How do you know you are boarding a flight to Rockhampton? Is it the laconic voices of salt and pepper grey haired men who meander out to the plane? Maybe it is the sunny dress on the toddler and her blond curls hinting at the tropical sun. And her mother dressed for capricornia in a top that reveals more cleavage than a swimsuit model. Or maybe it is the skinny jeans and checked shirts worn by the cattlemen who hitch their thumbs in their fob pockets in a DNA driven habit born of too many generations doing exactly the same thing. Its the slow drawl and even rounder vowels than those you might hear further south. I sense the slowing down that used to be part of our own makeup when we lived in “Far North Queensland” or “FNQ” (not allowed to be spoken quickly least the hearer takes offence) as the locals call it. Aha, there it is, the most obvious clue. Rocky is cattle country and a ten gallon hat is de rigeur. Still. But in this case a twenty gallon hat, one stacked on top of the other and both on his head. No doubt more convenient than carrying it in his hand. But this is Queensland – there is every chance he fancies this is improved cooling, ventilation and reduced sweat if worn this way. Every chance indeed, and you won’t be able to convince him otherwise.
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