Red Dirt Girl in a City World – A Very Expensive Lesson

Well, after spending 6 months in Newman with my gorgeous Mr W., I finally returned to the city for a week … just to check in, recharge … and SHOP!!  I’ll tell you all about my shopping later … but first I just have to tell you about the very expensive lesson I learned yesterday …

Here I was driving down the freeway, phone to my ear, excitedly telling Mr W. about the sexy new underwear I’d just bought when I looked to my right and saw an unmarked police car with their light flashing.  “Oh F***””, I said to Mr W., “It’s the cops”.  I hung up listening to Mr W. laughing … and hoping Mr Undercover Police couldn’t read lips.

I pulled over and waited for Mr Plod to come to the window.  He asked me what my excuse for talking on my phone while driving was (being someone who has always been able to talk my way around fines, so many excuses ran through my head).  I thought about going with something like … “I just had to tell my boyfriend about the sexy underwear I just bought” … or “well, I live in Newman and we don’t have shops and I was so excited about my purchases I just had to ring someone and tell them” … I even considered telling him all about the fact that I haven’t driven an automatic for 6 months, just to try and distract him.  But something told me that none of these were going to cut it.  And quite frankly, he was on the wrong side of the car for me to use the old “undoing the top button” trick (plus, I hadn’t had time to actually put on the sexy underwear).  Anyway … I simply said “it was a work call” – God knows what I was actually going to say work was calling about … a new trend in Orange shirts maybe?

Mr Plod then asked what sort of phone it was.  I had to wonder what that had to do with the price of black lace at Myer … but handed my iPhone over (maybe they charged you more for Nokia or something, I was hoping anyway).  Just as I showed him the phone it “dinged” loudly announcing a text from Mr W.  Geez … are you trying to get me arrested, I thought (thankfully I’d turned off the feature on the iPhone that shows the actual text message on the screen before you open it … although it did take all my self control not to read the text and answer it while being lectured on the dangers of talking whilst on the phone.

He asked for my licence and upon examing it asked if that was my current address.  I nodded … thinking maybe they’d feel sorry for me that I lived in Newman.  Oh no … 10 minutes later (yes, they left me stewing in my car for 10 whole minutes) … the younger of the cops returned with a “traffic infringement” as he so politely put it.  I’m not telling you how much it was … but let’s just say I could buy a whole heap more sexy underwear with it!!!

Take Away Coffee $3.90 (yes that’s right, we’re getting ripped off in Newman) … Flat Shoes $40 (yep that’s right, stilettos are out) … Sexy Underwear $100 … Getting caught on your phone while driving telling boyfriend about said sexy underwear … PRICELESS!!!

pp xx

Life Lessons of a Pilbara Princess

Well … I’ve been here nearly 3 weeks and in this short time I have learned so many lessons … many of which I will carry with me forever.  I thought I would share some of them with you … just in case you ever find yourself a bit north of the Tropic of Capricorn.

  • Apparently once you get a manual into 5th gear it is NOT like driving an automatic.
  • And while we are on the topic of gears and clutches (and no not the evening bag kind) … driving bare foot is much easier than in stilettos … or even thongs for that matter).
  • Always make sure you have alcohol in the house for any ocassion which may arise.  The fact that you cannot buy wine prior to 12pm may be hinderous to pre-lunch drinking sessions otherwise.  Just something I’ve learned.
  • Wine Time comes earlier when you live North of the Tropic of Capricorn … no seriously it does.  Something to do with the sun?
  • When your partner is on night shift and has only been asleep for 45 minutes … don’t burn your toast, thus setting off the smoke alarm and waking them up … they really don’t appreciate it.  However if you’re bored while waiting for them to wake up around 2pm, then the smoke alarm thing is always an option.
  • If someone tells you not to touch the settings on the washing machine, DON’T TOUCH THEM.  A flooded house will usually be the result and you will then have to spend an hour soaking up the water with towels when you realise the drains are blocked.
  • If you’re really unsure of the car you’re driving (mainly because it is a dirty great big four wheel drive with gears) and you’re worried you might kill someone upon entering the local Woolies carpark, then it’s best you park at least 1 km away at, say a local visitors centre, and walk into town.  This will avoid any minor, or major mishaps.  Although at some point you are going to have to go into that carpark … the weekly shopping will not carry itself that far.
  • Getting “dressed up” may have different translations depending on how far North you live.  Wearing jewellery to Woolies is definitely not essential … and stilettos are forbidden.
  • The wearing of stilettos to job interviews is also a bone of conention up here … if in doubt carry your thongs in a bag and swap them whilst in a quiet isle in the supermarket.  Just don’t get caught.
  • Sometimes the local supermarket runs out of meat, sometimes they run out of vegetables … and sometimes they run out of both.  It certainly makes for creative cooking.

