Students from around Australia
It's always interesting and entertaining for me to discover the character of the young Aussies who come on the Simpson Prize trip. Here's a rough sketch of each one.
Erin from NT is an enthusiastic traveler who is excited by just about anything - driving onto a car ferry, driving off a car ferry, playing cards (and winning) sights (particularly boys), sounds and tastes of Turkey. And by her own admission, this trip is ‘making her smart'. Meg from VIC has a great hysterical laugh and being a bit clumsy on her feet provides us with some good giggles (including a close inspection of the beach, captured on camera). She has a habit of talking behind her hand, which makes you think she's having a conspiratorial conversation, but it's really just conveniently placed to stifle the next outburst of laughter.
Varun, ACT, is our ‘wake up Jeff!' candidate who can sleep through anything, but when awake is always a hit with the Turkish girls. And he really loves to make a connection with the locals. He learnt two Turkish card games from our bus driver Onder (despite the language difficulties), knows the names of the hotel staff and can count to 10 in Turkish. While Eleanor, from VIC, is a seasoned traveler, she does suffer from motion sickness. If you saw her sitting quietly up the front of the bus you would be forgiven for thinking she's a shy girl. But on solid ground she's an energetic talker, full of stories, observations and good humour.
Nic from WA is the sort of boy that every mother would love their daughter to go out with - polite, thoughtful, funny and of course good looking. He's got a dry wit and always cracks you up with a sly comment here or there. Johanna from SA has an infectious excitement for any new experience, which means she's lots of fun to travel with. However, with a pack cards in her hands, the killer instinct kicks in, and while there may already be a queen of hearts, she's definitely the queen of spoons.
They say you cant read a book by its cover, but in the case of Lauren from NSW that's not true - she's one of those people who clearly shows her feelings. Excited - she literally bounces up and down, happy - a great big grin and laugh, confused, interested, thoughtful, tired and emotional - it's all there to see. However, nervous - as she told us she certainly was before the Lone Pine reading - and she looked and sounded cool as a cucumber. And finally Madeleine, from good old TAS, one of the most grounded and easy going people you're likely to meet. She may have had a slight delay in joining our group, but once installed she was center-piece of the jigsaw that held everything together. And she's got a mean throwing arm.