Katherine, 3rd or 4th February 2007

Time Difference

The bridge to my regular workplace has been flooded. The Katherine river is a bit higher but that is normal for the wet season. So, I have to work on the east side of the river, close to the Riverview, my place to sleep. I kind of like Katherine. It is small an quiet. Australians celebrate their summer holiday in January, but the masses pass stay away from the Top End. Most tourists avoid the wet season. Fine with me, but they'll miss out on all the wonderful green.

The rain in the wet is limited to a fierce tropical shower every once in a while. It is nice and cooling, a break from the heat. With my hair cut short, T shirt, thongs and shorts live is good here.

Since a couple of weeks I am the proud owner of a mountain bike. It is from a trash and treasure shop, as there was no place to rent a bike. The tropics are a perfect environment for cycling. My arms have tinted already, just like a Tour de France cyclist, my hands are brown on top, but my fingers are relatively white. Those fingers don't face the sun why cycling. By looking at the brow white contrast it must be possible to tell how long I've been here.

Time has a slower pace here. The big weekend newspaper of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Weekend Australian are available here only the next Wednesday. There are insufficient readers here to print them locally, so they arrive from afar. No horries, those papers will still be around on Thursdays, just in time to read them during the next weekend. So the weekend newspaper fits the weekend. Time seems to stand still in the Northern Territory and I like it.

watch It is hard to keep the days of the week apart. My watch anchors the days. It shows the day of the week, time is less relevant as the sun rises and sets in a fixed rhythm.

In the morning the watch stands still at ten past nine, Friday 2nd. This can not be true, the sun is higher than that. How many days has this watch been standing still? What day of the week is today? How to find out? The papers won't help, those have a week accuracy.

My laptop says it is a Saturday. I don't know if that is right as I often fiddle with the date to test the SUMit roster software. I have to cycle down town for a new battery. And too bad, the only watch shop is closed. So it must be weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. I'll try again tomorrow as that might be Monday.

So it is Friday to me till Monday. The Northern Territory officially is 8.5 hours ahead of the Netherlands, but only next Thursday I will read what was in the papers this weekend. If only I'll have the right date, otherwise it will be last Friday. It is kind of cute, this time difference with reality.

Till next nut,