Swanning Around a River

I saw a cattle cruiser – sounds catchy, doesn’t it. Actually, what I saw was a cattle ship in Fremantle harbour. I was on a night cruise down the Swan river, and a cattle ship by night looks very impressive – sort of like looking at Mumbai’s 5-star Hotel Trident with all the lights turned on. I’m not trying to insult the hotel here, just trying to compliment the cattle cruiser (my name sounds much better, although I expect some sailor is cringing at the description).

One of my Aussie lecturers winced visibly when I waxed enthusiastic about this highlight of my cruise. She probably thinks I’m mad, but for a person who’s seen Mumbai’s metro, the cattle cruiser looks like a luxury liner. I don’t know if the cattle are headed for death row, but it sure looks like a comfortable ride.

What I really should be thrilled about is the Captain Cook cruise down the Swan River. We ‘set sail’ from the Barrack Street jetty at around 8pm. Perth by night is not as lighted as Mumbai, probably because no one works in the CBD on a weekend when the footy final is on – or any other weekend, for that matter. Still, the floodlit ferris wheel, the blue-glowing Swan Bells and sundry other tall buildings looked pretty impressive. I even discovered an Indian restaurant by the jetty – Annalakshmi – something to check out later.

The Swan River is probably best seen by day, but there’s a certain charm to puttering down the river at night with loud music blaring on the dance floor. It’s kind of paradoxical that while I was trying my best to do graceful gyrations like my African friend – she of the lip balm fame – other people were sitting down to a quiet dinner with a river view.
After one glass of wine, and a lot of shifting from my left foot to my right, I decided the whole dance thing was over-rated.

“You need to loosen up,” advised my friend. “Swing your hair,” she said, suiting the action to the words.

“I can’t,” said I in some desperation. “I need to cook.”

“What! Why?”

“The only time I dance is when I’m in the kitchen, with sixties music in my ears and a knife in my hand.”

Which probably begs a tale about my cooking…but that’s another entry.


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