As I said, Melbourne’s Fairy Penguins are some of the most amazing little creatures I’ve ever encountered up close and I could have stood watching them wandering around all night…
Unfortunately, as the dark fell over the viewing platform and the rainfall got even heavier, I returned to reality and finally acknowledged that, for the last two hours that I had stood in the torrential rain outside, I had needed a wee…
…and by this point I was desperate!
Scuttling up the hill to the enclosure, hoping that I would just about make it, I saw my salvation; a sign for an outdoor toilet.
Now, I *could* have walked that extra 2 metres to the nice warm one inside… with indoor plumbing and soap, but instead I sucked it up and ran in.
… and immediately wished I hadn’t
The bathroom was like a scene from a horror film. Seriously, the hoards of spiders crawled the floor in their thousands, the buzzing strip lights flickered dramatically, and just past the cracked, bloodstained mirror in the corner, there was the distinct chalk outline of a body – obviously left behind from the last person that dared enter the outdoor toilet of death…
…I may be exaggerating just a little…
…but seriously, that’s exactly how I remember it – minus the chalk body outline of course.
And the cracked bloody mirror.
I suppose the “thousands of spiders” was a bit extravagant too, there was about seven.
I had the quickest wee possible before standing up and running out of the cubicle back to safety… or at least that’s what I planned to do before I realised my cubicle door was completely stuck.
Using every last bit of strength in my 5ft 2 (and a half) body, I pushed the door like an angry rhino – but it wouldn’t budge.
If anything only served to lock the door further.
Knackered from my ridiculous display of animalism I pulled the lid of the toilet down and sat on it, contemplating whether, if I breathed in, I’d be able to squeeze under the door… when a huge spider crawled off the lid and onto my thigh.
There’s not a lot that I’m frightened of, but spiders are definitely up there, so being the calm and controlled, independent woman I am, I acted in a completely rational way.
By freaking the fuck out.
Before I knew it I was throwing myself at the cubicle door with tears streaming down my face…
In my defence it was my last day in Australia, I was soaking wet and emotional… and I was locked in a square foot of space with a monster that was obviously out to kill me.
It was like the hunger games.
Mid sobbing-on-my-own-hysterics I heard the main toilet door creak open; assuming it was a murderer arriving to finish me off I was shocked to hear the happy hum of a little girl entering the cubicle next to me.
For no comprehensible reason I froze and held my breath, my eyes darting between the spider and the cubicle next to me, where the little girls hum had burst into full song as she went about her business.
All of a sudden she stopped singing…
…only to have a little chat to one of the spiders in her cubicle!
Here’s me, a 23 year old girl whimpering quietly to herself (or so I thought) when the little girl next to me is casually indulging the creature I’m terrified of in conversation.
How pathetic did I feel.
The little girl finished up and walked out, but not before I heard her say to her Mother, “I think there’s someone crying in there.”
Cringe for me.
Just as I was re-evaluating my life I heard my Mum voice calling me as she entered the toilets.
“I’m locked in and this poisonous spider tried to attack me” I sobbed through the door…
…well there was still a 23 hour flight to catch, no need for me to grow up just yet…