No worries!

We struggle down to breakfast, red-eyed and jetlagged.

Our accommodation styles itself a ‘boutique hotel.’ Its cafe is popular with the locals.  They stream in off the street for pastries, muffins, cappuccinos to go.

The seating is made from re-purposed church pews, a blatant attempt to add a bit of character and atmosphere. We sit at a table in the corner.  Beside us is a shelf of second-hand books for swapping.  The authors are familiar: Karin Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell, Tim Winton.  And Stephen King.  Always, on swap shelves like these, there’s a Stephen King novel looking worn out and a bit sorry for itself.   Rather like us after a sleepless overnight flight from Singapore, the highlight of which was the eerie glow of an outback bushfire spotted in the darkness from 35,000 feet.

A large photo-book of New Zealand catches Julie’s eye, by a guy called Craig Potton. He sounds vaguely familiar, but in my befuddled state I’m not quite sure why.  His photos are excellent however, and New Zealand looks like fun.  Maybe we should visit one day and drop in on Craig while we’re there – I suspect we’ve got stuff in common.

The waitress, depressingly young and eager, bounces over to take our orders.

“French toast and berry compote,” I say. Then, as an afterthought: “And can I have some crispy bacon on the side?”

“Sure,” she replies, “no worries.”

No worries! The national catchphrase, emblem of a carefree and can-do culture.  It’s official then, we’ve finally made it to Oz.

Author: Platypus Man

"Platypus" is a red herring: I'm English, although my blogging career began in my record of a 2016 road trip to Tasmania. Other blogs followed covering road trips in Newfoundland (2017), the Yellowstone area of the USA (2018) and New Zealand (2019). My current project is "Now I'm 64" , a weekly blog covering UK travel and wildlife, along with bits of history, social commentary and moans about the injustice of aging. I can guarantee a few laughs, and also the occasional rant. Some of it's even quite well written!

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