Notes from 1997 | An Australian Maverick

This is a second installment on my series Notes from 1997. To read the first chapter click here. Enjoy.

“Bondi beach stop,” yelled the handsome bus driver in his smooth Australian accent.  I didn’t want to get off that bus … because the driver was the spitting image of Tom Cruise from the 1986 film Top Gun. With his silver aviator shades and black tussle hair he gave me a slight wink as I gathered my backpack and headed for the exit. Images of being whisked away in fighter jets to exotic locations around the world while Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone played in the background; I found my young head disrupted and my motor skills failed.

“Ma’am, you okay?” He grabbed me by the elbow and helped me up. “Uh – thanks. Just got in yesterday, I’m a little jet lagged.”

“Welcome to Australia. Is this your stop – Bondi Beach?” Was it my stop? I couldn’t even remember what day it was; he was nice and über cute in a young Tom Cruise-ish way and a sex-bomb – eat your heart out Kelly Mcgillis.

“Yes, yes, this is my stop. Thank you.” Embarrassed I turned to get one last look at his beautiful Australian perfection. His blue bus driver uniform was perfectly pressed, probably thanks to Momma; his arm muscles bulged under his shirt; his chest muscles, pumped from hours at the gym and his name tag read – Maverick.

My eyes did not deceive me. I read it right and I read it twice – Maverick. I tried to look through his aviator shades at his eyes as the sun reflected the twinkle that was already displayed in his smile. He smiled a beautiful smile as I swung my backpack over my shoulder and asked “You’re name is Maverick? You look like …” He didn’t give me a chance to finish “Maverick is my nickname on the bus my real name is Tom Crusher.” He held out his rugged, tanned hand.

“Well, nice to meet you T-T-Tom.” I held out my hand – goshdarnnit he was beautifully beautiful. “If you’d like to get a drink sometime … here’s my card.” I handed him my business/travel card which was complete with email, Canadian address, Mom’s phone number and a huge Canadian Maple Leaf image.

“I feel the need …” His pause was dramatic and the heavy sighs from the bus patrons grew with each passing moment. I pinched myself, this is not a movie – this is for real; he feels the need to … oh god! I’m never leaving Australia or this bus.

“I feel the need for speed. Do you like Harley Davidson’s – you know the motorcycle? If ya do … I’d like to take you on a tour of Sydney, on the back of my hog. How about tomorrow? It’s my day off; we could pack a light picnic and check out the sights on the other side of the harbour.”

“I do feel the need, the need for speed. Tomorrow sounds great! Where shall we meet?” My heart pulsated and my knees grew weak for tomorrow could not come fast enough.

“I’ll pick you up, right here, at this bus stop. I’ll be here at eleven-thirty. I look forward to seeing you. Oh – and wear those jeans.”

Applause erupted from within the bus, romantic hope applause or hurry up and get off the bus applause, it didn’t matter.

“Eleven-thirty, I’ll be here … in these jeans and don’t forget those specks and you can leave your cowboy boots on.”

I walked off the bus to the rush of fresh salt air; beach-goers busied themselves burying umbrella poles in the sand when I heard the sound of the closing bus doors. I raised my hand to wave goodbye. Maverick beeped the buses’ horn, smiled a Cheshire smile, waved and drove away.

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I hope you enjoyed the story. I am open to positive critique, thank you for reading.

Notes from 1997 | Toronto to Sydney (Guest Post)

Check out my second guest post ever from the kind folks over at The Blissful Adventurer. I’d love your opinions, good and bad on this story. Happy travels.

The Blissful Adventurer

**The Blissful Adventurer is running about Italy at the moment so in his stead we happily endorse and support the work of the following blogger, Jennifer Avventura of My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda. Please check out this post, leave comments for exchange with the author, and give their blog a read.**


Jennifer Avventura is a freelance writer living in Sardinia, Italy. In her spare time she runs, hikes and writes the popular blog at My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda.
The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright


Notes from 1997 | Toronto to Sydney

“Mom, I’m moving to Australia for a year.”

“But … where will you go? What will you do? Where will you live? How will you make money?” my mother asked in her usual motherly way.

Thirty-two long air flying hours later I was sitting at the bus station outside Sydney International Airport without a clue where I…

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My all-time favourite place – Bondi Beach

This is a first in a series called:

Favorite Places on the Planet.”

BONDI BEACH. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

There’s a beach-bum in all of us, but it takes that lounge lizard to find just the right hot spots.  A lizard whom seeks only the ultimate in life’s little pleasures. Because that is why we are all here, right?  If not for the pleasure(s) in life, what is there left to seek?

Bondi Beach. Sydney, Australia. 1997. 21 years old and I was a virgin on the travel beat. I’d traveled domestically and within The United States several times in my young years, but I had never traveled internationally, like over the ocean!

Six months in paradise.

I was very young, and very naïve in Australia, I savoured every moment. My mother asked me several times before I set off on this wicked year of excursions “Well, what are you going to do? Where are you going to sleep? How are you going to eat?” Continue reading

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