I am in Darwin at the moment and all I can say is that this place feels like paradise!

Let me start with the weather. It’s 32 degrees during the day and just under 20 at night. There is a word for that: balmy!

Yep, deliciously warm days and balmy warm nights. I am so appreciating the big thaw my body has been going through over the last five days. I have been getting in touch with my inner snake and planting myself beside the pool every afternoon, sucking up the Vitamin D like a reptile after a long, cold winter.

Sun and skin. Is there a better antidote to any problem in the world? I think not!

Okay, well the addition of sea would be beautiful, but I want to stay focussed on the positives at the moment. There actually is a sea beside Darwin but it’s full of deadly creatures that are gunning for my demise, so the pool is working very well for me right now.

The second thing I adore about this town is the people. Everyone is friendly and genuinely interested in the people they come across. It’s like we all went to primary school together and were the best of buds!

I am from Perth, and I feel like Perth is a friendly town, however, people who have moved to my hometown have said to me that, in fact, it is not! I have been told that Perthians are closed off to outsiders, and the word that was thrown around a lot was clique-y.

Those same observers in Perth would never say that about Darwin. This town is full of travellers (particularly young, bronzed backpackers) who remind me of the glorious years when I travelled the world on a shoestring budget and with a carefree heart.

Everyone is eager, interested, and happy to help. I’m certain that if I engaged with these backpackers I would end up wildly drunk and regaling them with stories of jungle-border-crossings in Central America in a canoe.

That is another story though…

The third thing – and probably my favourite – is that Darwin believes in the Happy Hour! Well, praise the Lord! No wonder everyone here is so chilled out and happy! How could you not be??

I had my first Happy Hour here in Darwin last Thursday (far too late in my life) and this is where I discovered the $5 vino. All I can say is: “Yes please – and keep those bad boys coming!!!”.

I now realise just how crucial travellers are to a town when I see this many bars, cafes and restaurants with a Happy Hour.

In fact, these people are so happy that they have a multiHappy Hours! No need to rush folks, it’s Happy Hours– and yes I do mean plural! We are in the Territory after all!

On Friday night, I was in the lift on my way down to the hotel bar and two ladies hopped in a couple of floors down from me. I found myself admiring one of the ladies’ Hogwart t-shirt, and we spoke a few brief words to each other. It was your standard polite chit-chat and a brief and cursory connection was made in that elevator.

Anyway, we ended up at Happy Hour(s) on adjacent tables in the balmy evening air. I had my laptop with me so I could catch up on work and was tapping away, but I still had an awareness that they were beside me on the next table, happily chatting away.

Well, three $5 vinos later and we are all on the same table sharing our stories and learning about one another.

It was divine!

The $5 vino glasses became bottles, and I just knew I was in trouble the moment I craved a Club Sandwich! The lovely waitress, Su (from Korea), said the Club Sandwich was only on the room service menu but that she would see what she could do.

She came back: of courseI could have the Club Sandwich!!

Anyway, I red-carded myself at 9.30 after a beautiful evening of “Happy Hours-ness”, Club Sandwiches, interesting chats about philosophy and politics, and a whole heap of laughter.

I will probably never see Jacinta or Ginny again, but the fact that Happy Hour facilitated a beautiful evening of laughter and friendship means I am even more enamoured with this place.

Happy Hour: so much more than cheap drinks!

Love Kate-3


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