Diary of a lost backpacker

by Dhyan Abhay

Greg, this might cheer you up: see you in the millionaires club.



There must be a place I can go that is fair.

I am in the Cairns library writing up the dive story, wondering what to do with Pete and his divorce settlement. I represented him in the Family Court at a Federal Magistrates Court hearing on Thursday.

His PNG defacto spent the night in the bush on Wednesday.

Julia a short 40 yo NZ women sleeps in the loft with me.

Brett, had been a journo for the Village Voice in NY, now lost in Cairns, in love with a Mennonite woman from Manitoba with his child, trying to get Filipinos illegally into NZ for $5000 a head, purchasing an airfare to Denpassar the next day, failing to get the money and losing his deposit. With ideas of starting a bar in Bali. Smelling, 36, with only two changes of clothes. And plans to get Japanese investment for Pete's boat on the Internet using a Belgium bank and advertising in the Wall Street Journal.

Pete, his ex, his ex-junkie girlfriend, his ex-Indonesian sailing tour boat, his false gunrunning charges and escape from Ambon. His sinking of his boat off Lockhart River. His action against customs for failing to allow him to return to the boat. His building of an abattoir in India, his friends in China and thoughts to go there on a construction project.

My application to do a CELT english teacher training course and work in China.

My being kicked from Leo's Hostel. The English teacher in Global. The fraud over the key deposit there. The Dutch young singer in Leo's. The German enviro-economist in A1 Car Rentals where the real Leo worked and owned the cheapest hostel in Cairns at the back.

John Fielder's classical music community radio programme
Joy and India
Tom - toothless
The Bowen therapist
Clohsey River raw food retreat health community - organic farm where I slaved for a week scything six foot high cane grass.

Alternate history

This mess of life. I left the yogini, Gangashwarra and the dome tent in the backyard, the minuscule home with the son I never spoke to. The ashram project where our minds would not meet. And this endless loneliness. I sit in the Bellview - my transfer of money to the credit card did not register, so I had no money to pay for accommodation - after all those hours in Centrelink with Chris. And then to the YHA where I had the problem with Eric the manager. The only room they had left was a mixed dorm. I took it, but the Visa would not pay. Rushed to the ATM, cash had not been transferred. The Commonwealth Bank! And then stormed through all the lights to Centrelink, cut the people off at the side door, Chris had gone.

Knocked and knocked on the glass doubledoors until a man came and said he would check it out. No emergency payment on record. Back to square one or the Salvation Army he suggested. I practically walked back to where I was to meet Gemma to go to Alice in the camper, but she was not there at Caravella. I left a note, went and begged the Esplanade YHA to let them allow me to pay tomorrow. She rang Eric, the manager, he declined. I asked her for a personal loan. She was American with that tough Chicago look, then young and a bit pimply with very bright eyes.
"Me lend you money… no way!"
"I wouldn't expect you to trust me. I can give you this mobile and Palm, it's an organiser worth $350, as security." I put them on the desk.
"One day perhaps you'll be in my situation when you really need someone to help you."
I went to the Bell View. She remembered me. Said 'no'. Then took the mobile and Palm.

I sit here by the pool, all concrete green and 60s. Must have been modern in its day. No money for food. Cooked up stale pasta and ate stale Vitabrits and cheese. Had lemon ginger tea.

A day of phone calls and postponements. Satyananda, Mangrove Mountain said they were closed, then booked out. Vipasanna was confused, finally saying to do a course with Ernst in August. I met an Israeli dredhead who was thinking about Alice, but couldn't afford the camper. Checked email at Global Gossip under 3 minutes free. Mum sounded cheerful. Then 5 minutes FREE where I took down the advert to Alice.

It's endless when am I going to fall in love? Where? Chris at Centrelink didn't know. The Internet Mag first edition, Greg was working on tomorrow and I am in limbo. Should I devote my energies to that? He thought not. But can I trust him. He seems to have put me on a rocky road.

