Our journey from Brisbane to Hervey Bay could have been more pleasant. The train itself was reasonably comfortable. The big negative was the family just in front and across the aisle. Too stingy to purchase 4 seats, each adult had a squirming, screaming blonde child on its lap. One of them with an abnormally large head that was dressed in the most hideous pink top and leggings ever (henceforth referred to as the pink klingon). As the journey continued we inadvertently picked up a lot of information we didn’t want to know. Mommy obviously had a new man in her life, Andrew. “Tell Andrew he’s full of crap”, she kept coaching the larger pink klingon child when she wasn’t threatening the children over their bad behaviour. Pink klingon happily obliged about a hundred times before returning to her primary objective of running riot. The adults switched between ineffectively shouting at the children to sit still, to giggling whenever one of them did or said something inappropriate.
You’ll have to understand that at this point in the day we were both exhibiting signs of those little side effects Nurse Ratchet had casually mentioned while jamming needles in our arms. Typhoid can make your arm a little sore, she said. How about feeling like it’s bruised from shoulder to elbow and not being able to raise it more than a couple of inches? Throw in headaches and a general fuzzy-headed feeling from some other disease and we were feeling really sorry to be travelling on the train that day. As we watched the poster parents in front of us clattering the kids across the head for being bold one minute, then engaging them in slapping/punching games the next, every minute on the train seemed an eternity with our fevers getting worse all the time.
Finally we reached our destination and switched from train to a coach which bounced along dark roads for another hour before offloading at the terminus. The driver kindly offered to take us and some others the rest of the way to our accommodation which we gladly accepted, not having a clue which direction to go in. Unfortunately he chose to drive all the way out of town to drop the other passengers off before circling practically all the way back in to deposit us outside a dark building at 10pm. We managed to check in at the dingy bar, leaving them a bewildering number of deposits. Including one for blankets which were totally not necessary. However at this point we just wanted a room with a bed so we could pop a few painkillers and sleep off the effects of the vaccinations. Tomorrow would be another day to sort things out.