ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

IT WAS ONE SMALL STEP FOR Nathan Delaney to get a mobile phone, it was a giant leap for him to turn it on.

“Fuck me,” he said. “Look at this fucking thing. How do you drive it?”

While Nathan may be taken back by his new Motorola, what lies in store for the 24-year-old borderline illiterate station hand will blow his young mind.

His travelling confidence was struck a blow at an early age when his country boarding school principal referred to Nathan and his friends as “DFRs” or “dumb fucking rurals”.

He really took it to heart.

“What would that wok-eyed cunt know about me? For a while, I didn’t think I’d have what it took to go to the city, but you know what? Fuck him. I’m going. I’ll send the bastard a postcard when I get there, too!”

Nobody batted an eyelid when he asked his aunt’s friend down at the Bedourie post office for a passport application, but they were surprised when he told them he just wanted to visit Brisbane.

“I’ve got some holiday time coming up,” he said. “The boss man said I should visit the seaside. Said there’s water as far as a bloke like me could see.”

So he did.

Delaney’s passport arrived earlier this week and the boy from the desert was off to Brisbane. It was the first time he’d been on a plane with two engines.

After boarding the aircraft in nearby Longreach, Nathan demanded to see the pilot. Just prior to taking off, he produced his passport and gave it to the pilot.

“Just wanted to make sure I didn’t get into trouble and all my papers were in order,” he said.

Delaney says the trip wouldn't have been possible without the compassionate support he received from the QantasLink staff. PHOTO: Supplied.
Delaney says the trip wouldn’t have been possible without the compassionate support he received from the QantasLink staff. PHOTO: Supplied.

The pilot just kind of smiled and looked at the stewardess before returning to the cockpit. Upon landing, Nathan also handed his passport to various members of the airport staff, including a fast food worker.

“The Qantas fellas were real nice to me. Made sure I wasn’t shit worried about anything.”

Arriving this afternoon in what his worldly brother describes as Australia’s Amalfi Coast, Nathan wasted no time making a beeline from Brisbane Airport to Wynnum, on the River City’s eastern tip.

“This water tastes like shit,” said Nathan, who’d taken off his Ariats and rolled his jeans up. For the first time in his life, he was standing knee deep in the Pacific Ocean.

“These fellas have a salt problem around here.”

Flicking through a few brochures from tourism operators, the desert resident wasn’t sure where to start.

“There’s so much I want to do. I’ve only got three weeks in Brisbane and I don’t think it’s enough,” he said.

“I’d like to visit Seaworld and conquer my fear of dolphins. The sound they make pulls yesterday’s lunch out of my colon quicker than a Johnny can drag a stuck cow out of a bore drain. EEEE EEEEE EEEE EEEEEEE!”

“It’s like two styrofoam boxes rubbing together.”

The Advocate will continue to follow Nathan Delaney’s journey in the coming days.


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