As the good old jokes go:
A man walks into a bar...
For in a bar you are bound to meet the most interesting of characters.
This past week in Queensland, Australia Tony Mangan met men who were far from ‘queens’. In fact, they didn’t even seem like royalty.
Of course, Tony is used to being treated like royalty by many ordinary people along his world walk route, but then there are times when, despite him insisting that there are great people all around the world, it`s just not possible to bump into them.
When that happens getting from ‘A to B’ in a foreign country can be tough. In October 2011 Tony was going from Mexico to Guatemala. It was a dry and arid time, not unlike this past week in Australia. Tony was finding it tough as he walked. His usual economical journey was being interrupted by immigration on the Mexican border. There the guards insisted that he pay more money even though he had already forked out for the original visa fee on the other side of the border. He had to wait for over an hour while the man on the border emailed and liaised with officials about what must have seen to them at that time as being some form of a runaway border hopper. Tony though, used the waiting time to notice the surrounding landscape and weather.
He noticed that the drivers were erratic and the roads weren’t much better either. Notable to him was how the roads had been worn down such was the power and regularity of the extreme downpours during the typical monsoon weather of that typical central American country. As he had been there before he wondered if the potholes were the same ones as the last time he had visited!
This past week for Tony has allowed him to meet nicer folk that the pertinacity of the border guard though they have spun a yarn or two to Tony along the way also. For him, these past few days have been a case of forgetting about the ‘Queens’ land, as it`s been more like a deck of cards where the queens, kings, jacks have all been missing and a new jester has been crowned instead saying:
'Tony Mangan walked into a bar and met a pack of jokers '
Thankfully, for the local road users there are no dangerous crevices in the ground to make the drivers as crazy as Tony experienced in South America during 2011, although the ‘holes’ may be larger but are seated under the jokers right by the bar in Queensland, Australia.