First the obligatory reference to Part 1
Managed to save my airfare back to Oz and returned to discover an even better form of employment, and for the next few years worked on mine construction, mostly in West Australia (that’s where the real money is, in 1975 I was earning in the top 3% of wager earners in Oz). This period is so interesting that I’ll write about it in detail at a later date, but here’s a primer – I saw an accident that killed five miners, and I had an accident that severed my calf muscle. Anyway, the money and the short term nature of the contracts allowed me to spend significant time in South East Asia, where I learned to speak Thai well enough to get a job at a resort in Phuket.
One of those seemingly insignificant events that happens to you when you’re young, but has a long term effect on you, happened to me when I was about 10 years old. I was walking to the bus stop with a lady who lived nearby and she was telling me about how she had been around the world. It not only impressed the shit out of me (in truth I didn’t really know what she was talking about but it sounded cool), but it stayed with me to this day. So when I was around 24, I decided to circumnavigate the world (without a boat), and started by travelling overland to Europe. On the way I met MBF in Thailand. I worked in England and Canada for a while, and eventually hooked up with MBF in San Jose, where I joined him in a money making scheme to buy six houses all next to each other, renovate them and clean up in the property boom. It sort of worked, at least I made money out of it.
MBF introduced me to the woman who would later become my wife. After only four dates in three months, during a night on the booze in Truckee (where I was living at the time) we decided to get married . Three months later we were married, no mean feat given that we lived roughly 300 miles apart(sound familiar?) for all but the two weeks prior to the wedding. We immigrated to Oz (well, she immigrated, I just came home), thus completing a five year journey from Sydney to Sydney in a westerly direction. MDW had previously completed a similar adventure, only her’s was LA to LA. We then spent two years working, followed by six months living in a VW camper on Cape York peninsula in far north QLD while we waited for my US residency (now that’s a story).
We returned to the States where I spent the next three years working on the construction of computer manufacturing facilities in Silicon Valley before deciding that I didn’t want to be an electrician anymore. So we headed back to Oz , this time travelling east all the way, thus completing a circumnavigation in each direction. I did this because I wanted the day back that I had lost going the other way.
After spending time in Canada, Europe and Asia we arrived back in Sydney and moved to the Central Coast where I sat an entrance exam to university and was accepted (not bad for someone who left school at sixteen with only a High School Certificate). The reason for coming back to Oz to further my education rather than going to college in the States was that not only was the tuition free, but the government gave me $7,000 a year to attend university, this has since changed.
Coming up next, the one you’ve all been waiting for, why we live so far apart. I can guarantee you will be disappointed. It really is a non event, but hey! you guys seem so interested.
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