Although Rigabold the pernicketness knew from his studies that Australia was a big place he didn’t realise how big it was until he started driving the place. According to his texts many countries make claims about how big they are and while Australia may not have been the largest in expanse there was no mistaking how big it was when you could drive for hours without seeing any real signs of inhabitants.
He knew that would change as he got closer to the major cities because more than 80% of the country lived within an hour of the coast, but it was that kind of population density that meant there had to be large areas people didn’t populate. A big reason for that was that much of the land in the middle was uninhabitable by the kind of people who lived on Earth, who had over the past five hundred years become weak and reliant on being spoon fed rather than fending for themselves.
It was a source of constant amusement on Tumcuddula that humans had basically gone backwards, instead of using their advancements in technology to advance themselves they spent their time creating ways to be lazy. One little leaf out of the Tumcuddulans book of survival and humans too could have had extended life, less reliance on things of unimportance and been able to survive for more than five minutes without bitching that the power had gone out.
“Silly humans!” Rigabold thought as he cruised along the highway.
As he drove on into the darkness of the night heading towards Perth Rigabold had plenty of time to think and it was those sort of thoughts that filled his mind.
Driving a bit under the legal speed limit, at a speed way too slow for Tumcuddula, but comfortable for Australia roads where midnight wildlife could jump out of the darkness quicker than even his advance GPS could pick it up, Rigabold had an estimated arrival time in Perth of just after what Earth people called breakfast time.
At breakfast time the chances of getting a Chiko Roll were slim because most of the food shops that sold such food were closed until sometime later in the morning. Apparently Earthlings hadn’t worked out that Chiko’s were an any time food not just a lunch or dinner food. Roadhouses that served food twenty four hours a day also became less in the city, they were replaced with smaller service stations that sold food like hot dogs and meat pies.
Meat pies were another Australia delicacy that Tumcuddulan’s had already mastered, they were unlike meat pies in other parts of the world and there was several brands that outshone the pack. Unlike the Chiko Roll that only needed salt, or even better chicken salt sprinkled on it to make it fabulous a meat pie needed tomato sauce to make it perfect, a combination which was often referred to in Australian slang as a Pie and a dead horse, or a mystery bag and dead horse.
Rigabold’s GPS plotted a course around Perth, from what he’d read it was a lovely laid back kind of town, the most remote capital city in the world apparently as it was closer to several overseas capital cities than it was any other Australian capital city. He would have loved to stop and experience what it was that Perth had to offer but while he didn’t have an exact time frame he also wanted to make sure that he wasn’t caught dilly dallying around.
According to the GPS he was about fifty kilometres out of Perth’s northern suburbs when the screen started popping up facts and tourist information about Perth and it’s surrounds. As the Dodge took over its own steering duties Rigabold flicked through the screens.
Around Perth itself there was the usual sort of tourist attractions like clocks, parks and harbours to see. There was a few museums, including a rather large maritime museum that housed pieces of a ship called the Batavia from the 1600’s and the entire yacht that took the America’s cup, a big, ugly, silver mug, from the yanks back in 1993. There was also a rather daunting and apparently often scary prison not far from the museum, but the cutest thing Rigabold saw on the screens was a little creature called a Quokka.
Because the little creatures that kind of looked like a cross between a miniature kangaroo and cute cuddly toys only really lived on the island named Rottnest off Perth’s western coast line Rigabold knew he had to organise a viewing before continuing on his way.
“Hang the time.” he said to the empty cabin, “I want to pat one of these quokka things!”
Immediately, having understood what Rigbaold said, the GPS screen popped up a message saying that it was recommended that people didn’t handle the quokkas. Rigabold understood that such messages were stated because humans, although many thought they knew how to handle soft and furry animals, didn’t. He also knew that providing no one was watching him such rules wouldn’t apply to him.
“Organise me whatever it takes to get me to see one of those quokkas.” Rigabold told the GPS.
Within seconds the screen showed Rigabold a set of instructions about what he needed to do, where he needed to go and what time he needed to be there.
After Rigabold made his way through Perth and down to where the ferry he needed to catch over to Rottnest Island left, he parked the Dodge in one of the provided car parks and went looking for something to eat. Fed. but not with his desired Chiko Roll, Rigabold headed to the ferry for the 9am departure, his ticket was ready for him at the gate.
The ferry departed several minutes after the time written on the ticket, such tardiness he knew would not be accepted on Tumcuddula, and Rigabold was standing at the bow of the ferry with the breeze blowing through his hair and into his face.