Thursday, 14 September 2006

Northland, land of surprises

I was surprised to see R2D2 rolling aimlessly around Northland this evening. There was also a storm trooper, disappointingly short and diffident, and wearing Royal Elastics runners, just not right.



You will notice I went back to the orange. Sorry. While we're on the subject of small betrayals I may as well own up to a stupid conversation from last week I've been feeling bad about in my spare time. Taxi drivers in Mildura are very talkative compared to the Melbourne ones and I know them all, now. (My favourite is the one who jokingly made as if to run over Jeff Kennett when JK was pointed out to him a few metres away in the car park, but many of the others are pretty good too.) Anyway this morning last week one of the women picked me up and it was a normal trip until the point where we saw two very young boys playing in the middle of the road - the Calder Highway, actually - and she stopped the car and we got them back where they were supposed to be. After that small adventure in the morning, when she picked me up in the afternoon she was very friendly and began to talk about what she had planned for the rest of the day, namely going home and starting work again. I nodded knowingly, as I knew in theory what she meant, although I never ever clean anything or pick up anything off the floor or cook anything, and then to my own surprise I actually said "see, most men wouldn't know what you were talking about, they'd say 'Oh, do you have another job?'", to which she responded with a pleased and highly significant look and a lot of nodding. For a moment I wondered whether she was also doing a bullshit act as much as I was, but just then her phone rang and she listened for a moment then said "*I* don't know" and hung up. To me she said "That was my husband, ringing up to ask me what's for dinner. Stupid man!" "Ha, yes" I said. So perhaps she wasn't putting it on, or not as much as me, anyway.

And when I got home my dinner was made and waiting for me.

8 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Heh. Men with cooking and cleaning skills are far and few between on the outskirts of civilization.

My favorite taxi driver eva was in Mackay. I was on my way to the airport, bemoaning that I hadn't seen any cane toads on my visit when he started grunting next to me. Startled, I looked at him and realised that he looked so much like a cane toad it made my complaint redundant. Very fat, very ugly, with rolls of flesh that made his stomach the steering wheel holder, wearing shorts and long socks. Took me a while to understand him (a bit like simulataneous translation, I was decoding his words a few seconds after he said them) but finally worked out that he was telling me his joy in what happens when you run over a cane toad -- their guts come out their arse. That was a great car trip. Too short by far.

cristy said...

I have caught myself doing that - playing the role that I know that I am supposed to play in a conversation to make things less awkward for everyone and misrepresenting myself in the process. It is a yucky feeling, but so hard to avoid - particularly in relation to gender roles.

cristy said...

BTW, AD, your taxi ride sounds like a nightmare! You poor thing.

Mindy said...

Well sometimes you just have to do these things. You did understand what she was talking about, even if it's not something you regularly do yourself, and more to the point you are right. So you gave her the understanding and sympathy she needed. Had you said 'oh I never lift a finger at home' she may have felt that you were patronising her or looking down your nose at her because she was a taxi driver. I'm quite certain that you aren't that type of person, so stop feeling bad, you probably made her day that little bit happier. Here endeth the sermon.

lucy tartan said...

Thanks Mindy, I think we both enjoyed the conversation, that's quite true. Still next time I see her I'll try to get in something about how I owe quite a lot of loyalty to my partner for his mad housekeeping skills.

worldpeace_and_aspeedboat said...

ah Miss Lucy, like Min said, it's easier than trying to make a point with someone you don't really have to make a point with. I've done it heaps of times, because not only is it easier for you, but the other person probably don't want to be challenged, just listened to - unless of course, they're an utter prat. and it was a nice thing to sympathise. good on you.

Mel said...

I was running late for work last week and I flagged down a taxi. The driver was asking me about my work, and I said that even though I rely on various insecure casual jobs, I think I'm better off than someone employed full-time because "there's no job security anyway with WorkChoices". The taxi driver went: "Oh no, there's been no job security since Hawke and Keating. They're the ones who got rid of job security and brought in those bloody accountants. I had a job at the same place for 23 years. Then the accountants came and 'rationalised' the place. [that said in a very sarcastic tone] Laid off 200 people in one day. And they got a bloody bonus for it!" And so I kind of had to be quiet.

TimT said...

The first taxi driver I ever met in Melbourne was the best. His conversation was rather like his driving - it veered alarmingly from one subject to another, ranging from national economics, his philosophy on work, to the women walking on the other side of the street. (His language was rather more lewd, though). And when I tried to make a joke of my own, he gave me a great one-liner:

'Oh no. I'm not joking. I'm driving.'

And I couldn't really argue with that!

Incidentally ...

... when she picked me up in the afternoon she was very friendly and began to talk about what she had planned for the rest of the day, namely going home and starting work again ... I actually said "see, most men wouldn't know what you were talking about, they'd say 'Oh, do you have another job?'", to which she responded with a pleased and highly significant look and a lot of nodding. For a moment I wondered whether she was also doing a bullshit act as much as I was ...

This has given me a lot to think about!