Monday, February 18, 2008

Ai kaan jinggabat neim blanga dijan poust

I have had so many ideas for my ‘next post’ that I must have been too intimidated by myself to write any of them down, or, indeed, post anything. So here goes with a regular, start from scratch, no plans, post.

Umm…. And this is the part where I get tongue tied (or finger tied? Or whatever it is when you’re typing not talking!). So many things have transpired since last I wrote. It’s difficult to know where to start, especially since I’m writing this in a hotel room as a word document, so can’t even refer to my last post for a few pointers.

Well, hotel room’s not exactly right; but perhaps that’s a good place to start: I’m in some form of paid accommodation, about 200km North of the Taj (for photos of which, my dear friends, you’ll have to wait till Dee puts them on FB as I forgot to transfer them to my USB ere her southern bound return trip.. will see what I can do). I’m up here tutoring the Diploma of Interpreting at BIITE (google it; can’t be bothered expanding the acronym) in a town called Batchelor, till Wednesday. It’s rained near constantly since my arrival, and I left Katherine River at 7m and rising on Sunday afternoon (don’t worry, it has to get to over 18 before we really panic!). The turn off to Batchelor from the Stuart HWY is sporadically cut off throughout the day as the creek rises and recedes every couple of hours, so whether I can get back to the big K is another story altogether! Well, that’s an over dramaticalisation, but hey!

In other news, I travelled to Melbourne for xmas and New Year, spending a spectacular night on the beach watching an electrical storm out to see, meeting some cool new people, but mainly rekindling my love for all you, my dear readers, my old friends, my People. It was fantastic to catch up with each and every one of you. I’m sorry to any who I missed, and look forward to another whirlwind Melb tour some time mid year.

Upon my return to the big K, I plunged back into the madness of full-time-work-after-two-weeks’-leave, which was even more maddening as I had only three weeks in which to cram things before another two week holiday (woe betide the time-poor linguist who applies for holidays in the month of February!). Dee came for a visit which pacifically [sic] entailed two funfilled trips to Darwin, swimming at Umbrawarra Gorge, a sight seeing road trip to Timber Creek, scenic sunrise flying over Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and Leliyn (Edith Falls), many dips in the body of water lying just west of the Taj, feeding Maru the cat, and lots of time with hot glue, drawing pins, interestingly stained giant foam, and egg cartons. Oh and caves, lots of caves. And a disturbingly friendly caveman. And don’t forget the backgammon!

Dee, I started missing you before you’d even left. And it was very strange not seeing you everyday – I’d grown accustomed to your face! I hope you have a great time, we had a great time hosting you, and you are welcome back when e’er you wish. ☺

Since then it’s been ‘back on the horse’ and ‘go go go!’, gee up Hooch, you’ve got interpreters to book and train, recordings to edit, and Kriol courses to run. Leisure time was filled on the weekend with the most frustrating, disappointing, let down of a Film Festival of my life. Indeed, I challenge anyone to compete with the incompetence and misfortune which betide the local cinema.

Beware: what ensues is a purging of frustrations. It may not be coherent, or even interesting; if you dare, dear reader, read on.
The first feature came to a climactic nadir when, in the midst of the action, just as the baddy was admitting all the glory of his badness, the film cut out and the lights came on. A minute later, after groans from the audience (who are not unfamiliar with such mishaps occurring in said cinema) the film came back on, and in silence, we could only lip read the end of the menacing monologue. Grr, mildly frustrating, turns out there was some stickytape on the film, oh well, let’s hope they keep and eye out and it won’t happen again. Not so, my friend, not so. The second film suffered the exact same cut out/lights on fiasco, though it failed to be quite as timely. The third (which you’d think could not be topped until you hear the fourth!) started to play upside down with no sound a bit after halfway through. We were told that the film canisters had been labelled wrongly, though our confidence in the projectionist’s abilities were wearing thin at thin point. Yet again, the following day, Katherine’s film fest frequenters, (oh the masochism!) decided to brave another ‘cinematic experience’. Collective and disheartened laughter rippled in disbelief across the audience as the short came on with no sound. In silent horror we watched as we contemplated leaving. For some bizarre reason most of us stayed. A belated apology from the festival host along the lines of ‘sorry, we’ll try to get some sound for the feature’, was met with more groans. We were at the end of our tether, or so we thought. In vain hope, we remained in our seats. The feature came, and – for a moment – all was well; there was sound and everything! From about 15minutes into the film, the sound kept cutting out. But the stubborn film goer clung to the subtitles (yay for foreign films!). We watched the better part of it in silence, a silence broken by someone answering their phone with ‘I’m at the movies and there’s no sound’, then broken by pop music pumping from the speakers, then by a crackly tapping as though someone was testing a mic. Suffice to say I did not stay for the second feature that evening. Alas for those who braved the inevitable. For it is just that, inevitable: our tropical wet season begat a town-wide power failure that not even the local cinema could withstand.


bulanjdjan said...

She's back!! Brilliant!

And what a disaster of a film festival, even for Katherine! Just the other day I was revelling in once again being able to watch *all* of the credits, instead of having some teenage projectionist (or over-zealous Cinema manager?) decide that once "The End" flashes on screen, no one's watching the screen any more. It seems the credits were the last luxury you needed over the weekend!!

Anonymous said...

I'll be back. D

Catherine said...

You are a classic, Hoochy-mumma :-))) Such a good description of the Katherine cinema experience-although it does sound like they may have out done themselves this time! Love you lots and lots! Catherine

Hooch said...

Oh Katherinites - you know what it is that I suffer! *faints dramatically*

Oh D, you're lucky you only experienced the mildest dose of the Cinematic Excruciance (excruciating experience).

The rest of you mob: I don't cough for my own amusement! Speak up. Comments welcome, encouraged, nay, sought after!

pa said...

Dear Hooch,
It was great to receive your call
yesterday and hear your voice. Straight after Julie took us to the dermatologist who said that Nana's legs were looking much better. He adjusted the medication but it will take some time before the skin condition finally resolves. Nana's new special boots which your family contributed to for her birthday are a great success.Thank you. Bad luck about the film festival. It seems you need new equipment and better technical help in Katherine.
Good luck with your endeavours.
Lots of love from Nana and myself.


Rob said...

couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery

couldn't organise a fuck in a brothel

....Katherine contributes its own!

couldn't organise a film in a cinema

Catalin said...

It's been 2 yrs since I was in Katherine and your description of the film festival brought it all back clear as anything. There's almost something comforting in the consistency of the incompetence of the cinema. It's like the world does stand still there in Katherine and nothing really does change. Ah! I'm looking forward to visiting in a few months.