March 23, 2020, Perth. Australia
Yesterday Suzi and I were sitting in a café where each table was separated by a couple of meters watching the hop-on/hop-off bus drive by with exactly three people on the top open deck. I thought what a nice way to practice social distance, getting fresh air and sunshine and celebrating one last port of call. Keep it going for a little longer. I looked up the bus on the web and found that I could ride on Monday for a steeply discounted rate. That was Sunday Night. Monday morning the bus was shut down, and all restaurants were ordered closed at noon. Since we could not check out at 4 and have a meal as planned, I extended checkout to 5, as late as I could. We’ll order room service for an early supper before taking a taxi that will get us to the airport an hour and a half before the Emirates counter opens. I have several good books.
We had the last breakfast served by the hotel. We were to sit only at tables with set ups, every other table, to maintain social distance. It didn’t really matter because there was only one other person getting breakfast. After breakfast we decided to walk through town, do our sightseeing on foot, down to Queen Elizabeth Quay, which was a torn-up construction zone when we were hear two years ago. We knew the bell tower was closed but we thought a nice walk would be good before 41 hours in transit (not including having to get to the airport.) We stopped at a pharmacy on the off chance that they would have masks and gloves and found all the stock in all the pharmacies have been requisitioned for use in hospitals and clinics. Good move.
Perth is a lovely city on a beautiful warm coming-on-fall day. I love the way the modern glass reflects the older buildings, or reflects more modern glass. The Quay is a nice place to sit and watch an empty city. Suzi and I both had the same thought at the same time, the way the city was shutting down it reminded us of the ‘60s movie “On the Beach.” An Australian post apocalyptic movie, before Mad Max, in which radiation from the Third World War was drifting south, sickening and killing everyone, in this case Melbourne. People disappeared from the streets.
We took the circulator bus back. It is free public transport and there were only about 5 or 6 others on the bus as we traveled. It was a nice relaxing day in our final port of call, before the hectic dash home.