The Place of Love

Only 30km west of Busselton, there lies a place called Yallingup, an aboriginal name that means "Place of Love". For me though, Busselton is the place of love.


Returning to Busselton again to walk along its jetty was my personal highlight of our trip. It was the only instance I didn't care if my visitors want it or not. The wife's decision to remain in the car also did not deter me. The past two returns have been disappointing. The first time was foiled by a stormy weather. They were doing renovations (after collecting enough donations) the 2nd time. This time round, stormy weather once again, threatened my opportunity to walk Busselton Jetty. It was pouring rain by the buckets when we were approaching the City of Busselton. My heart sank a little.


The weather spared us a little mercy and stopped the rain once we entered the heart of the town. The car park was waterlogged. Jen decided to stay in the car to feed puipui after hearing the howl of the wind outside. I, too, was a little hesitant but my yearning returned after little Albany rang out, "I want to go, I want to go!" So I dragged my guests along with me and told them we were in for a long walk. We paid the entry fee and started ......


It was in 2007 when I first saw this magnificent 1.98 km long jetty. It was my first ever trip to Australia and Perth to visit Jen who was doing her master degree program in Perth. Back then we were still, in her own words recently, "not a thing." Perhaps Busselton Jetty was the place our thing began slowly then. On a much bigger scale, it was the place I fell in love with Perth. The conditions were so suspiciously perfect that day, it almost felt like a scam. It was a clear sunny day. The sky was blue and the sea mirrored a brilliant deep blue across the entire horizon. There was not a single ship or boat in sight to break the picture of nature. The only thing that stood out was the endless jetty in front of me.


The kilometres of lush green grass abutting the shore looked inviting. I threw myself on a patch and laid down flat with limbs spread out with my lunchbox chucked aside a few steps from me, temporarily forgotten. There was no ants or whatsoever on the grass to give me a nasty surprise. The temperature was a comfortable low 20 degrees Celsius, rendering the grass so cool I shut my eyes to soak it all in. When I opened my eyes, the cloudless sky looked like an endless blue disc. I remembered thinking, "If only I live here." Sometimes, the insignificant things in life are the truly important ones.


So it was time to walk through the jetty. There was a pot placed at the entrance urging for donations from the public. They planned to put a working train back on the jetty, to give tourists rides to the end of the jetty in future. That was new to me. Imagine getting your neighbours to do a fund raising to build your covered linkway. We have reached a state where we are unable to do anything for ourselves in Singapore, regardless how simple or trivial and whine like bitches when the government doesn't help. I donated a coin and walked. 


And we walked, and walked, and walked.


When we were halfway through, I turned to look back. It felt amazing to be so far away from shore, yet still walking on land. On my flanks, was calm limitless ocean. Being a city bumpkin, I was in awe how the second part of the jetty without any railing on one side, something that I would never see anywhere in Singapore. Anyone can easily fall off playing Pokemon Go or if a strong gust of wind suddenly come. I was beginning to understand how the term "Uniquely Singapore" came about. Every single thing in Singapore is under control by an authority down to a last screw. Even a rustic place in Singapore is manicured for the purpose. Every risk is assessed and patched. Mind you, that is not a bad thing for many. To them, it is the DNA of a paradise. To a handful of small minority like me, it was suffocating. It was easy for me to easily fall in love with a place like Australia (and probably many other countries) where they tend to leave things - and people - alone as much as possible.


I saw locals fishing. There was a large octopus-looking thing chucked on the jetty, so transparent that I could see the back of its tennis ball sized eyeballs. Then I heard a kid yell, "Whale! Whaaaaaale!!" as he dashed past me. When an event roused even the locals, you knew it was something special. That was how I got my first and only whale sighting to date. The whale was cruising along some distance out but near enough for us to see the corals on its body, as well as random seaweed being stuck here and there. I felt silly as I realised it was never going to be as smooth as what we see in the books. The whale did not disappoint when it exhaled, resulting in a magnificent spout with a clearly audible hiss.


The walk with Tucky and Louise was nowhere as spectacular as my first. For a start, the skies were grey, with a storm threatening to overcome us in a distance. The ocean was rougher and understandably greyer we well. The ground was wet and it was quite windy. That didn't damp my guests' spirit, especially when Albany's excitement was contagious. We saw some seagulls along the way, roosting on some wooden logs. Some were trying to hatch their eggs. The couple posed for selfies as Albany dragged me along. Louise was a fantastic photographer and granted me one scene that I would never want to forget for life.


We made it back before the storm came. On the way out, we heard the receptionist tell a tourist, "We are expecting an electrical storm soon, would you still want to try your luck?" In Singapore, you'll probably get a, "Bad weather. No enter," instead. One place allows you to think, the other expects you to do as they said. Makes me wonder how it would have turn out if they told a certain Singaporean boy to, "Serve NS, no swimming," and he conformed.


I'll like to return to this place again soon. The Place of Love.


Who's coming along this time?

4 comments:

  1. Love that place. Visited it during our honeymoon in June. Agree with you about the photo. Any father would love to have a photo like that.

    Would love to join you there too. Heh.

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  2. I love Busselton Jetty. Miss this place.

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