Gangashwarri and the ashram. The 10 room place in Lake St owned by the Catholic College. She didn't want to give me a class. She did. But she fought. So adamant against the ashram. Luke was just as indecisive. Living out of his van. Losers! Same type of van as John Fielder. Bizarre! Ganga and her son who is on dope and eating KFC and working there. Her toothless old expression, ever so slight. Not disclosing all her earnings. Meditating in silence all Sunday. Thrusting a note at me telling me so, when I chanted Hare Krisna. That long dull walk to her place. The argument on Sunday night.
"There is nothing I can do for you!"
Such a lie.
"I don't want conflict!"
"Conflict is how you face things."
"What about co-operation and sharing?"
Even to speak was conflict. I gave up as she sat goggle eyed to a US sit com. I tried to smile. Should I try further to connect. I walked out and went to the dome to meditate, but slept.

Woke cold, late at night. Tried to warm up. Covered myself in clothes and a jumper. Dreamed of being in a Soviet spaceship, rather tiny, that stored US ships and repaired them, all in orbit. I was negotiating for Australia with a lot of difficulty. Woke at 9am. And thought how meteors could breach the integrity of such a large ship.

Thought of her son, his name translated as King of Kings and his juvenile criminal prosecutions and his three years with Narandjin in India where he got into dope. 12 years old she sent him. A product of an Italian love Tantra. She related to me her experiences - in the dark room making love - Satyananda storming in - her leaving. This lover or another I did not know. 'Kundalini Tantra', she got Michael to give me the book. I read a bit and then got that heavy feeling and skimmed it. Then sung it out loud chanting the Indian bits.

Today in Centrelink - I had a loan available. But oh no, I couldn't have it, because they had not deducted the money outstanding on the work I had done for Down Under Dive, despite my asking them to do so weeks ago.
"And all my yesterdays have lighted fools the dusty way to death…"
Gangashwarri if only you knew how close we were to getting it going. Just the ego.

And the days before. In the Inn Cairns. Forms signed for rent assistance at the Inn Cairns. $120 per night. For rent assistance. Rent certificates. Forms. The Inn Cairns luxury apartment for 2 nights and the first night arriving at Midnight, I kept on going out to the clubs, Sportsbar, Tropos, Woolshed, ended up dancing to a girl who came so close, watched me as she kissed passionately and gratuitously her friend. Drunk. And she came up to me. Thick American accent.
"Do you want to join us?" She had her arm on my shoulder, so close to a similar kiss. I looked for her friend who was not far away gyrating to the blasting music. I stared back into her eyes, my hand touching her shoulder, thinking, "you seem so alive, so real, I haven't felt real people in such a long time."
"No?" My eyes diverted and she left me returning to the embrace of her friend.

I wandered back to Inn Cairns as it got light, not before I had bopped in front of decibelic volume music speakers at Tropos eying some trance dancer do her thing. I slept all of one hour. Got up, tried to sort out what to do and where to go. Had a very long cappuccino in the café below. Cried. A tramp I had seen a few times round the town sat next to me after ordering profiteroles and coffee. He finished it off with a sausage pastry. I kept my eyes fixed on his mid 30s face. He never looked up at me. Nonchalantly as he left he said "goodbye". I booked in for another day. The Dutch manager smiled.

I rang dating agencies in Cairns. Most were dead numbers. One was alive and did not want to comment. Selective and discrete he replied before putting the phone down and telling me what a nice chap I was. All for the Internet magazine. I finally reached a club for singles. Jovial fellow, happy to advertise his get togethers. I never rang back. That evening I sat or rather leaned against the balcony rails overlooking the Mall's bus stop, Woolworths and the Commonwealth Bank, looking at the travellers. I beckoned them up with a smile. Some pretty girls glanced up, but I lost them to a supercilious smile and jealousy.

NEXT EDITION: Discos, Caravella, Nudey beach Fitzroy Island, Chenrezig Monastery and Satyananda Daylesford after a horror bus trip to freezing Victoria.


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