quiet season is upon us, my hours have been cut back, so i have to work 7 days sometimes just to make a normal 40 hour week. which can be slow and tedious, I would have prefered to stay half the time and work double the hours, but thats not how it happened, so I live with it and cant complain. I broke the boredom last Saturday, I held a fundraising night for the Cancer council, it was our "staff night in", complete with karaoke, pin the tail on the croc and a barramundi pinada. we raised $280 which was a pretty cool turn out. I made the room a smoke free environment (which it normally isnt) and dedicated the night to two of my best friends parents, Kim and Chris, and my mums best friend, Liz, who died from cancer. All in all a success, a fun night, it was really cool.
There are two things that annoy me about this place, and both of them are hard to challenge. Firstly, the cafe I work in sells alcohol to basically anyone who stops in, and only take away to staff and guests of the hotel. But there is an unofficial rule that you can not sell alcohol to an aboriginal person. I was feeling so uncomfortable and upset at this, and At first i was lucky and didn't have any Aboriginal people asking for grog, but the day did come and i just couldn't say no. The guy who wanted a drink was an actor in 10 canoes as well! An internationaly acclaimed brilliant film, and you can't give him a drink...#%? I mean can you imagine me refusing to sell a black person a drink after all the Indigenous activism i've been involved with, after the reinactment of the Freedom Rides and the documentary, travelling NSW to promote reconcilation and uncover contemporary racist attitudes. And my song! "could go in a pub....it was 1965..." Well 41 years later and this attitude still exists.
After being here a while, I see how the problem is not so black and white, apparently some of the local elders have asked us not to sell alcohol to the local mobs, but i dont know if that holds truth or it is a justification from the resort of hiding racist acts under a facade of caring. I really dont think they care, local people come in with art work and we even had an Indigenous cheff who was a painter but they wont put the work on display. There is also attitudes among the staff i have noticed, for example one of the arrogant cheffs told me they should hire a little blackboy to unpack all the stock, all the crappy hard work.
i know alcohol can have a negative impact on comunities, and i see why they dont want to have drunken brawls because it can get violent. i even witnessed it first hand when a drunk Indigenous lady was really mad and accused me of sleeping with her Xboyfriend and started swearing and throwing rocks at my house at 1am. there are issues in communities and I dont know what the answers are, but perhaps a bit more responsibility from my work would be helpful. Equal opportunity as in some employment opportunities, vocal and continual liason with the elders and communities would be a decent start. And the alcohol should be served to anyone regardless of race, and if that person has had too much and are drunk, then you can refuse to serve them. ... still i dont know. its complicated.
The 2nd issue i have a problem with is their lack of recycling. isnt it enough that this national park has a uranium mine smack in the middle? what they do here is dig holes and pour oil and petrol over mounds of rubbish and let it burn and walk away (which can get out of control as has happened on sunday when the fire crept up to behind the laundry). we are in a total fire ban anyway, they shouldnt be burning. everything goes in there. matresses, hundreds of cardboard boxes, cans, old fans, car parts, aerosol cans, glass, all waste.. I know im on a bit of a rant right now, but i am really concerned about global warming. i have seen alot of films and docos about the immediate danger if we dont pull our act together, and everytime you switch off a light and think you are doing that tiny bit extra for conserving energy, something like this gets discovered and you cant begin to imagine all those fossil fuels polluting the air. Anyway the next problem is they ran out of space, and they actually discovered they were burning on the other side of the fence boundary which they could get in a lot of trouble over if they got found out, as that is official national park land.