The most violent place on Earth
You go through custom before you embark! They felt for bottles in Weirdo’s backpack. The whole island is a no-hard-liquor zone. They also repeatedly tried to direct us to a whiter boat, thinking we had gotten the wrong ticket or something.
On the boat, Nick hooked us up with Deli, short for a much longer telenovelaesque name. an energic woman who turned out to be very hospitable as well.
Landing there, we went to Deli’s house to drop the backpacks. There was a massive huge TV in the living room. It covered an entire wall almost. I mention that because that was the case everywhere we went. The houses seem to be built around humongous televisions that don’t seem to come with an “off” button.
And there we were, in allegedly-superviolent Black-People-island, with the only way out being the ferry that comes only once a day and that had just left.
In addition to the television that never shut up, there were plenty of people coming in and out of the house. It seems to be a constant with aboriginal people: mi casa es tu casa. The people that came seemed to always be relatives, but that’s another constant we noticed: everybody is related to everybody. Deli’s “husband”, Mick, was probably the father of her last kid, but not of the two others, which might have had different fathers. He had his own progenital background that we probably unknowingly met. In aboriginal-town, families reshuffle seamlessly. People have plenty of places to go home to.
Deli wanted to show us around. She didn’t have a car, though, and there was no public transportation at all. At all! Muricaaa! She didn’t think hitchhiking would work, but she has a sister, or cousin that has a car (and a huge always-on TV). We went there but the car was gone, taken by some other sister or cousin. The mother though, she had a car (in addition to a TV that wouldn’t shut up) and we could use it provided we filled the tank. That’s how it goes in Aboriginaland. Mi coche es tu coche tambien.
She took us to some wicked-cool places. Mostly wicked-cool because they were so totathoroughly outside of the realm of touristic attraction. No infrastructure at all. Yet beautiful things. You have to go to a sorry-we-took-your-country-here’s-an-island-you-can-have-it place to find such thing within hitchhiker’s reach.
A circular lake surrounded by cliffs you can jump from with nobody swimming in it, no parking spot, no marked trail… We had to jump a fence to get to it!
A lagoon that extended to the next island in a beautiful bay where the water was calm and warm. We almost killed the car to get there, the road had more holes than road.
A beach that screamed for a resort to be built on it, except there were no resort, just a couple of pretty well-built shacks the people there call “camps” and that they use as second house, when they want a break from the first one. Anyone’s welcome to build and maintain one. Permit? What’s that? Awesome!
Other than that, we just hung out with them. In front of the TV mostly. Loose conversation. Saying hi to the people who showed up and seemed to not be too surprised to find a bunch of white people on the couch. Even though we know that never ever happens because the ferry people were so sure we got the wrong boat, because the people there kept questioning us about our business on the island, not quite comprehending why we’d come without one, because the school kids we sympathized with kept asking even after we had answered. It was clearly the first time they saw a whitey walking about the street with nowhere to go in particular. Let alone three. Let alone one that’s not even a year old. But the people didn’t point at us and laugh or even noticeably notice us. The puzzlement only came when we had the chance to talk. If that chance didn’t come, they’d just walk past us without as much as a sideways glance.