Well … I hope these help you if you’re ever up this way …

pp xx

Just like an automatic …

I’d always heard stories about the road trains (RT) up here, but never really thought about how big they really were … until I had to overtake one.  Now you may not think this is really that big a deal … and it probably isn’t to a normal person … but as you have probably realised, I’m really not the definition of normal.  Far from it actually.  Just ask the poor bloke who had to spend 17  hours in a car with me (this poor bloke will now be known as Mr W … xx).

So why was overtaking a RT so BIG for me?  Firstly, I haven’t driven a manual car, let alone dirty great big four-wheel drive, since I got my licence (and sadly that was over 10 years ago now).  So you can imagine the fear that set in when I was told … “ok, it’s your turn now” … pardon me, what???  The horror of learning to drive the first time around was all of sudden very real again … the fact that I could never quite get that clutch/accelerator thingy right … and the fact that I failed my first driving test … it was all flashing before my eyes.  But praise where praise is due, I had the best teacher … patience of a saint that man.  He didn’t bat an eyelid when I forgot to take the hand brake off, meaning I stalled it before I’d even left the side of the road … and didn’t flinch when I accidentally put it into 5th gear … instead of 3rd.  God love him.

And so, after my “Dummies Guide to Driving a Stick” Driving Lesson, along the road we went, me thinking, gee this isn’t that hard … once you get into fifth gear it’s just like driving an automatic (this has been quoted back to me by Mr W. on several occasions, apparently this really isn’t the case).   And so, Mr W. decided he would have a little nap (god knows how he drifted off, I certainly wouldn’t have been sleeping with me at the wheel).  Anyway … there I was cruising along … when all of a sudden I was behind a RT … yes yes I know, it’s not like I hadn’t seen one before … however … you don’t realise how huge they are until you have to overtake one on a skinny road where you really can’t see that far in front of you!!  So I slowed down, thinking, this is ok, I’ll just sit behind him for the next like 10 hours, all good.  But oh no, next thing I know, Mr RT driver put his indicator on, letting me know that it was safe to pass.  And there was my old friend fear.  But after a couple of deep breaths, and some reassuring words from Mr W. (who had woken up to see the ass end of Mr RT) .. I put the pedal to the metal (and in 5th gear just like an automatic) I overtook my first RT … woop woop … one of my proudest Pilbara Princess moments to date.  Mr RT was probably wondering why the hell some woman was waving at him like her life depended on it … I was THAT excited.

I took some photos (while I was a passenger … I might be able to eat/drink/talk while driving an automatic, but a manual is a whole different ball game, even in 5th gear) … so you can see just how big the RT really are.  And some of these are on the mini side … the further North you go, the bigger they get.

3 Trailer Road Train ... same as the one I over took!

RT stopped at Meekatharra ... we overtook this one ...

RT Cab ... apologies for my finger lol.

And if you ever find yourself driving through the Pilbara and happen to have a two-way on board … my tip is tune in and have a listen to the RT drivers chatting to each other … it’s some of the funniest stuff you will ever hear.  Another tip … try not to get involved in their conversations too much … ha ha ha they really don’t take kindly to that lol.

Stay tuned for my next post … Life Lessons of  a Pilbara Princess …

pp xx