CUWAM- Numbers Continued….37

And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…

Alex Garland, The Beach

37 hours…that is how long it took me to get to my holiday destination : Rottnest Island, Western Australia….37 hours to reach paradise.

I awoke on Friday morning…and the outlook was bleak….9 hours of non-stop office administration was in front of me…The very thought of it clouded my vision, and I felt sure that I would never see the finish line.

I arrived at the office at 8am….and settled myself for the monumental task of tying up all loose ends so that I could take a 5 day holiday….Hindsight is a strange thing…There was no way that all my administration woes could be solved in a mere day…but I gave it a good shot….and failed miserably!!

Students whinged and moaned, colleagues cursed, academics ranted and I huffed and puffed through the data processing marathon…Why oh why had I entered this race…For it was by 4pm that day it was clear I was the only competitor…and this was one race I was not going to win

I left the office at 5pm,defeated, with a half eaten sandwich in my handbag, and the onset of repetitive strain injury in my right wrist…The frantic post work conversation with a colleague in a similar situation…Kenny was being summoned for dury duty…and as he put it ‘ Having to do 6 weeks work in 1 day’…tied up further office tasks for me over the phone…Things I had overlook as I dashed to the  finish line….

And then to dinner…A longed for meal with friends from Queensland, Sydney and Wollongong…To Surry Hills for a Nepalese Feast followed by coffee and cake at Gnome Cafe on Crown street. And still I was ever the marathon runner….

My friend Jess, honed in fast…She could tell I was operating on reserve fuel, I had entered a new phase of operation..Hyperactive / autopilot….

‘ Are you on drugs, Speed?’

‘ No’

‘ What ever it is, I want some!!’

Post dinner, the time had come for some shut eye…A chance to rest my head on a pillow for a few hours, before I hoisted my weary body on the 7am flight to Perth.

Rest did not come, I lay down at 11.30pm and awoke at 2.30am…I remained awake for the remainder of Saturday…And it cost me dearly….I caught a 6am cab, then a 7am flight, arriving into Perth at 9am ( yes, I gained 3 hours)

I then wondered aimlessly around a Ferry Wharf for 4 hours….boarded the 2pm service to Rottnest…. On arrival at  3.30pm, I promptly caught the shuttle bus in the wrong direction of my accommodation….Realising this mistake, I boarded the return shuttle, and arrived safe and sound at Geordie Bay Guest House.

And despite the mere 3 hours of rest that separated Friday from Saturday…one thing became unmistakably clear as I set foot onto the island that would be my home for the next 3 days.. I was in Paradise…and from that moment on….nothing else mattered.

To be continued….

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