Evans Head cabins by the river.
Evans Head cabins by the river.

Give me Fisherman's Co-op over swanksville any day

I WAS at the resort. Polite staff glided past unsullied white couches and huge vases filled with artfully arranged sticks. A beautiful infinity pool sparkled expensively in the sun.

I was waiting to meet someone about work.

What is it about swanky resorts, designed for ultimate comfort, that make me so darn uncomfortable? I just can't relax.

The soft music, the gleaming surfaces, everything just so... it all leaves me feeling awkward, like a clumsy hick. I feel fraudulent. I don't belong in this immaculate and sophisticated world. If I stay too long, I begin to feel anaesthetised. My senses dull. I start taking it seriously and think I should have new clothes (maybe some fashionably rumpled linen thing from the resort range), a big showy hat and some groovy sandals.

I know they are desirable and elegant places to be but I don't find them cosy. By cosy I mean hygge, that Danish word that represents feeling of enjoying life's simple pleasures, a feeling of wellness and contentment. Resorts are about the creation of a world where everything is cushioned, clean and the nasty world of responsibility and chores is held at bay. So in that regard they do it very well. But I still feel I don't fit in.

Also who would you meet at resort? The guests might acknowledge each other as they pass, but conversations are minimal. The people I spoke to were the charming receptionist and the wait staff. It's not like a caravan park or campground where you might fall into a chat around a barbecue or while watching a sunset.

A man plopped down on the overstuffed chair next to me. He looked as out of place as I felt.

I have to give a talk, he said, adding. I try to be invisible in plain sight, which is difficult because I'm 6'3 and have a face like wrestlers knee. He did look a tad the worse for wear. He wasn't polished, a bit rough around the edges. I liked him immediately. He saw I was doing the crossword and we happily worked together to complete it before he was whisked off by a minder.

I had my meeting and then I buzzed off and away down to Evans Head. I went to the Fisherman's Co-op bought fish and chips, sat on the dock and watched the pelicans in the sandbank in the middle of the gleaming river. There were families in lazy groups under trees, gathered around picnic blankets. Kids horsed around on boogie boards in the water, a dog barked joyously and a hilarious game of the chasing was going on. Now I was in a space where I was hygge, comfortable.


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