Oz: Hitchhiking to Gympie

During my six-month East-West Center fellowship Pacific Islands field study in 1971 (which I’ve previously mentioned a couple of times), my wife and I arrived in Sydney, Australia, late one July night: It was freezing cold (especially for Hawaii people), and I remember there was ice in the gutters. In those days many places in Australia did not have central heating, and the small hotel we stayed at only had a little “glow-rod” above the door that didn’t do much to heat up the room. The window in the bathroom was permanently wedged open an inch or two, so that room was like a refrigerator; and the sheets on the bed were so cold that we tried not to move around once settled, hoping at least one spot would soon warm up.

Sydney’s a fascinating place, even in the cold, but I soon made a decision that would stretch our modest, diminishing funds and lead us to a warmer clime for a while: We would take a break from studies and hitchhike to Gympie: [Read more…]