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The Cairns Diaries

 
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 07:59 am
Some news and some trivia

News:
Cairns has recorded it 226th victim of the current Dengue epidemic.

Trivia:
Cairns workplaces have a tradition - Fridays are 'Tropical Fridays' and you come to work in an Hawaiian shirt (or at least something flowery).

And when it rains everyone goes barefoot so they don't ruin their shoes, which is vaguely terrifying given the incidences of Melidiosis
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 07:59 am
You may not be aware but Cairns has been cut off from the rest of the country, by road, for about two weeks.

The big two supermarkets, who rarely by local produce have very empty market shelves - Woolies (at Redlynch) is completely bare although Coles at Mt Sheridan still had a bit. I'm not sure if Rusty's (the open air markets) are still doing OK - they usually feature a fair bit of tablelands stuff, but the Hmong families seem to rely on imports from the south.

Our local butcher says all his stuff is local, except the lamb (Victorian). Lenards (chicken for the dogs) is supplied by Steggles at Mareeba, so no wuckers there. The cats eat kangaroo mince and that has run out in the supermarkets. I will have to catch one with my barehands (that's a joke merkins) probably get the butcher to mince some topside.

One of my coworkers has been trapped in Mackay for a week. The road is flooded between Mackay and Townsville and at Ingham between Townsville and Cairns. Supply boats were tried but the cyclone turned them back. Planes are till going in and out but we aren't in Berlin airlift mode yet.

I had a bit of schaudenfroide (sp) at Redlynch woollies - the women in front of me couldn't get her brand of ciggies! Much relaying of what was still available. If the rain keeps up I can see smokers causing riots and hijacking cigarette machines.

Weirdly I fly to Tassie tomorrow and Mrs Hinge flies to Weipa (if cairns is low on fresh stuff Weipa must be eating out of cans (not Cairns)).


djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:04 am
@hingehead,
Shocked

my mom's been to australia and loved it, i've seen lots of documentaries and films/tv shows about australia and it seems like a beautiful place

and then

i read these threads and i think it must be some kind of hell on earth, sort of living day to day in the old testament, floods, fires, hordes of locusts (rabbits?)

hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:14 am
@djjd62,
Hi DJ

Australians are very sardonic. We accept the extremes of our land and bear the hardships with good humour. Our country is beautiful, but can be harsh, but what we really value is our society, our humour, our solidarity, our commonality of humanity. So yes, things in some spots are bad right now, but in a lot of other spots people are drinking beers or ports, spinning **** and talking philosophy, or football. Tragedy focuses us on what's good about life in spite of it's butterfly-like nature.

An old guy was interview post-cyclone about how he felt about living at Mission Beach: "I'd rather drown than be burnt to death." Glass half full or what?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:15 am
@hingehead,
From Monday's Cairn Post (page 7)


http://i40.tinypic.com/15qtgnc.jpg
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:21 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That's pretty funny Walter
Brinsmead and Kamerunga are both in Cairns (I drive through them on the way to work).

In spite of those numbers there is little local flooding, and none of it long term. All the problems are a few hundred kms south.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:24 am
@hingehead,
Don't know: there are a couple of photos in the paper (e.g. from the Recreation Center, some highway, a fish & chips shop, and from Tully ... Looks rather WET!
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:28 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Yeah, but the water recedes in Cairns really quickly. Ingham on the other hand has been at least knee deep for two weeks. Eeyew!

Our palm trees are mouldy.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 02:32 am
@hingehead,
How much longer is this likely to go on, hinge? Any idea at this stage?

And what items would you like me to include in the emergency rations package I'm about to send you? Go wild with your wish list! Wink
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 03:31 am
@hingehead,
Thinking of ya HH - hope everything settles soon and some kinda normal returns. Take care of your and yours hun. x
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 05:57 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Tully! Always claiming to be the wettest town in Australia (and annoying Babinda in the process) . Home of the big gumboot:
http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/7885/goldengumbootty3.png

0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 06:07 am
@Izzie,
Iz and Olgs. Things aint desparate at all. Kind of miss fresh veggies but we aren't starving. In the cab to the airport I heard some local dude saying some barges were about to get through and the supermarkets would be stocked up again tomorrow.

