Cyclone Debbie and a Great Big Piss-Up

A friend in England replied to my snapchats on Tuesday saying “what the fuck are you doing?”

Well, seven of us from the hostel ended up in a shelter for a couple of nights, and consequently ended up appearing in the Brisbane Times, BBC News and in the news on Belgian TV.

There was a category five cyclone destined to hit the town that I’m staying in on Monday so we had a choice of evacuating to Cairns, going to a cyclone shelter or hoping that the hostel lives up to its cyclone rating. Bearing in mind that I could not be arsed to pack and leave for Cairns and that the ceiling fan in our cyclone-rated room blows our door open, I ended up going to the shelter where we spent 40 hours. I had literally ten minutes to pack so I packed a pillow case instead of a bag because it was easier.

What I usually end up getting in trouble for is making a sarcastic comment at the wrong time, and it could’ve happened in the shelter. A journalist from the Brisbane Times asked me if I was still expected to pay my rent in the hostel, to which I laughed and made a sarcastic comment. Quite glad that we only had a picture on the internet. As for the BBC News, I now have celebrity status in the hostel as I was on BBC News and BBC Worldwide, and it seems like the only thing that they showed was me saying that I wanted a bed and a food – to be fair, that usually is the case whether or not I’m locked in a shelter.

7 News Australia tried to interview us, too. Looking back, it would’ve amused us to just pretend that we didn’t know that there was a cyclone coming and that we were just squatting until we got kicked out because it was free accommodation.

The shelter wasn’t that exciting; we were just tracking Debbie and playing Uno. She’s received a fair bit of abuse from us, and if anyone had overheard us and not known that it wasn’t a human we have been speaking about all week, we’d be in shit. We were tracking it for the whole time; it was delayed by a few hours five times, then it was destined to miss us completely. Domino’s was still open, and someone ordered a pizza and had it delivered through the window.

One good thing has come from this: Debs did not ruin my seven week Sunday Domino’s streak.

The days after the cyclone there were quite a few people leaving the hostel which meant going for a drink. One drink turned into several more and the best night out that I’ve had in this town – it is one very good story, though for now the less I write about it on the internet, the better. There is still an alcohol ban that I don’t quite understand in the hostel after the non-visit from Debbie which has quite obviously not been complied to. Whilst in bed and still drunk on Friday morning, I was asked if I could drive to one of the farms to replace someone working – luckily I had a more acceptable reason for saying no other than the fact that it would have been illegal for me to drive there. Instead, I ended up doing a short shift planting.

We also had the regular Saturday night piss-up – I had work the next day and was intending to be sensible. Thankfully, it wasn’t that hot compared to usual during the shift as it would’ve been a struggle – we really were not sensible.

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