Friday, April 30, 2010

The Hat that Was - A Eulogy

Since the beginning of my time in Australia, I was convinced that I'd never find a hat. They were all too small - or, rather my head was too big. So I just gave up, and slathered on the sunscreen instead.

When I started traveling, I once again tried to find a hat, just for the hell of it. Along the trendy hipster Brunswick Street in Melbourne, I found one, one of two in a bargain bin. Dark brown woven straw with a faded maroon and blue ribbon (with a pale yellow stripe running through it). The hat fit perfectly (or it felt comfortable for the first time in my hat expedition in Australia). And, quite uncannily, the colours of the ribbon matched those of my shirt almost all too well. I was jubilant.

The hat accompanied me around Melbourne, was tried on by little Nick (the child of Libby and Michael), down to Barwon Heads, through the rainforest of the Daintree National Park, along an epic hike on Magnetic Island, in the rain and sun of glorious Fraser Island and got on the bus to go down to Byron Bay. But, unfortunately, I don't think the hat made it through the connection at Brisbane.

Unfortunately, I only discovered this upon arriving at the noisy and crowded Art Factory Hostel in Byron Bay. I was distraught. See, I'd taken approximately three months to find this perfect hat. I am a man of very discerning tastes. Such things take time. And I loved that hat. I was even planning on putting a peacock feather into the ribbon, just for a bit of nostalgia and panache. I had met a girl carrying a whole bunch of the feathers on the bus to Brisbane, and she gave me one seeing that I had a thing for the feathers. Shortly after giving me the feather, she said that some people think the feathers to bring bad luck. Turns out she was right.

And thus begun and ended the saga of the hat.

In Photos: Byron Bay