What struck me as weird was that Woollies had poster up about supporting Australian Farmers (something happening on Feb 20?) but they did not have one skerrick of fruit veg or butchery on the shelves - so clearly they are not supporting local farmers. Apparently produce is rotting in the tablelands because it can't be shipped to the central warehouses in Brisbane from which it is then despatched to Cairns. Rolling Eyes

What the heck is going on with our food distribution systems? A couple of weeks ago Coles had lemons from America. How the heck can it make economic sense to import lemons from America? I've got a tree of them ripening in my backyard so it has nothing to with season. The sooner we factor in carbon costs to our food distribution the better.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 06:10 am
@msolga,
Well they've predicted rain and thunderstorms everyday until next monday...
0 Replies
 
tenderfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 05:06 pm
I drove up to Cairns from Brisbane in 1945, I was a 15 year old then. My dad and mum brought us out from England just after the end of world war 2.. took 6 weeks on board a old cargo passenger steam ship to get to Sydney My old man bought a 1935 ( Doge ? ) had wooden spokes, he then drove up to Brisbane... he then drove to Gympie and handed over the Doge to me from then on. We found out that the main bitumen road ended at Gympie from then on the bitumen was only just before and leaving towns and the only bridges were over rivers to deep to drive over -- took us 4 weeks to get Cairns. Cairns was terrible, there was from memory only two timber pubs and the bedrooms opened out on to a veranda with fly wire forming the street wall, was stinking hot and there were no beaches only mangrove swamp and millions of mosquitoes we only stayed one night and moved out pronto back to Brisbane then on to Melbourne.
Eventually moved up to the Gold Coast in 1954 drove up to Cairns ( plenty of bridges then) and then again in 1965, was still a country town but soooo much nicer,My wife and I and 3 boys stayed for a week and enjoyed it throughly, don't know if I would like to see it now though .




hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 01:16 am
@tenderfoot,
Hi tenderfoot.

Dirt from Gympie? Jeepers! That's over a thousand km away.

You're not the first person I've heard say that they don' t think they'd like what it's become. It certainly isn't what it used to be, it's quite urbane these days. Very civilised - even the roundabouts have nice flower arrangements.

It's a matter of personal taste but I much prefer it to the Gold Coast.

And there's still no beach!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 02:39 am
I was kinda fond of Cairns when it was a hick town ... full of international & inter-state visitors cluttering up the youth hostel .... it was an absolutely wonderful place for a break from the rat race.

But would I like to be a permanent resident of a sleepy hick town, "scenic" or no? Nah. Couldn't stand it!
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 05:13 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:

Apparently produce is rotting in the tablelands because it can't be shipped to the central warehouses in Brisbane from which it is then despatched to Cairns. Rolling Eyes


Yep HH.... makes no sense at all. We have similar problems here with our local produce.... milk especially, local butchery... where the distributors make all the money, parcelling it around the UK and world, and the farmers barely survive. Kinda says a lot about how they used to live with commune living and self sufficiency. I'm one of those hypocrites tho, coz I don't have green fingers and wouldn't be able to plough the seeds and scatter - but I do think we could all do a lot more to help out the local farmers - I try as best I can to support the local trade - but governments are about making money. Oh.... out of my comfort zone now - don't do politics - I tend to contradict myself a lot. HA! That would make a politician a?


Hope the weather predictions get it wrong... take care hun and keep safe.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 05:15 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

I was kinda fond of Cairns when it was a hick town ... full of international & inter-state visitors cluttering up the youth hostel .... it was an absolutely wonderful place for a break from the rat race.



Ha.... that woulda been me in '88!!!! I woz there in the backpackers YHA!
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 05:18 pm
@Izzie,
Yes, Izzie?

I thought I recognized you from somewhere! Wink

(So you know all about cane toads, huh? )
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 03:54 am
@msolga,
Hey HH

how goes it in Carins? What's happening down (up) there with the flooding?

hope all is good with you and yours. x
 

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