April 4, 2014
I wanted to enjoy my first sight of Hobart. I imagined seeing it from the back of a taxi – I think my Mauritian lady disguise would hold up well enough – and hear the taxi driver point out the sights on the way to the city centre. But no, I have had to stow away again. Why did I not check before I left to see if there were any Australian dollars in Mrs D’s old collection of foreign money? American dollars yes, from that unfortunate time she visited Angus when he was living there, a few old Italian lire from the holiday that Sangita took her on, krugerrand from South Africa, but no Australian dollars. So it was into the holdall, into a pile of luggage that a group of ladies with big black dresses on had with them (there was a lot of banging about and shrieking about a ‘koffer’ in a strange language just after I had hopped onto one of their luggage trolleys and at one point I thought I had been found out but next thing I was on a bus).
I ended up in a large, plain building and thought I might have to spend the night there, but these ladies were careless with their luggage and I was left in a pile in a back room. It took me some time to fight my way out of the pile as my holdall was at the bottom, and I had to be careful in case anyone was watching. Good thing we dodos have sharp hearing. At one point I had nearly made it out when a voice said something that sounded like ‘dair stapel dez gepecks gefallen forbe’ or some such and it was as if I was being thrown high in the air. At least there was less weight on me after that and when all seemed quiet I peeked out. The room was empty and this time I was on top of the mountain of luggage. I crept down but sadly knocked all the suitcases over again with a crash that brought the sound of running feet towards the room. I nipped into a cupboard just in time (ergh! Full of odious old mops!) and there was more muttering about ‘dez gepecks gefallen’ or whatever. I did not realise they spoke a different language in Tasmania.
Anyway, the door was at least unlocked and it was only a short waddle from chair to chair (I hid under each one as I was so nervous) down a corridor and out into a yard. There was a convenient bush too so I hid in that as more of these ladies in the big dresses came by. They had long black and white hats on too. I’m sure I’ve seen some pictures of them before. Must look them up.
It turns out I was in Hobart itself and I have found an old shed not far away which seems cosy enough for a home for the time being. Going out now to forage for food.