Saturday, January 10, 2009

14. The big day

She waited in the foyer to tell Jack her bad news. She hoped he had a solution.
He did, in fact he didn't even know why she was concerned. "You have organised a bus." He said. "Just park it on the street. He may manage the hotel but he sure doesn't control the street."
It wasn't quite the slick operation Cath had in mind. It was starting to sound all a bit amatuerish but what could she do?
Saturday arrived and there was a quiet knock on the door, when she was still in bed. Cath peered through the peephole wondering who it was coming so early to her room. She saw something that made her heart leap. It looked so familiar. It finally it was her suitcase! She thanked the porter profusely. She lifted the case onto the luggage spot in her room, that had been forlornly empty for her entire stay so far. Even the burr of the zip opening felt familiar and reassuring. Flipping the case open, it was so nice to see all her stuff and to have a choice of what to wear!
By the time she went to breakfast, Cath was feeling confident about today's trip. She had visions of people thanking her for the insight into another's culture, barriers broken down, articles in the local paper. She was doing such a good thing, it was almost hard to stay modest in her head. This little town would be different because of her visit. Her shoes clicked on the tile dining room floor. No more comfy travel shoes. She had make up and everything. Her hair was back to normal, using her own shampoo. When Jack arrived and joined her for a coffee she was buzzing. He caught her mood and they were laughing and joking about all the weird things that had happened over the week. They went out on the street to wait for Bill with the bus. He arrived and parked up opposite the hotel. It didn't look so bad she decided. Cath had made a sign to show this was the bus for trip to the Reservation.
The first person to turn up was the the first person Cath had talked to about the trip at the mall. She repeated again how she had never been to the Reservation despite having lived in the area for the past 25 years. Cath was elated she had decided to come. This was turning out exactly as she had planned. The next to arrive was a woman and her two children, Jack had talked to one day when eating lunch. Next a man in his 50s from one of the churches Cath had stood outside arrived. They waited for further arrivals.
The minutes started to drag on. Was this all from a week of pushing fliers on strangers? Cath had at the very least expected a full bus. It was a free trip for goodness sake! What about all those people who had been keen when she handed them a flier?
She waited, hoping for more. Jack was getting restless.
"We should get going."
Cath tried to hide her disappointment, tried to keep her voice upbeat. She wondered if she should just cancel the trip here and now. It seemed a waste of Bill's time and the others waiting back the Reservation. She stared at her shoes and then looked up at Bill sitting in the driver's seat.
"Shall we go?" She asked tentatively.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.