“It turned out that I could apply for a visa on-line. It's issued almost immediately, but they didn't put a stamp in my passport. It's all electronic. Anyway, after I sorted that out, when I tried to board the plane there was a big hoo-ha because they thought I might be a terrorist.”
“Fuck me! Whoi?” Keith was astounded.
“I bought a ticket for cash — not a credit card. I was a back-packer. I dunno. Do I look like a terrorist to you chaps?” Not waiting for an answer, he continued, “So I was interviewed for an hour, and in the end they let me go after searching everything in my back-pack even taking off the effing ends of the tubes to look inside. But after God knows how long, since even they could see I wasn't a terrorist, they let me leave. Imagine if I'd been Indian or Pakistani? I'd probably be being tortured in Guantanamo right now.
“Anyway, when I got to Melbourne, they quizzed me all over again. But I managed to convince them to let me in for six months. Then I caught the bus into the city and started walking. I walked and walked until I came to Majorca Flats.”
“It's a row of terrace houses where I rent a room. From a really nice old lady.” He swallowed some more brandy. “You know, it's weird. And wonderful. I'm making myself a new home here.”
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