After falling asleep at a free roadside camp site I was woken around midnight to the sound of slamming car doors. In the cars headlights I could see about six indigenous people, drunk and screaming in a foreign language, they began to argue and fight.
I watched them through my caravan window. Three other campers in the camp site put their lights on, which I didn’t do. One of the drunken women started chanting in broken English,
“Go back to sleep tourist”
Others joined in the chant,
“Go back to sleep tourist, go back to sleep”.
It was a chilling sound in the desert at that time of night.
One of them got back into the car and started to drive in circles spinning their wheels. The red dust engulfed the camp site.
The chanting got louder. Realizing that the situation was escalating, I decided to make a tactical retreat. Under the cover of darkness, dust and noise I went outside to raise the legs of the caravan. With a mob of drunk and violent people less than thirty meters away, I stealthily packed the caravan for the road.
I crept around to the driver’s side door being careful not to be seen by the crowd. I pressed the central locking button on the key. The cars blinkers and all the caravan lights flashed twice.
“Where you going tourist?” a female screamed.
This isn’t a movie so the engine started. I got to the highway in a straight line through the desert scrub. I heard screaming as I passed them by. I watched in my mirrors to see if they would follow. I didn’t have a plan for a road chase towing a caravan. No one followed. I drove to the next camp site.
I was initially angry by the threat and inconvenience of having to move, but as I drove and chilled out a bit, it occurred to me that moving to another camp site and loosing some sleep is a pathetic reason to be angry. Being invaded by another country and pushed to the margins of society is a good reason to be angry. Labelled as flora and hunted almost to extinction is a good reason to be angry. In addition, over two hundred years of bulling, abuse and racism is very good reason to be angry.