It's the last day of my long weekend, but, despite not having gone off somewhere far away as originally planned, I've had a fairly good one. Apart from the fact that I almost got hopelessly stuck in a beachside city of Rockingham last Friday with only twenty cents to my name after my car keys disappeared.
How could she be so stupid?, you must be asking yourself with a shake of your head. Believe me, I asked the same of myself several times the next few hours that followed.
The day started out pretty great - I'd managed to drive all the way to Freo to have lunch with a friend of mine who works there (her treat, which is always a good thing) and, as part of my resolution to use my long weekend right, I decided to go further afield to somewhere I'd never been before, let alone driven to. As I drove along Stock Road, veering towards the southern beaches, I even flirted with the idea of going as far as Mandurah - which is almost 80 kilometers out of Perth - but settled for Rockingham, which is just around 50 kilometers out.
As soon as I saw the almost swimming pool calmness of the turquoise waters and the golden sands from the foreshore, I was in love.
Much as I love the beautiful Aussie beaches, this was the first one I'd seen that had absolutely no surf. Which is a god-send for me because, while I know how to swim, I don't consider myself a strong enough swimmer to really spend too much time in the rough and ready waters of the beaches to the north. So, understandably, I completely abandoned my plans for sight-seeing and photo-ops for a chance to hit the beach instead.
I had a fun couple of hours just floundering alone around in the clear, calm water and doing a bit of baking in the sun (what's summer without a bathing suit tanline?). I had decided on a run along the foreshore to top off my idyllic summer day, having brought both my beach gear and running gear (one of the best things about having a car is that you can bring EVERYTHING with you), so I got out of the water with just enough time to spare for a shower, a run, and still be on my way home before dark. After walking in ignorant bliss to my car to get my running gear, I was completely shell-shocked to find that MY CAR KEY WAS NOT ON ME AT ALL.
So there I was, the solo traveler wannabe, staring helplessly at my locked car - where my handbag and wallet and all my money were - dripping with sea water from my afternoon frolic in the sun and close to tears. I could have sworn I had taken my car key with me when I changed into my bathing suit. But after having gone through each item inside my beach tote and laying them on the hood of my car one by one, I had to face the fact that IT WAS GONE.
In a stunned daze, I went to the shower rooms to change back into my street clothes to give myself time to regroup and figure out what to do. All my money was in the car, so I couldn't take public transport to the house (a two hour trip one way at least!) to get my spare key. There was only one way to get out of the scrape - call for help. Thankfully, I had the foresight to have my mobile phone with me, and promptly rang one of my co-residents the only person with a car who lives in my suburb.
Just my luck - he was on duty until 11 pm. Of course it was out of the question for me to wait for him until 11pm - this being Perth, all establishments close at 9pm at the latest. So we hatched a plan for me to get a cab back to Armadale, which he would pay for when I got there since I had no money on me, then drive back to Rockingham after his shift with my spare key so I could take my car home.
When my other Pinoy friends caught wind of the trouble I was in, they vetoed the plan and proposed an alternative - for them to pick me up instead. They would go to my house (at least 18 kilometers from where they lived) to get my spare key then drive the rest of the way to Rockingham (another 30 to 40 kms away). And they wouldn't take no for an answer.
It was so embarrassing to have to be rescued. Nonetheless, I was just so glad that I was near enough for them to be able to rescue me!
As a mortifying postscript to an already mortifying travel disaster, I found my car keys the next day under the piles of stuff inside my trunk. It must have fallen from my pocket or I must have tossed it in withe rest of my stuff when I was so excitedly preparing for my swim. OH MY GOD.
Er... Is this someone who thinks she can actually go on a solo holiday somewhere in the woop-woops? Go ahead, you can say it. Claire is a disaster area. I must be out of my fricking mind to even consider it!