Final thoughts on LEG 1: installment 1


This is a collection of some concluding thoughts (installments) from the first stent of my stay in Oz (experiences for which I unfortunately have no photos to show)….. Enjoy.

NOTE: In this story underpants are mentioned several times…. beware. 

Boating day 2- Thanks to Rogan, the surfer/sailor/oil rig supervisor/asian cuisine expert I was able to start my first full day in Oz on a speed boat. This sounds fun right? Well sometimes fun can be a challenge, but hey, then again I am always up for a challenge. The challenge in this case… no clothes because my bag hadn’t arrived yet.

For those who know me well (Allison Barnes, Mississippi State alumni, and some family), this might be reminiscent of my research travels to the Bahamas nearly 10 years ago, when I was going on several caving expeditions on a remote island with no internet or phone, and my bags didn’t arrive. To make a long story short, my carry on was a case of Fat Tire (you couldn’t get it in the south in those days and back then you could carry liquids on, I learned the trick from cousin Dave. Every time Dad would pick him up from the air port he would have a case of Alaskan Amber), I had no extra unders (underpants), no studdy guides, not a toiletry to my name…….But that is a story for another day. 

And so, as fate would have it, here I am, 10 years the later, in a county thousands of miles away, with only one pair of panties to my name, no toiletries, and a camera for a carry on instead of beer (at least I classed it up a bit right?).  They aren’t kidding when they say old habits die hard. 

Back to the boat. Because I was such a helpless girl in these circumstances (in fact just cheep, refusing to purchase anything until the airline assured me funds), and needed something to water ski in besides jeans. Rogan was kind enough to offer me some threads from a collection of women’s clothing he had been keeping, perhaps for a rainy day, in the darkest corner of his closet. When he informed me of this bag several things crossed my mind, namely, why does he have a bag of women’s clothing in the back of his closet? Rogan’s story was that when his “lady friends” come to visit, sometimes they leave garments behind, so he saves them for just such situations as mine. Lucky me. 

In looking through the bag of “clothing” several things were clear. These women were size zero and probably teenagers. I don’t like to show legs, ever really, and can typically be scene at the beach in board shorts, well beggars can’t be choosers (in the words of my illustrious father) so guess who was wearing short shorts? This girl. And, for the sake of the audience I won’t go into detail about what was in the bottom of this women’s clothing bag, suffice to say my one pair of grey cotton granny panties didn’t hold a candle and the collection looked like one from Pamala Anderson’s personal unmentionables…. 

Anyway, it ended up being a great day with Rogan, me, his roommates (Aman- the aspiring Egyptian pilot and Scott- the 38-year-old musician who also brought his 7 year old son Fletcher). The highlight wasn’t getting up on the second try on dual ski’s (grandma has still got it kids!), the seven times I tried slalom and failed miserably, or even getting to drive the speed boat because I was the only one who had driven a speed boat (18-15 years earlier on my pop’s old beach craft) and Rogan wanted a go at skiing. The highlight was when Fletcher “wooped” when I took my shirt off to get in the water (I was in my sports bra- luckily that’s all I ever wear so I guess I was prepared for the no luggage/day-o-boating ordeal in one way). He was going on and on. It made it funny because I was the only girl… maybe you had to be there, but a 7 year old finding me attractive was hilarious for me in that moment. 

As far as my bag goes, it arrived about 72 hours later, with several pairs of fresh unders and my brand new bathing suit. Amen made us a delicious traditional Egyptian supper of chicken and rice, and all was happily ever after.

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