Marking The Territory

We’ve loved our stop here in Canberra, and I thought you might be interested in which particular part of our trip the kids are talking about most. Which experience do they rate number one?

It’s not what you might think.

It sure as hell wasn’t what I expected arriving in Canberra two weeks ago.

The War Memorial was great, with superb planes and history and being able to sit on a submarine loo, but even it doesn’t compete.

They liked making their own coin at the Royal Australian Mint, but haven’t mentioned it again.

The National Dinosaur Museum was super interesting too, with it’s large animated reptiles, and Arboretum‘s huge nut play area earned such a big giggle there have been requests for another look.

We’ve even been to the old Parliament House twice because the kids were begging to go back there and play with the teepee and cushions in the kid’s play rooms.

But going there again today was nothing compared to our Questacon attendance record. Six times in two weeks. And still the kids haven’t experienced everything on offer there and would happily go back a seventh.

And even that doesn’t come up as much in conversations as event Numero Uno. Without a hint of competition, this has become the most talked about attraction of our time in Canberra.

It all started as a bit of a novelty for me: a flashback to a simpler decade. Because you know what you don’t see everyday in Queensland? Window washers at the traffic lights.

I was so blown away the first time a guy started cleaning my window here last week. All I could think about all the way home was how he was getting away with it. I even Googled it later that night and was blown away to discover it was legal here.

Which is awesome!

I used to love helping a charity by throwing a few coins in a bucket. It was always met with a smile and a chat, even on occasions when I explained I had no coins to give them. Even if they were just a couple of backpackers or blokes down on their luck I always thought it was great to see people getting up off their bums and doing something to better their situation.

I know I’m not going to get everyone agreeing with me on this. I know there were safety concerns. I know some people just didn’t like being ‘accosted’ at traffic lights when all they really wanted to do was reach down into the foot well of the passenger side of the car for a different CD, or to fumble another ciggie from the pack, but I liked it.

Enough I was keen to bring this rare sight to the attention of my kids.

“Check out this bloke,” I called behind me to the kids as the bloke stopped washing the car window beside us and looked like he was going to wash ours.

For once they all stopped what they were doing and glanced up and out the window to where I was pointing.

“What’s he doing?” asked Miss7.

The guy walked past our car to the curb.

“He’s washing car windows for money,” I explained. “You don’t see this sort of thing anymore.”

“You sure don’t,” agreed Tracey, just as the entire car erupted. Mostly in laughter.

Because that was the point at which the guy wiggled his hips a bit, fiddled and then whipped it out, and began peeing.

In the middle of the intersection.

In front of all the traffic.

With my kids cheering him on.

“He’s just marking his territory,” joked Master12.

And now, two days later, despite everything we’ve spent time doing here, it’s still the only thing any of the kids are interested in talking about.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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1 Comment

  • The window cleaners here are quite well tolerated and usually fairly decent blokes. One disappeared a few years ago and it was discovered that he had sadly passed away. A beautiful memorial was set up at his traffic light hang out and it was just a nice thing to see. Most of the blokes have had really rough lives and the community does their best to support them.

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