Setting out to drive the length of Queensland without properly equipping one’s vehicle might seem like rookie error. That’s because it is a rookie error. Actually, I’m not even a rookie – I definitely knew better, and I still went ahead and did it anyway. As a direct consequence of that action, I’m now stranded north of Bowen with only a box of roadside mangoes for company, my car smoking steadily to the side of the highway.
I know of some reliable mechanics close to Toowoomba, but I’m too far away for any of them to send a mobile technician to help me. There’s got to be someone in the vicinity, but I’ve got no phone reception or data connection. There seems to be nothing for it but to wait for a passer-by to take pity on me and stop to help, but I’m starting to have my doubts about strategy.
No one seems to be willing to stop, which is fair – I haven’t showered since Brisbane, I’m sunburnt and I have dust stuck all over me thanks to the mango juice which is everywhere, seeing as I didn’t pack a knife. I must look a bit of a mess. Maybe I need to tidy myself up a bit. Really, though, you’d think people could be a bit less superficial when it comes to people stranded on the side of the road.
Then again, maybe they’re in the same boat. Who am I to assume otherwise? Maybe they’re hurtling along on their last ounce of petrol, the metre already reading below empty, determined to make it to the next servo on nothing more than the sheer willpower. They might be long overdue for a tyre fitting, racing along dangerously on old tyres with no tread left, unable to brake at speed for fear of losing control of the vehicle.
Who am I to expect any of these people to pull over for me? It’s my foolish error that’s gotten me into this situation, and I’ll have to use my own wits to get myself out of it.