Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 16...in which we see beauty



We planned to go out that day; go see Minnamurra Rainforest and the Kiama Blowhole.

I did laundry first. I wanted to be a good eco-girl and hang the clothes up to dry. Okay, and I was also cheap and wanted to save money. The problem was the TV had said there was more rain in the forecast. Rain. Rain. When the hell would it stop raining? At first we felt guilty complaining about the rain. There were fires in Victoria! They needed the rain. Yeah, but we soon figured out the Kiama area really did not. It was lush and green which made me think there's no drought there. The best solution in our situation was to not wish the rain to stop, but wish for the rain to simply MOVE.

With some optimism I hung up our clothes. Although it's time-consuming, I love doing it. There's something so....I don't know? Wholesome? Yeah, I feel all wholesome when I hang up the laundry.

But then it started raining so I had to take all the clothes down and put it in the dryer. I had talked to Tracey about what you do when it rains. She said you can just keep the clothes out and it will dry later. We actually do this with our beach towels at home. We hang them on the fence after we swim. It rains and we forget to take the towels in. But then the sun dries them. I didn't want to do that here though because we were very rarely seeing any sun. It was either rain and clouds or just clouds. I had little faith that our soaked clothes would dry.

When the laundry was finished, we drove off to the rainforest. I was kind of excited. I don't think we've ever been to a rainforest before...at least not that I can remember.

I didn't end up really enjoying it.

This is the stupid reason why. Although I knew we were in Australia and not South America. And I know South American animals don't live in Australia. I think a little part of me expected them to be there. When I think rainforest, I think of sloths hanging upside down and monkeys climbing all around. I think of little green frogs, giant snakes, and humongous spiders.

None of those were there. And without those creatures, a rainforest just isn't that thrilling. It was pretty much wet trees and rocks. Also, it seemed very artificial to me. Why? Because the sounds we heard sounded just like those soothing CD's you can buy. You know....sounds of the rainforest. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know this time it was REAL and I should have been thrilled about that. But I think I've been jaded by those damn CD's.



On top of all that, what should have been a beautiful and tranquil experience was not. Why? Jack wouldn't stop talking. He's a talkative child and rainforests do not happen to make him quiet. He wouldn't stop asking questions. There's a mythology about children....usually perpetuated by those who don't have frequent contact with kids. It goes along with the myth that all children are always completely honest.

This other myth is that each question a child asks should be treasured and answered patiently and lovingly.

Jack asks the same damn question over and over. And they're not complicated questions that one would need to hear multiple times in order to understand.

I have no idea why he does this. It might be a nervous habit. He might like to hear himself talk. He might like hearing the answer multiple times.

Whatever! I'm sure he has very good reason for doing it. And I have good reason to want to put a stop to it. It's slowly driving me insane. So, I have to say eventually I made a rule forbidding such practices. Before you label me as a cruel parent, let me add there was no awful punishment if he slipped. And he did forget several times. I simply reminded him of the rule.

So, the rainforest wasn't so amazing; at least not for me.

I did like the little gift shop. I bought some ground wattleseed from Outback Pride.

I liked the blowhole much better. It was incredible.



I expected it to be amusing--water spurting out of the ground. I didn't expect it to be so beautiful. The whole area around the blowhole is astonishing. I felt overwhelmed.

We walked around and enjoyed the beauty.





Near the blowhole there was an ocean bath. Oh! I wish I could explain how beautiful it was. It reminded me of a dream. There was something almost eerie about it. I think the cold rainy weather added to the whole scene.



The ocean around there is wild and dangerous. Despite that, we actually saw people surfing in the water! The pool itself seemed fairly tame. It looked very inviting. Unfortunately, we didn't have swimming suits with us. We did go near the pool though, hoping a wave would come over and splash us a bit. Our hopes weren't answered fast enough. Tim jokingly said something like Is this the best you got?
Then this huge wave came and surprised everyone. I must have missed the severity of the thing because I made snide comments about this old man who frightfully exited the pool. When he was out of hearing range, I said something like Didn't he realize he was swimming in the ocean? What does he expect?
Tim then told me that the poor man had almost been slammed into the wall. Yikes! I guess it was a more violent-than-usual wave.

We did think of returning. At least, I did. We never got around to it though. We also never fulfilled our plan to go canoing. I'll blame the rainy weather. But it also could have been laziness.

After hanging out near the ocean bath, we went to Scoops, an ice cream place. They had delicious ice-cream. Tim and Jack shared a sundae. I had a cone with Rum Raisin. The man who worked there was very friendly. He seemed excited to meet Americans. I think he had planned to be a counselor in American summer camps, but that was postponed because he was in a band and they had recently had some kind of success. I forgot exactly what he said.

We went to an op shop. I think this is the place where I bought Jack some green shorts. Yeah. I'm sure that's important for you all to know.

We went to a used bookstore. I was close to finishing Monica McInerney's The Faraday Girls. I figured I'd need something new to read. I couldn't find anything that appealed to me. I'd pick a book up, think of buying it, and then put it down again. Looking back, I think I was simply attached to The Faraday Girls. I wanted my next book to be exactly like that. I wasn't ready to move on to something new and different.

I loved The Faraday Girls. I think it's one of those perfect beach reads. And aspects of it reminded me SO much of my own family. I think it was somewhat therapeutic for me to read it.

We left Kiama and went back to Seven Mile Beach.

At some point (before or after we left for Kiama) we had finally had some meaningful interactions with our neighbors. We found out they were from Cronulla.  The parents were on their honeymoon. Jack became friends with the two kids. We all hung out together and talked near the big jumpy bouncy thing. Mr. Near Palm Beach was there too with his toddler.

Tim had a rather intense conversation with Mrs. Cronulla about Aussie health care in comparison to American healthcare. She had just seen Michael Moore's Sicko and was quite shocked about what we Americans have to endure.

Mr. Palm Beach pulled me aside and told me he wasn't a fan of Australia's public health care. It was better to have private insurance.

Yeah. I'm sure it is....if you're lucky enough to be able to afford it.

Anyway......

The good thing is I started to feel more social. I liked the community now that it was less crowded. There was a good feeling to it.

Later, Jack and I were in our cabin and we saw a group of people walking by. One woman held a cockatiel on her shoulder. I was so excited. I thought a wild bird had befriended her. I told Jack and we rushed out to see.

The people were all very nice to us, although I was a little disappointed to learn that the bird was a pet. I think also she said the bird's wings had been clipped. That made me feel sad. There's something very appealing about having a pet parrot. There's a small part of me that would love to have one. But I think it's so much better when they're free. How sad to be a bird that can no longer fly high up into the trees.