Cairns, Queensland day 6 Thur 20 May 2021

With more rain in the forecast we opted for a change of scenery today and headed away from the regular tourist things, deciding we would start the day with a trip to the cinema.

Now … I’m going to digress for a moment. Way back when Covid-19 was still referred to as the coronavirus and we were fumbling around wondering how this would alter our lives, one of the first places I avoided was the cinema theatre. Meantime, the leading operators were bombarding my email box with assurances of their hygiene measures. ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘we’re being encouraged to place our safety in the hands of teenagers who can’t even clean their own rooms.’

So, you’d think that I’d remember every one of few films I’ve watched at the cinema since then, wouldn’t you? I’ve seen The Dry, Nomadland, and Dream Horse, so this fourth film should have been right up there in the memory bank, particularly given its theme. Lucky I’m a good researcher.

Have I got you guessing now? Okay … drum roll … it was Son of the South. I see it has not scored highly on IMBd reviews, which is a great pity, as it was based on the true life story of Bob Zellner, who, whether he intended to or not, threw his lot in with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and joined with African-Americans in their 1960s struggle for racial justice and equality. Perhaps the movie portrayal of the book on which it was based, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement (2008) did not pack enough punch. Clearly it didn’t leave a lasting impression in my mind, although I recall many scenes now I’ve made the connection; and it could have been stronger overall. Some of the characters were so one-dimensional they were almost parodies of themselves. But another reason for a cool reception perhaps – and I don’t know this for sure – is it portrayed a history that maybe some are still coming to terms with.

Even though the shopping mall which houses the cinema is only a few blocks back from the waterfront, those few blocks remove you from the tourists and situates you with the locals just going about their regular shopping and entertainment day. (Population of Cairns, circa 150,000). That was a nice prelude for us, as in the early evening we were to meet up with a distant relative (both in the sense of our family tree and in our usual geographical locations, although not in the sense of affection).

So after the movie we had a bite to eat in one of those ubiquitous food halls that shopping malls Australia-wide now feature. We had a doner kebab each if I recall 🙂 and then headed back to the hotel for a bit of down time. The view from our balcony was very pleasant. Puffy clouds in blue skies were encouraging.

Bill and I enjoyed yet another of those daily complimentary drinks in the lounge area as we waited to be collected by our relative. She had intended to get us back to her house to watch the sunset from the verandah of her typical ‘Queenslander’, but it is officially winter, and twilight in the tropics is so short that if you hiccup you miss it, so we were enshrouded in tropical sound-enlivened darkness as we sat on her covered verandah, enjoying a relaxing chat and drink before going off to dinner at a sports club where her eldest teenage boy had just finished umpiring a football game (AFL if that means anything). ‘M’, our delightful relative, was accompanied by an equally delightful female friend. They had spent most of this day, and previous, in Cairns District Court as witnesses in a criminal charge. Listening to them, and their accounting of the ‘real’ life of Cairns, was very informative. Not what the average tourist encounters. It was a privilege to hear their insights.

My friend’s house is a bit like the below photo, AND she had freshly painted it all by HERSELF. Here’s to strong, independent women. May they raise equally strong, independent, children.

See the source image

Another first was using an Uber driver to get home. I’d downloaded the ‘app’ earlier in the day, but needed their advice how to use it. After an after-dinner drink back on the Queenslander verandah, we toddled down the driveway and plopped into the car for the twenty-minute drive back to the hotel. I don’t remember word-for-word what we spoke about with the driver, but I do remember it was also informative, as typically these drivers are immigrants seeking to make a new life for themselves.

I don’t have a clear memory, but I’m pretty sure we needed no further nightcap before collapsing into bed 🙂 Our sixth and last night for this memorable holiday. Next morning, there was still time for one more adventure before heading to the airport. If WordPress co-operates, there should be lots of lovely photos in the next post.

20 thoughts on “Cairns, Queensland day 6 Thur 20 May 2021

  1. I know you’ve had minuscule numbers in Australia compared to UK, but I have to say I still admire you for going to the cinema. And, four times too!

    It is supposed to be ‘Freedom Day’ (pathetic isn’t it?) here today with daily infection numbers now topping 50,000. And, just to add a little extra piquancy to the situation we have PM and Chancellor self-isolating and the Health Minister at home after testing positive for Covid suffering mild symptoms despite being double vaccinated! Actually, the awful Hopkins woman (aka Hatie Slopbins by some) is infamous here, such a smart move for your country to get shot of her as fast as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Four times since March of last year, LOL. And very few others in the cinema. Anyway, they’re closed again now.

      The thing with such very low numbers is that they cease to be a mass of humanity, and take on an individual focus. As fast as the authorities try to preserve victims’ privacy, we, the public, get to know a lot of backstory. The reputed patient zero is a limousine driver who transported three pilots from America ferrying FEDEX cargo. He was detected on 16 June 2021. The Delta virus seeded in the relatively affluent Bondi area (think more beautiful beaches), but quickly moved to the poorer south-west suburbs. Think manual workers, truck drivers, hospital workers, large households, etc, and now we have over 1000 cases and five deaths. It also broke across the border into Victoria, and now Melbourne is in lockdown. Almost all the hospitalisations are unvaccinated persons, but that is on account of our pathetically late-starting and slow-moving rollout. I’m still six weeks away from having my second dose for example.

      Maybe your experiment will work i.e. high vaccination rates preventing severe symptoms requiring hospitalisation, and death. Heck of a gamble though, with data emerging on the after-effect of long Covid. I feel for you all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh goodness, just imagine being the patient zero. A couple of years ago my daughter weirdly and totally (at first) out of the blue caught mumps. It then went through the whole of her lab and she was (jokingly) called patient zero. It did get a little tricky with somebody accusing her of not having had the MMR vaccination, which of course she had. As so many of her lab did catch it, eventually the dots were joined and the outbreak was traced to a visitor from a non-European country where they had a different variant of mumps.
        Our experiment here with Covid is known scientifically as ‘herd immunity’. Nobody in the government has officially used that term (yet), but plenty of reputable scientists and medics are. These days normally achieved when a population is mostly vaccinated, but in the past such as with Spanish flu, it was achieved by most of the population catching the flu and surviving or dying. Regarding Covid, our vaccination rates are not high enough yet and hospitalisations are already increasing again. Not surprisingly 60% of these new Covid hospitalisations are unvaccinated people, but that still leaves 40% with some vaccination, worryingly even some double-jabbed. And, as you mention there is long Covid too. We really couldn’t have a worse bunch of mountebanks and chancers running our country at these demanding times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely read, I, enjoying your jaunts around Cairns. Our chocolate ice cream cones with a flake are called 99’s. No idea, why as they have been called that as long as I remember so it can’t be connected with the price !! Take care, Marion

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. I used to work on an ice-cream van, so we more associate sticking the flake in top with a soft-serve ice-cream. But I see your Cadbury’s empire have created a packaged item based on what is sold here as a Drumstick.
      But the Choc-Top here in Australia is unique to the cinema outlet, even though other forms of chocolate-coated ice-creams are readily available elsewhere. The ice-cream really is tasty! Maybe a secret recipe?
      My current favourite is salted caramel, but that could change at any moment.
      https://www.thechoctopicecreamcompany.com.au/flavours
      Perhaps when you are next in Australia you can drop in to the nearest cinema and buy one at the snack shop and then review it?
      Your mission, if you choose to accept it …
      (Can you tell I’m in lockdown? Seeking entertainment wherever I find it.)

      Liked by 1 person

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