When we were done hunting kangaroos and baby turtles (another story, ask me about it and I might write a post), we went off to a black-people-place.
You would never guess it walking down the street, but Australia is a black-people-land. The reason why you only see white folks in the street is that 1- almost all the black folks died of disease (and the occasional murder) when the white folks showed up 200 years and a bit ago ; and 2- the remaining blackies are all rounded up in black-people-only-places. A sort of hybrid between unitedstater ghetto and old-time-german ghetto.
This one started off bad, as usual. Weirdo and Cranky had managed to get themselves stranded in a town they didn’t want to go to, and the sun was already set. They started hitchhiking at night in a random direction, with the idea that getting a ride to anywhere was better than staying in this godforsaken place. It was that time of the day when people mindswitch from daylight to night lights and everything takes a menacing attitude. People probably thought that of us, and sped away. The one that stopped was driving a corrugated old car and unsurprisingly looked like a serial killer. We all got in.
The guy was black. You don’t need a degree in anthropology to know that he’s hyper-likely to be an aboriginal. There goes Weirdo: “So, where are you from?”. The dude shot him one of those deadly looks. “I’m from here, and so was my father, and everyone before him for a hundred thousand years. White people like you showed up recently and killed them all”. Awkwaard.
The dude, called Nick, was on his way home, just a few kilometers down the road. He definitely wasn’t taking us to the next town, that was at an australian distance away. He was driving along the seafront when Weirdo and Cranky saw a good spot to pull the hammocks. They asked him to drop us, but he invited us to his home instead.
On the way, he mentioned a couple of times some crime that white people had done to blacks. “See that supermarket? It’s an ancestral hunting ground. They killed everyone, claimed it and they now consider it theirs.” I started wondering if we were going to sleep on his veranda or in his freezer.
His home was already occupied by three other black gentlemen. We learned a bit later that the houses around as well. The whole neighborhood was reserved for black folks. A pretty odd city planning, if you ask me.
We slept in the hammocks, under the veranda, which was a definite improvement over the beach given that it started pounding rain in the middle of the night.
Next morning, before we left, on our way to nowhere in particular, he told us he was going to drive up to Townsville next week, our final destination in the north, to catch a ferry to go to a family event on Palm Island, the biggest black-people-only-neighborhood in the country. Like, they got the whole island. And that we could drive up with him, and that we could probably even crash the party.
If you read the wikipedia article about the place, you’d think us crazy to even consider going to such a place. But we didn’t read it, and we soon found ourselves on the ferry to Palm Island, with Nick and like sixty other blackies.
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