I’ve managed to notch up another successful yearly mission in keeping a low profile amidst what feels like thousands of tourists as they descend – en masse – upon our sleepy little island hideaway to fish, swim, jet ski, party, make noise, make mess and become general nuisances in as many places as possible.
My quiet little concrete street winding through the canopies of native trees, wildlife, funny little birds and alternative-style housing has become quite an attraction and sightseers can wander around all day long drinking it all in and having loud conversations outside my house about the merits of moving here and absconding from the rat race altogether.
While I’m all for dropping out of society and becoming a hermit, it’s a bit hard to keep the faith with the menagerie of families, old folk and groups of tag-along adolescents meandering past our home at ten-minute intervals oohing and ahhing while scanning for some hapless alternative-home dweller who is willing to impart some local knowledge on the pros and cons of island living.
If I manage to find myself in the unfortunate position of being cornered in my front yard in the above-mentioned scenario, I try to manoeuvre my now barking dogs behind a bush and pretend I haven’t seen them. If plan A proves unsuccessful because my still-barking dogs have worked themselves into a frenzy and have drawn too much attention, plan B will be to tell them about the mosquitoes, sand flies, eccentric nutters and general weirdos – of which I am one – and those funny little birds that wander the island at night in packs and emit a horrible screech not unlike a minion from hell.
If they can get past that helpful advice, I then point them in the direction of the local real estate agent and information queen for any other questions that they might like to ask about the economic viability of living on an island and having to commute to the mainland for work, food, and any other essentials that may be required for the duration of their residency.
Don’t get me wrong, island living has its bonuses. As I said, I get to escape the rat race. I also work on the island from home so it’s even less important for me to mingle with the mainlanders, but it’s a different way of life and I like to weed out the foolhardy from the fair dinkum from the word go.
Colour me with whatever brush you want but I have been here after many tourists have departed and seen the after effects of their bad behaviour and disrespect for our environment. Some people just aren’t worth having as neighbours and I’m providing a valuable community service in regard to the natural selection processes of potential future island habitation.
I can’t wait for Christmas.