March 1st 1984

posted in: The way back | 0

With our plans revised, there was no need for an early start – we were meeting Hassan, Faridah, + Norilla, Faridah’s friend, the one conducting the interview, at the Merlin Hotel, the scene of last night’s revels, at 12 o’clock. So we were able to relax + take things easy over breakfast (Shredded Wheat, no less.)  Even so, we thought we had left ourselves plenty of time, but the bus took much longer than expected, + then stopped not in the centre of town, but in an area we didn’t recognise.  Val in particular was in a bit of a flap, + we neither of us wanted to be late, so we did the unthinkable so far as we are usually concerned, + leapt into a taxi.  In actual fact, it wasn’t at all expensive, +, of course, everybody else was late, so it hadn’t been anything to get into a bother about.  Faridah, Norilla, + another man came first, so we all went into the restaurant where he could join us later. 

Neither of us have been interviewed before, so it was a bit of an experience.  Or shock, even, when the man started taking pictures – it hadn’t occurred to us that pictures would be required.  The whole thing was fairly painless, actually – most of the questions were on items of fact, + the only time we had to wrack our brains was when we were asked to verbalise feelings – why had we come, what had we gained?  These are the sort of things one doesn’t tend to think about; one goes from day to day, not month to month, + rarely asks the question why.  So it proved a useful exercise.  Hassan came late + made little contribution to the lunch except paying for it – I was surprised, assuming it would be on the newspaper.  The interview over, there were a couple more photos, + then we made our way back to the house.

We did nothing for the rest of the day except read + write – very pleasant, as we were both still tired.  H + F appeared late to tell us the article was scheduled to be published Sunday week.

Hm, it did bring us up a little short, to have to address the question Why. Not something we pay a lot of attention to, but actually really quite perceptive. Why so long away, when we have the choice to come home at any time we want; after our time in Australia, we are once more in a healthy financial position (though you wouldn’t know it judging by the way we live.) We are stubbornly determined upon coming home as much overland as we possibly can, and there is still much to see and experience before we get home, even by the most direct route. But really, we don’t think about it, just plot our course from day to day.

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