All In a Sunday (5)
[In 2013, the T-Team, Next Generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.
Over the next few weeks, I will take you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.
This time, the T-Team leave camping in the desert behind and tackle the complexities of civilisation—Alice Springs…all on a Sunday.]
By the time our family and Mum drove the streets of Alice Springs in search of a hotel to eat, night had fallen, and a blanket of darkness surrounded us. As a convoy of Mum’s rental and the Ford, we wended through the few short streets to the nearby hotel which had been recommended by the caravan park.
‘Hope we can get a table,’ Anthony grumbled as we walked from the neon-lit car park to the entrance of the hotel. ‘We haven’t booked, you know.’
‘If we can’t, I guess you’ll be cooking tea for us all,’ I joked.
‘It’ll be alright,’ Mum sang her mantra.
Our family of five filtered through the front entrance and into an expanse of dark green carpet and pastel green walls and fronted up to the black topped counter.
‘Do you have a table for five?’ Mum T asked.
‘You need to register,’ the man at the counter said.
Anthony and I glanced at each other. ‘Register?’
‘We need to see your identification; a drivers’ licence will be okay.’
‘That’s normal for me,’ Son 1 said, ‘They always ask for my ID. They don’t believe I’m over 18.’
Son 2 snorted, ‘And here I was getting into hotels when I was under 18, no problem.’
‘Just your luck,’ Son 1 muttered.
‘And I don’t drink,’ Son 2 sniffed.
While the boys quibbled and joked, the T-K Team, good citizens that we were, unquestioningly showed our respective licences and registered to enter the hotel.
As we sat at our designated table, we observed the predominance of people of Anglo-Saxon extraction and the lack of First Nation people. There was one Indigenous family way down the other end of the dining hall, but… They seemed happy enough.
Over dinner, roast meat, and smorgasbord, (your average fare for an Aussie hotel at that time), I mused, ‘What’s the deal with registering?’
Anthony waved a hand around the room. ‘Isn’t it obvious? Didn’t you read the sign at the entrance?’
Anthony rolled his eyes and shook his head.
Then again, I understood, without further explanation, what my husband meant.
Back at the campsite, I used the communal kitchen to prepare a hot chocolate for Anthony and me. While the kettle took its time boiling, I watched a pair of German tourists and their Australian friends Skyping on a laptop to Germany.
Then, soporific from the effects of warm chocolaty milk, hubby and I snuggled into our sleeping bags and it was lights out for us…only, it wasn’t that much light out—we still had the toilet block light beaming into our tent…all night. And on our minds wondering who were the T-Team imposters?
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021
Feature Photo: Hermannsburg Sunset © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955