In Queensland, it seems the further north you go, the slower things become. The people run on what they call ‘island time’, a bewildering time management system with no visible regularity other than this. Things will happen when they happen. Never before, and rarely after.
Even the weather changes. The traditional four seasons have disappeared, probably off fishing, the number one cause of disappearances in the area, and we are left with a much simpler schedule. The wet season, and the dry season. Aptly named I might add. Straight to the point, half the year it rains, the other half it shines.
Language has taken on a simpler form too. For instance, the word ‘mob’ can be used in a myriad of ways, when referring to family, friends, work colleges, people who aren’t friends -or just to describe the group of people that happen to be standing closest to you when you utter, “this mob.”
I’ve recently become a member of the Snake Gully mob, of Injinoo. On graduating uni, I promptly packed my city life into vacuum-seal bags, stashed them under the bed in my parents’ house and moved to far north Queensland to work.
Having been in the area just under a week, I’d already planted a mango tree and in true blue North Queensland style, managed to get a lobstering sunburn in the process- despite not having seen even a hint of blue sky since my arrival. On the bright side though, I suppose if I ever needed to, I could lie down on my stomach and my back would camouflage perfectly with the red ground.
The weather here is unbelievable. Well, the rain mostly. You can feel the air being sucked toward the storm, like the ocean to a wave. Then a few drenching, heavy drops splatter the dust and you had better head straight under the closest roof before a wall of water falls across the road. There’s a few moments where you can’t see more than a few meters away and then in a blink, the sun is peering cheerily out from behind a cloud and glinting happily off the puddles.