We grow old and think we have seen the world but Kyogle had a big surprise and lesson for me when I went back in January 2015.  After reaching 65 it was hard for me to renew visas in China –  they are frightened you are gonna cark it and kept sending me back to Australia hoping I stay away but I kept coming back to Brissy and getting another visa and going back – lots of pleasant surprises and rewards of many kinds in China.  In fact on visits to Brissy I tried finding out about Centrelink and got a rude shock. Not eligible for pension cos I was “expat”.  In January 2015 after 4 rebuffs in the city over 2 years I figured go back to Kyogle where surely I am accepted as Aussie born and bred

, Army Officer, fought in Vietnam, 20 years paying taxes in various government agencies.

Not much money so I stayed in the cheapest room at the Commercial Hotel, $36 a night.  There seemed no one else on the second floor and I was just across from the showers and toilets so that seemed a quiet set up.  I was there a few days (had to visit Casino Centrelink –good to me as a hometown boy and met up with 3 classmates – great yarns, and I climbed Fairymount ). On the second last night it was stinking hot 27 January and I had no ventilation. At midnight it poured and went out in the corridor in undies to celebrate and see if there was a window up the end. From a door 10 meters way a guy had come out stark naked. I was surprised to see anyone, and certainly not that.

I went back to bed and heard the showers going. Then stopped and footsteps and an almighty crash on my door. It was not a mistaken stumble but a huge deliberate crash. I was so concerned I barricaded my door with a full height cupboard backed with draws pulled from another cupboard. So weird.

Next morning I inquired of the guy at the bar if my neighbor was one night or regular. Did not get an answer.   The thought troubled me through the day and then I realized, I had already had an odd encounter with this guy.

I had arrived on the one train there is each day  early in the morning I had gone back to the station when people were about to see when there was a train back to Brissy.

There was nothing going on except a guy sitting on a bench with a can in a brown bag. As soon as he saw me he said rather leerily, “I like your shirt”.  In fact it was purple uni T shirt. I said, “yeah, Tsinghua Uni, China” and asked about train times and his answer was just rubbish. As I turned he yelled “I still like your shirt”.

What was the deal with the two events?  Had he checked in stalking me? I was due to catch the one train back 2.46am. No bloody shower that evening, that’s for sure. His door was ajar and maybe he che cked out but I just kept quiet. On sunset I came back to the hotel and at a door looking out from the 2nd floor was a guy enjoying the sunset. Back to me. He seemed about 40, over 6 foot. It was either the weird guy or the hotel manager (similar from the back and maybe he lived on this floor). I still had 6 hours hanging around and must check this out.

“Nice sunset” I said and he turned around. It was not the manager. He rubbed his fist and said “you nearly broke my hand last night….He went on, “you know you shouldn’t go round naked like that. You know what that can do to a man”.  Shit. We have a problem.  No point arguing who was wearing what and happy in my secret I was on the train in a few hours. I apologized for upsetting him and disappeared down the stairs and wandered my hometown till  2 am then fetched my backpack and headed for the station.

I reflect. I was being stalked by a man that could overpower me and he was lustful. It wasn’t that he was sick that haunted me, but the first ever feeling of what women might often experience.  Had to wait 70 years to get that taught to me in my hometown.

Dunno if he was a local pervert or passing through.

: https://www.coulterexergy.com/archives/1735

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