Cups of tea and coffee propelled me around university and to the drive back down the coast.
Early evening, gentle autumn sky, the tall, tall poplars that line the road coloured fall-gold, glowing, almost, against the clouds.
The coffee and tea had their revenge, and I stopped to use the public toilets in drowsy, country Braidwood.
The writing on the walls was the same as it always is:
“Troy is gay”.
“Call XXXXXX for a good time.”
“Braidwood crew are fags.”
Except. In humble black pen, “Kia Kaha Aroha.”
The author had scrawled the translation underneath, for the benefit of Australian readers.
Me, I felt warm in my ebbing caffeine daze. And slightly homesick. Maori words on a scungy wall, glowing, almost, like poplar trees, against the autumn clouds.