Travel Thursday: Alicia from Alice Springs

My first time in Australia I got to see. . . pretty much nothing, since I landed in Sydney after a damn long flight and was moved right to a military plane for the hop to Alice Springs; I was asleep and never got to see Ayers Rock out the window either.
For those who don’t know, if there’s any of you left, there’s a “top secret” military base near Alice Springs, basically a place to download all the stuff coming down from the satellites and spy on Russia and probably now China. But even though it’s no big secret anymore, it’s still very security conscious, and I was joining a team looking into possible leaks from either the personnel or the workers, like janitors and such.
I don’t know if there was no room left on the base, or whether they expected us to check out those workers at home, but we were put up in a hotel on the outskirts of town, where I slept away most of the day. Luckily Alice isn’t that big, but when it’s 110 degrees it’s big enough. Anyway, I was going downtown for the first time to find a place to eat before I started work the next day.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it seemed like a typical small Midwestern American town. I saw a regular-looking school on my walk, and a few blocks later there was a gym with babes doing aerobics. Next to it was a porn shop, which I did not go into! {At least not on that walk.} I might have watched the aerobics class for a while, had it not been so hot. And the odds were not very strong that the porn shop might have air conditioning. Besides, I was hungry.
As I looked away from the aerobics babes, I saw this incredibly beautiful blonde walking toward me. It was even more of a shock as I realized she was the last thing I expected in the middle of the Australian desert. Why wasn’t she in Sydney, or Hollywood?
I’m sure I was gawking at her, and she seemed to have a slight smile in place, like she was usta being stared at by horny guys, particularly Americans, and had learned to accept it and maybe even have fun with.
Anyway, one of the things every resident and visitor to the area remembers is the flies. They’re huge, and there’s billions of them. Everywhere. You can’t escape them. On my next trip I bought a face net at Ayers Rock, they sell by the thousands. The reason this is important is because as I’m gawking at her, a fly lands right on my nose!
Well, if you’re gonna bright side it, at least it didn’t go into my gawking mouth. In irritation I move my hand up to brush it away, but I forgot I was wearing a cap. I hit the brim instead and caused the cap to fall over my face, blocking the view of that wondrous creature.
So I yank the cap away, feeling incredibly sheepish, especially when I see she stopped in her tracks and was bent over laughing. Wonderful. . .
A couple of days later I found an air-conditioned mall during my explorations. I was surprised to find a mall in such a small town, and even more surprised to find it so empty. Later I was told it was build to attract the Americans from the base, so they got most of their business at night. Anyway, I wandered the stores until I came to a sports shop, not so much the kind that sell equipment, but like the ones in the malls in the US, where they sell caps and jerseys and such of professional teams.
Just for the heck of it, I went in to see what teams they sold. I was hoping the local teams would have better names than just Kangaroos and Koalas. Turns out some of them had the same names we do, like Lions and such, although there was an Aussie Rules team named the Swans! That doesn’t figure, not very masculine.
But then I see they have a whole American section, Mostly basketball, but some football and even baseball. . .
And then, as if it had been waiting for me all my life, I spotted a UCLA cap.
So what? you’re thinking. You must have dozens. But this was a classic, literally. They’d only made a few of these, blue with gold lettering; they’re making them again now, but you can tell the difference. Rumor has it some fans steal the old ones, right off of people’s heads.
So I immediately grab the cap before someone can beat me to it and march right to the front counter. . . well, it was a small store, so it wasn’t much of a march, and it was the only counter. I hadn’t seen anyone working there, but since the door was open, I figured someone would eventually show up. I didn’t want to go outside to check because I wasn’t letting the cap out of my sight, and they probably had those sensors on the door, so as I waited I checked out the goofy key chains in those little racks on the counter, which is what I’m looking at when I hear this voice say “Try to keep this one on your head.”
Yes, our heroine finally arrives. I wondered just what a woman like that would be buying here, only to discover she was the clerk! Of all the really dumb luck!
Anyway, one thing led to another and we ended up going to dinner that night. We became friends, and you’ll never guess what she does now.
She works for the Australian version of the FBI. . .



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