So I’m going to start with my most recent experiences with someone of the opposite sex, then work backwards in time. There are two Austrian bricklayers that feature in these recent experiences. At the time of meeting they were decked out in matching felt hats (think Amish hats – I did, but with less creepy beards and more wavy blond hair that falls seductively in the eyes), matching corduroy shorts and waistcoats. The waistcoats had pockets for different tools- a pocket for a stanley knife, a pocket for a flip out ruler with a built in bottle opener. It was a Friday and they had just finished a roof, so according to Austrian bricklaying traditions they were also wearing white shirts with braces.
I think I mentioned that there are only 900 or so people in the community where I work, so if there are men on the scene I haven’t met, I mean, I’m not a man-eater, but I made it my mission to know these dudes. This has sometimes backfired, last week I invited a man called Igor to camp in our backyard after meeting him in the library for 0.05 seconds. Bad move, but more on Igor later.
Back to the Austrians – the most babin’ looking dudes I’d ever seen (recently) (in this small town) and therefore definitely in the running to be my future husband. I was working on an event at an amphitheatre they built in Schmoebs. I thought of some work-related inquiry to start a conversation (wtf are two dressed up Austrians doing in the desert in an Aboriginal community?), which led to inviting them to the tavern for a drink in Beachville where I live, which led to then inviting them to my house to play cards as the tavern kitchen was closed.
Which I guess was good, because we played some intense SNAP and there was some electrifying accidental elbow brushes and eventual exchanging of numbers. By the time I’d got back from driving them home there was a text in broken English and plenty of emoticons thanking me for a lovely night. Win! (NB: Any guys reading this, never wait three days, or wait at all, just text us, please).
So the first date wasn’t completely lame! In fact it was nice- their neighbour had made kangaroo stew on a fire in their backyard. Turns out they live in the backyard of a half built house, one in a caravan and the handsome blonde one, lets call him Hans, in a converted bus, aptly named the Magic Bus… Hans won extra brownie points by not sleeping with me, ‘not on the first date!’
So the first date with gentleman Hans included making out, which is always fun, especially with someone so attractive that I still pinch myself that such a fine specimen of a man got naked with a specimen like me. I mean, the guy looked like a model! I later found out that he was. When he did mandatory military service in Austria, they just gave him all the Navy, Army and Airforce uniforms and made him stand in the lines to meet dignitaries.
But the third date sucked. Mainly because of the high expectations I had based on the awesomeness of the others and the potential to take things ‘to the next level’.
We went to see Ash Grunwald at K-Hole Tavern. My first time going out in K-Hole. OK, the Tavern: picture a low roofed room crowded with ever increasingly pissed big burly mining dudes who consider accidental eye contact as an invitation and ogle exposed flesh in a manner just as irritating and ever present as sandflies and mosquitos attack exposed flesh at Beachville. Unforts these dudes are impervious to Deet. For example, a wiry leather-skinned dude with long hair and tatts sporting a ‘FIFO: Fly In & Fuck Off’ shirt simply pointed at his eyes, then pointed at me, unsmiling.
Add Ash Grunwald: 1.5 hours late, also pissed. Add two Austrians: Hans becoming increasingly drunk, avoiding all eye contact and shunning any (previously reciprocated) attempts at public displays of affection or any kind of physical contact. Other Austrian was dancing ridiculously and getting more excited/hilarious after each Red Bull. Add me: sober, driving, wishing it was Other (dancing) Austrian I was attracted to.
After about an hour of this I started dancing with a group of off-chops middle aged women who said nice things like “Damn girl, you’re a GREAT dancer and your tits look FUCKEN HOT in that dress, sweetheart!” I also danced with a bunch of young miners from Broome for a while, their catch cry for the evening was (sarcastically) “Stop the mining! Fucken save the Kimberley!”
Is it weird to BYO sleeping bag, pillow and earplugs on a second date? I wish I had. Fast forward to later in the early hours of the following morning, where post coital* snuggling in the blonde Austrian’s bus is so frustrating that at 4.30am I am so squashed, freezing and fairly certain I can hear a mouse** nearby that I drive the long drive of shame from Schmoebs back to Beachville. When I wake up a few hours later, who is the one person I don’t want to ask me how my night was? My boss.
I’m now really good friends with my boss, we have heaps of fun watching trash TV, get along really well and I’m starting to open up, but at the time, the whole living and working together thing really messed with my previously held ideas of privacy and work/life balance. I should probs mention that because my work pays for our rent, I live with my boss and three other colleagues, my boss wasn’t just randomly at my house to have breakfast. My other colleagues live in a house in Schmoebs, where housing is in such short supply that we had to live out here in Beachville.
All in all, the date was really weird and confusing. Mixed messages to the maximum core, which isn’t helped by the lack of a common language.
* a lady never tells! OK, you twisted my arm, I’ll tell- it was amazing. Passionate, hungry and I actually pulled a muscle! Success!
**later confirmed that there was, in fact, a mouse eating some months old Nutrigrain. He not only didn’t mind it, but had given up putting it outside because it would only return again, so he’d even given it a name.