27 March 2006

Tropical, with extra palm trees

So, Cyclone Larry didn't blow us away. The whole area is fucked, but amazingly, no one died (as far as I know).
The only real way this will affect us personally, is through the collapse of the banana industry. Up here in the north, we have to get all our fresh food and refrigerated stuff like milk from down south. It comes up on trucks, and those trucks go back down laden with bananas. Without the bananas, freight will rise, and we'll be paying a heap more for food. With no bananas.

Oh well. Where I lived before, the bushfires fucked us up on a regular basis. Now I'm in cyclone country. Shit happens.

There's a few things I've noticed since coming up here.

1. NO ONE wears a hat. Except me. Why doesn't anyone wear a hat up here? Or a shirt with sleeves? Doesn't anyone but me get sunburned here? Doesn't anyone worry about cancer? One in two of us up here will get it.

2. On face value, the people here don't seem much different than the people down south. What's really different is nature. Yes, the tropics makes stuff tropical. The birds, the trees, the insects, the geckos, the fruit bats - all different. The insects are huge and mean.

3. We still have possums around our house. They're much bolder and sit on the veranda at night. The light doesn't worry them and I can go up close. They eat our pawpaw but they have to fight the fruit bats for it. I'll get a photo when I can be arsed.

4. The palm tree is everywhere. No, I'm not talking about the ones growing in the ground. It's the symbolism of the palm tree that's everywhere. "We're in the tropics - you know it because there's a palm tree on our letterhead/signpost/billboard/numberplate!" We look out for ones with the palm tree and the word tropical. If you can squeeze in the word paradise you win the trifecta.

I don't think they realise that palms are the least distinguishable plant up here. No one's bothered to tell them that palm trees grow everywhere! The strangler figs, the mangroves, the funny things with the air roots are all much more interesting. And we don't get them down south. But palms - shit, we were nearly on the snow line and we had palms.

Let's keep quiet. It makes them feel special and tropical to have palms. Don't tell them that we get palms down south in the temperate zone. I don't know what the shock would do to the town.

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