At Yandi we live in dongas like most remote camps , but out here they are a little behind the times. The rooms are old, tiny and there is no t.v. I have heard even in jail they get a t.v.
Thats why I called this one jail cell, it has that feeling about it.
When it comes to Port Hedland I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Over the past two years or so Hedland has become such a part of me that I’ve become immersed in this surreal place – so different from anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s ingrained in all of my senses: red dirt, mammoth skies, searing heat, sea breeze, the horns of trains and ships sounding in the dark, a horizon flecked with lights.
The pointed intersection of sand, red dirt, industry and sea fascinates me. As does the notion of the weather dictating everyday life – from November to March air conditioning becomes a luxury that we cling to as best we can, and come winter there’s barely a moment spent indoors as we try to soak up as much of the outdoors as possible.
For me the Pilbara engages an unabashed mix of beauty and brazenness that can leave me exhausted but always wanting more. Most people come here with the aim to leave but find themselves enveloped in an unlikely comfort that seems to make time go by with the blink of an eye. Perhaps this is the true meaning of ‘Pilbara time’ – the phrase originally coined to reflect the laidback attitude and diregard for real time that Pilbarians frequently display.
All I know is I came to Hedland for six months and more than two years later I’m still here…
Throw your arms around some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. The air is thick with heat and the scent of the sea. Mix up a Finucane Island Ice Tea, potent lovechild of too much fun and whatever’s in the kitchen. Clear some space for a makeshift dance floor. Let your hair stick to your skin. Pile in for a midnight road trip out bush. Swim in dark waters. A stubbie holder is essential.
There’s an unspoken camaraderie that can only be experienced by those living in the Pilbara – a ‘we’re in this together’ bond that ties each person to the next. It’s an inexplicable affinity that embraces you and leaves you breathless, wondering how you could have ever lived anywhere but here.