When I decided to go backpacking, I knew ultimately at some point that the money would run out, but it would be cool, I thought, it's part and parcel right? Eating noodles, scraping together a few dollars here and there for a beer, begging any hostel to let me clean a few beds for a roof over my head.
But my fail-proof plan, well, it failed...
There were no noodles, no dollars even and no hostel that would have me. I was most certainly up shit creek with no fricken paddle!
So I did what I could to survive, I took the first job offered to me, in an outback motel / cafe / gas station. Yeah that's right, times can be rough. And for me it was pretty rough.
The outback is an odd place full of odd people, the towns are small and tumbleweeds are many. But I made the most of it, I tried to make it a positive experience. I got friendly with the locals and began to have a laugh, it couldn't be that bad right? But there was one local that didn't like it, didn't like me, she wanted me gone! She didn't like that I was English and taking a job in her small town, she would swear at me, insult me and call me names, oh yes the outback, a wonderful place full of colourful characters...
After about 2 weeks of putting up with this crazy ladies shit the absolute final straw was the moment that she tipped a beer over me. I was furious, dripping from head to toe in VB beer, how could anyone waste beer like that and over my head!
I yelled, she yelled, I yelled some more, as it became more heated the staff and locals got in between us and pulled us apart.
"I'm gonna shoot you", she yelled at me. Obviously I laughed, as did everyone else, shoot me? Yeah right!
"Go on then, shoot me"
I carried on laughing and it angered her, so she stormed off while everyone had a good chuckle but before I knew it, everyone was running for cover, the nutter had a gun and was charging full steam at me.
I didn't think she would shoot me and in my haze and anger, sheer stupidity if you like, I dared her to shoot me.
"Go on then, shoot me"
She aimed her shotgun at me and I swear, time slowed down, this was it, the end, but luckily for me one of the locals jumped on her and tackled her to the ground, bitch was about to shoot me!
Needless to say, I was on the next bus out of town, no way I was going to stick around and wait for her to come back and finish the job. Upon reflection I have realised that the outback is not for me. Thank goodness for the awesome locals that saved me and made me realise that not all small-town people are gun-toting nutters, however, I will stick to the bright lights and hustle and bustle and never ever dare someone to shoot me again, because I have learned that they probably will.
* image does not show the motel / cafe / gas station in question, this is the Silverton Hotel featured in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.