To the Gold Coast
On the eve of departure from Sydney, we finally went to Taronga Zoo, the zoo there (an additional entertainment is to go there through the bay to the “ferry”: you sit in the stern, look at the receding center of Sydney until the illegible giants of the skyscrapers turn into a glossy view card with a tower Sydney Bridge and Opera House). “And koalas can’t have a day off? And they will let me hold them? Are there many of them?” I was worried, and the organizers laughed and reassured me. And now the line from the Japanese has been stood up to photograph the kangaroo, the peacock walking along the paths between the visitors has been stroked, the attraction “Bowing Elephant” has been watched, and the sleepy wombat has been awakened. And now – you won’t believe it, my heart was beating like before an exam! – pen with the inscription “Koala”. Empty. In the distance, among the foliage, there was something fluffy that could be the back of a koala. And the schedule: “Photo with koala: 10.00-12.00 a.m.”. We rushed to the employee with a broom: “Please, we should have a look at the koala, we have arrived from Russia, we are leaving tomorrow!” A frightened worker lisped something about the gentle spiritual organization of koalas, about stress, about the fact that they were all tired, sleeping and were not ordered to wake them. The guys caught me, fainting, and dragged me to the zoo’s directorate. There are a lot of polite girls, similar to Dr. Queen, a female doctor, and shocked by the fact that I specially flew from Russia for one day to prepare a report on their zoo (what else could we come up with?), Presented us with all possible booklets and press Releases on the newly born Walabi Lizzy and the platypus Martin. But even they, these lovely girls, could not console me: “The koalas are sleeping, they are tired, well, we won’t interfere” … In the evening I wept in the arms of the organizers. They smiled guiltily and promised to arrange everything.
To the Gold Coast
The next morning we flew to Brisbane. At the airport after the traditional “Hello!” and “How are you?” The charming fat man meeting us asked Michael: “Who is the girl who came from Russia to see the koala?” And then, wherever we go – to a restaurant, water park or botanical garden, Michael smiled slyly and said: “But this is all nonsense compared to koalas …” Only once he did not say that. When he drove us to the Gold Coast, Gold Coast, the famous Australian resort, where surfers from all over the world gather in search of the perfect wave. When the road turned to the ocean after a couple of hours, Michael stopped the car. It was not hot, we did not take swimsuits. Michael twisted the legs of his expensive suit and walked knee-deep in the water. Silky sand tickled her bare feet nicely. On the left, the ocean splashed alarmingly, on the right, on the other side of the wide beach, hotels, skyscrapers, restaurants and various water activities flavored with tropical greenery glittered in the sun, and all this somewhere in infinity merged into a trembling golden-blue mirage.
On the last day before leaving, Michael drove in early with an extremely solemn look. “Koalas,” he said, and winked. We left the city: it smelled like eucalyptus, it was warm rain. At the crossroads, Michael ignored the Lone Pine. Koala Sanctuary sign and turned the other way. Soon we stopped, Michael got out of the car and began to walk in circles with the look of a hunting cat. He returned upset: “I take my daughter here three times a week to Japanese classes. And we always, always saw a koala here! But today he isn’t …” “God, dear, dear Ozzy,” I thought in another time. And we returned to the highway. … The rain somehow quietly ended. From all the trees, koalas looked at me. Hundreds of koalas. Some of them, of course, slept, but most ran, crawled, played, ate, washed. They were beautiful. The minister patiently asked: “Which of them would you like to take a picture with?” I looked around bewilderedly and nodded toward the young and mobile koala. “His name is Eric,” the minister said, sitting the animal in my arms. He smelled of gargling and a little hamster, his coat was silvery and elastic. Eric fidgeted fiercely, poked at me with a cool leather nose, and gently, like a cat, glared at his claws. Probably my smile at that moment was very stupid. “Give, give the animal,” the minister pulled me after one (five, ten?) Minute. Then, when we were driving back, Michael said: “I have to admit: usually koalas sleep, and today, you saw them running, jumping and playing. I’m forty years old, and this is the first time I see. Do you know why? I called them in the evening and said: “Koalas, Julia will come tomorrow, who has always dreamed of looking at you all her life. You’ll not be disgraced!” And they are not disgraced. ” The funny thing is that I willingly believe him. Lovely, sweet ozzy.