The Bittersweet Escape

Ever had a gut feeling that you shouldn’t do something, but did it anyway?

I’m blaming it on cabin fever, because the forecast really wasn’t any good for a day trip.

It was Sunday morning, and I was doing my little “need to get me outta this joint” routine, so before long, Ms and I were sailing away to greener pastures…


Meet Noojee. An Aboriginal word that means ‘place of rest’ or ‘contentment’.


Just say it. Noo-jee.


Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?


The stares we got when we reached our destination were less than warm and fuzzy, just like the bartender’s polite suggestion that we dine down at the bistro.

But I wasn’t in the mood for subtle messages that day, so I put my cider down and prepared to soak up the atmosphere.


The table next to us was having a conversation.


“Saw these poofters down the street the other day. They were all over each other – holdin’ hands an’ everythin’!!”


“For real?! Aw, I wouldn’t come here if I were them…”


It slowly dawned on me that the bartender’s gentle suggestion was probably for our own protection…


Too late. Our meals arrived.


The place is noted for its Chicken Parma’s (Aussie speak for chicken schnitzel with tomato sauce and cheese, usually served with chips, vegies and beer).

The food really was as good as all the hype. Even the Veggie Parma was delicious.


We rolled out of there a few hours later, perfectly contented in the belly, and took a look around the sights.





By the end of the day, we could hear the wind between our ears and agreed that we got just what we came for.

Driving back, I had zoned out to a bit of Aussie trance music

…when I spotted a policeman pointing from the window of his parked car.

“Was he pointing at us?” I wondered, barely registering that the 2.5 buildings we just drove past were probably meant to be a town.

Sure enough, the lights came flashing behind us. I pulled over and was informed I’d been driving 79 km/h in a 60 zone.

“There goes my overtime,” says Ms.


All $289 worth of it.

We re-traced our steps through the ‘drop-in-the-dirt town’, as Ms likes to call them. Found the 100m stretch of 60 zone I’d overlooked. And drove on home, subdued.

I learned many things that day. Well, a few.

  • Don’t listen to trance music on a Sunday drive in the country.
  • Do listen to the forecast your gut instinct.
  • The price of contentment is, sometimes, staying home where you belong.

When was the last time you ignored your gut instinct? Was there a lesson to be learned?


  1. says

    Grrr. That beautiful countryside is wasted on such small minds. Except for the ticket, I’m glad you went. They’ll never change if their perceptions remain forever unchallenged.


    • says

      That’s the way it goes with the country sometimes, isn’t it? We’re already enough of a challenge being a mixed race couple…but we don’t let that stop us. Life’s too short! *hugs back* 🙂

  2. says

    fines can really put a dampen on a good day! it’s like we get reduced to being a kid again, caught out for being wicked… if only we could break out into hysterical tears. gyrating in denial, throwing ourselves to the floor hoping to deafen the reality to an oversight… oh, if only…
    About the pub: how much did you want to reach over to your beloved and smack her a wet one? or maybe the mass cardio arrest would of been too much for the local doc!

    • says

      Hehe – I did my best Betty Boop impression, but this cop had no heartbeat, so no chance there! As for the pub… I’m usually too shy for PDA’s, but I’ll remember that for next time 😉

  3. says

    Noted: no trance music while driving. I think you this blog post puts you in the plus column, though.

    I ignore my instincts a lot. Usually I end up hopelessly lost or locked into a series of u-turns.

  4. I Am Jasmine Kyle says

    I’m glad you went out but sorry you had to deal with that. I am a child of a mixed race couple and I myself I guess am in a mixed raced relationship (hubby is jewish) He never really understood what it was like to live with racism before and he’s suffering from black rage as I call it because now he’s hostile and suspicious of everyone who is rude or flippant to me. SO IT GOES!! I have more good interactions with people than bad so that’s good!

    • says

      Plenty of stories there, I’m sure…and, perhaps, creative material?! Though I’m a huge coward, I can understand your hubby’s rage…I was never so aware of just how insidious racism can be until Ms. Anyway, in this case, the whole thing was more a source of amusement than anything…sometimes you just gotta laugh 🙂

      • I Am Jasmine Kyle says

        I always shock laugh. I’m pretty good about confronting racists. I lived in Iowa and got ALL the questions so I’m pretty calm and like to bend what they think BLACK girls act like! It’s become a bittersweet sport.

