Stories from Bernie's new trip - heading "down under" to explore Tasmania
My original plan to explore Tasmania ran along my ideas of freedom – visit the island under mainland Australia by mule. I couldn’t find one, ditto the horse, and found myself tackling the island state with a ten dollar junk shop bike. Not the flavor of freedom I was originally going for….
Because my bike can’t carry much weight, maybe twenty five pounds, I haul little in the way of provisions, especially food – some rice, oil, a half a pound of cheese. Last night, to augment these rations I went fishing. With a borrowed rod, reel and bait, I caught a “Cockie”, a wild Tasmanian Salmon. Cooked up with a clove of garlic and a hunk of ginger, it made a dandy meal.
This evening, in search of another meal, I took my bike for a short spin. The plan was to search the shoreline around Southport for mussels. So this is what bike freedom is like…
Finding the pickings slim, I strayed onto a long cement pier. Fishing at the end of the jetty were two men. Next to them stood a van: “Razor the Amazer” was written on the side.
Curious, I struck up a conversation with the older of the two men. Turns out it was Razor.
Razor Love is an accredited builder and brick layer by trade. He and his son Darcy were in the area for a few days’ work. Finding themselves here a bit early, they grabbed their rods for a spot of fishing. We talked work, travel and Razor’s upcoming visit to the ‘States. How his wife Risky was “the most beautiful, beautiful woman in the world”.
Yes, Razor really was his born name. And yes, he wore one around his neck. It hung from a fine chain and was worn smooth from countless swings across his chest.
While we spoke, Razor reeled in a flathead, a local bottom fish. He offered it to me “for tea”, the late evening meal Tasmania. Then he told me, in his mind, what it was to be free. Razor’s freedom had nothing to do with mules or boats. But I found them incredibly beautiful – something you’d want to hear. Slowly, in its mechanical way, I’m starting to see the freedom in my ten-buck bike. It allows me to carry just enough to be mobile but not enough to be self sufficient. In making up the deficit I get to meet Tasmanians like Razor and Darcy – and learn about other folks’ ideas of freedom.
So, again, tell me the three things you think when I ask you what is it “to be free”. Email them to me if you like.
Now click on the audio player below to listen to Razor’s definitions.
Thanks Razor and Darcy, for the visit. And yes Razor, I’ll be sending you a card when I return from the States. Because we shook on it at the end of the pier!
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