the ‘travel’ article

I think it is rather amusing that I am checking this dashboard feature on my site to see if anyone has actually read my latest post. Considering the count is ONE and I know that person has been me, I would think not. Haha.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt to keep this up. Let me explain this subject I am doing at uni, it’s basically feature and travel writing. Something which I don’t reckon I am too good at really. In class we were moving onto the topic of travel writing and when I basically laughed in the tutor’s face when he asked me what travel writing I read, I knew I’d be in a bit of trouble. I guess it’s just one of those things which I cannot get my head around. The examples he provided as ‘travel’ writing were so different from each other it’s hard to see them both being in the same genre/style. This is probably because I think of travel writing as something where someone has gone somewhere exotic – basically overseas. But apparently travel writing is different to what I had in my head as this guy has actually written travel stories and therefore apparently knows his shit.

This is what I submitted in class and (believe it or not), it was considered to be travel writing. The brief was ‘write about where you go on the weekend because you’ll all be going out SMILEY FACE’ (side point: because I’ve pointed out many times in class how boring and old-lady I am he even said ‘YES EVEN YOU AMANDA!’), and obviously I don’t leave my hobbit hole unless it is to go to work, I counted five minutes down the road and into work as ‘travel’.


The doors remain closed. Stepping back a bit, I scan the vicinity hoping no one has seen my door-entering failure, but the old Greek man entrenched on the park bench smiles at me and waves. Bugger. Making exaggerated arm gestures to catch the door’s sensor finally gains me entry to the well-walked, scuffed linoleum corridor and my place of employment. The supermarket – Coles to be exact. But, I am not here to grocery shop. I am here to work, the familiar beeping of checkouts welcoming me home.

Bright pink eco-friendly (though perhaps not as environmentally-friendly as hoped), bag slung over my shoulder, I notice my work pants are tucked into my boots, the very same pants I have been wearing to this establishment for a good six years. Perhaps too long? As I pass the coffee shop guy, greeted warmly by his booming South-African accent, I meander over to the self-checkout desk to check the roster, adjusting the collar of my latte-coloured work top; a colour I still think makes us staff look like safari rangers or big-game hunters if we toted spear rifles and donned wide-brimmed hats.

Next to my name on the roster is the number 2 – one of the registers that was notoriously targeted by the machete-wielding bandits a few months back, and too, one of the registers which sees the checkout chick not only serving regular customers, but also demanding smokers, fools who use the supermarket as a bank and solely want cash out, and also halfly overseeing the self-checkouts, given exasperated looks by customers when the robotic lady tells them they need to wait while someone verifies the contents of their bag/asks them to return their items to the bagging area.

Picking an aisle to get out back to clock on, I mentally make a shopping list in my head – milk, shapes (definitely pizza), ooh oreos 2 for $3! – and regret my choice of the confectionary aisle. Shoving my stuff into my small locker, I pick up my water bottle and wander down the stairs, waving at Andrew from fresh produce. It is already busy for a Sunday morning, but this is no surprise.

I type my numbers on the screen and ‘Hi, my name is Amanda’ pops up. ‘Hellooooo’ I say to my regular customer, stretching out the vowel, ‘how’s things today?’ – a somewhat usual start for my many regulars which I’ve gathered over the years – they’re the ones who ask me where things are even if I’m shopping wearing track pants and looking particularly scummy. I scan through her crackers, bread, milk, newspaper, broccoli (code 30), carrots (code 6) brown onions (code 50178), at a rather effective and efficient speed – I’m good like that. Stooping down to retrieve her Horizon blue 50’s, ‘no flybuys right?’

What a morning. What a routine.


I titled that piece ‘Amanda’s exciting adventure’, no exaggeration.

Strange what you can get away with sometimes really.


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September 2012
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