      • says

        Like your spirit, Jasmine! You and Ms would make a good team… she’s Indian from Malaysia, and gets a kick out of spinning a story. They never know if she’s serious or not. Well, until they go too far, and then they live to regret it… 🙂

  5. says

    Beautiful pics, Alarna. 🙂
    Yeah, I’ve ignored my instincts. Sometimes my impatience overrides those signals. Still something I’m learning. I’m sorry you had to deal with the small minds on what looks like a beautiful trip.

    • says

      I know what you mean! So much of it comes down to patience…something I’m still learning, too. Small minds…oh well, at least that gave us a something to laugh off. Unlike the fine! 🙂

  6. says

    Ah, but if you had not followed your gut you wouldn’t have this great story!

    Sometimes I don’t listen to my first instincts about people with the higher intention of giving everyone a chance. Usually I was right from the get go.

    • says

      Aren’t you gorgeous! Be careful, we might just take you up on that…I’m looking for any excuse to escape Melbourne! 😉 (We like to act like we’re the best land in all the world, but we know that’s not true…) xoxo

  7. says

    It’s all dry up here at the moment, Alarna. Has been next to no winter rain, but plenty of colour down your way, the photos show it’s all looking good. Gut instincts, the last time, probably when G and I allowed someone to stop for a couple of weeks while they lined up accommodation of their own, which turned into four months. Long story, but it was event number two of its kind (some ten years apart), won’t be making an attempt with a third.

    • says

      Yes, we have had good rain this winter. Just as well, because they keep saying the drought will come back. Hope you get good (but not devastating) summer rain. And, oh! I’m familiar with that particular gut instinct. It’s a tough one, especially when you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Third time lucky, they say 😉

  8. says

    Thanks for the urban dictionary link. I’ve not heard that particular smear. Must be an Aussie thing? That chicken thing looks awesome! If I come to visit, you need to take me there. I could be your bodyguard. 😉

    • says

      Oh, an Aussie / British thing, I believe! Yes, the food was awesome – great ‘pub grub’ as they say in the country 😉 We’d love to be escorted back there any time you want to cruise on over…

  9. says

    Hello, again… wow, the first image is gorgeous! it seems like a beautiful experience out. kinda expensive, hoho, but i imagine the good meal and the image of the countryside got you going a bit on the fast lane, hahaha. nah, it was an experience well worth it. be careful next time and mind the road signages, peace! warm regards from the rainy tropics… 🙂

  10. says

    Bittersweet escape it was and an expensive one. No more trance music for you. Gorgeous pictures. Love the bridge. At least you had a great meal and took your time enjoying it. As for the locals in that area…they just haven’t gotten the word…tolerance is “in”.

  11. says

    Those country pics we’re unbelievable Alarna~Made our hearts yearn to pop on over and take in the beauty for ourselves. As for the food, looked so good has me ready to jump up, run to the kitchen and make myself something to eat. Had my stomach gurgling. LOL~ The only thing I wish you’d done, was give your sweety a nice, big kiss! Givem somethin’ to really talk about!! Loved this Alarna, & BTW~Inion & I have nominated you for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. So head on over to our blog & check out your nomination Sister! Congrats.

    • says

      Aw, thank you for including me in the Sisterhood – I’m honoured! 🙂 I’m surprised how many people wanted us to put on a show for the locals…I suppose that would’ve made their day! Didn’t fancy getting lynched for lunch…but you are welcome to visit – maybe we’ll be braver with an entourage 😉

  12. says

    Your photo blog indeed holds the power to take the reader on a journey, as it did me. So thank you.

    You write in the beginning about times when we do something contrary to our gut feel. Have you ever stopped to wonder what is it that makes us act so and get outcomes contrary to what we had hoped for?


    • says

      Thank you, Shakti, for your thoughtful comment. Nothing is ever wasted, that’s for sure… we make those choices to learn something, or perhaps to find a good story 😉 Either way, my philosophy is, no regrets!

  13. Deliberately Delicious says

    I really love that you stayed at the bar and that you enjoyed your meal despite the comments from the country boys. Hold your heads high.
    And the photographs are terrific! The Noojee trestle bridge looks amazing!

  14. says

    Sounds like on balance it was a positive experience, although of course that’s ultimately up to you. I can relate somewhat because I got an unexpected parking ticket attending an otherwise sublime songwriting convention this weekend. 🙂 Yeah, it’s hard to imagine a place called Noojee being metropolitan or sophisticated, right? But a beautiful word nonetheless.

  15. says

    $289! My goodness! That’s a huge amount that you had to pay. What a bonus for the officer.

    I do what I have to do. I rarely ignore my gut instinct, no matter what the consequences.

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