AUSTRALIA

6/24/2021   

The year is 1993, the month is February, and our 40-year-old protagonist named Dim Deter was exiting his DC-10 as it funneled all the 16-hour, airborne prisoners into incubation. First arriving on a 4-hour flight from the Midwest to L.A., Dim had boarded the wide body beast at midnight and left the US, flying in 14 hours of darkness in a SW direction. When daylight finally emerged on the other side of both the Pacific Ocean and Southern Hemisphere, anticipation mounted as Mr. Deter was on his quest to tour the great, big British version of Alcatraz Island (a former penal colony). Roughly the size of the United States, this country was also a continent and required a preordained visa before 1 left the States in order to gain entry. As the fidgety tourists shuffled through the customs line like sheep to a shearing soiree, the cameras clicked, and Immigration guards put on their staunch faces as another batch of intruders were about to be released into their isolated world. Once past that intimidating ritual, it was now time to go outside with his 2 duffle bags of worldly possessions, 7 grand in travelers checks and cash, and hail a universally trained Pakistani cab driver (Maboob) to convey Dim to downtown Sydney. This was the very beginning of a 6-week adventure to acquire transportation and drive halfway around the former British possession known as “the land down under”, or Australia. Relying on Mahboob’s recommendations, the middle-aged Yank was dropped off in King’s Cross and left to fend for himself. The only saving grace this pilgrim had was that the writing and language was a version of his own and could, thus, communicate with a few “whats?” thrown in to clarify some unknown terms. A seedy hotel in a seedy part of the city and it was just like being 18 again. You knew no one and no one knew you. It was totally up to you to figure this fuzzy puzzle out and get your goal completed, without getting arrested or even killed. Dim was now amongst the English.

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