“Yes, Catholic Week” my new found friend explained, continuing “all the Catholic schools finish a week earlier, so all the Catholic school families go on holiday, before, you know, the other families” he said in earnest.
I’ve always found it interesting that, for the most part, when parents tell you that they send their kids to Catholic school, they always add the caveat ‘not that we are really Catholic, or believe much in it’, yet still, invest considerable amounts of the family budget sending their kids to a Catholic school to learn the same values that they learned in Catholic school many years ago, those same values they personally shun but believe is important to teach their kids.
So, as is the trend, we find ourselves back in Mooloolaba for Catholic Week, surrounded by ultra-middle class families and a healthy shake of locals. We go to the same place every year, for the simple fact that it’s full of people ‘like us’, enjoying the same holiday ‘as us’. There’s a delicious familiarity about a Mooloolaba holiday, but still being a far enough from Brisbane that you feel like you’re on holidays.
When we started coming to Mooloolaba, it would take well over an hour and a half. Thanks to my late model Camry (which, you might be interested to know is very popular with ‘our people’), the upgraded highway and laxical policing, we can now make it up in a pinch over an hour. Not a bad effort, considering it can take me that long to get to work on public transport!
Packing is easy for the Mooloolaba holiday, because quite simply, you pack the same things every year. As a side note, you meet the same dads on holidays year after year. They share your aversion to change, although, one dad I met went to a different resort this year, but will be back at the original one next year, because it wasn’t quite right, and just that bit too different. These dads, like me, have an aversion to change and losing weight. You know you’re in the company of kindred spirits, with your prescription sunglasses paid by health insurance and the tattered straw hat from Bunnings that you simply can’t get rid of.
Have you noticed that you clean your house in an amazing way just before you go on holidays? It’s like you want the house to enjoy some clean time, without you. You tell yourself, though, that there’s nothing nicer than coming home to a clean home, having a shower in your own shower and taking a good, long, post-holiday dump in your own toilet, often drinking the last of your holidays beers as you do so.
So you arrive. Because we’ve been going to the same place for the better part of half a decade, the managers let us check in as soon as the room is clean, and we are at liberty to park our car in the carpark and use the pool while we wait. As soon as we are given the all clear, we unpack as quick as lightning!
I know that just outside the door and down the road, the mighty blue Pacific is waiting for me. The piping hot sand. The ocean, praying to baptise me, ready to wash away those cares I’ve been harboring for the better part of twelve months. I’m feeling giddy. It’s a feeling not unlike teenage love. I’ve been itching to feel the warmth of the hot, soft sand between my toes. I long to be enveloped into the bossum of the great ocean. I shiver at the thought of her waves caressing through my hair, and embracing me as one of her own. I imagine. I pine. I remember, that I have a family. The promise of hot yellow and cool blue is replaced, but more about that in the next blog.
So welcome to Catholic Week in Mooloolaba. A magical place where white, middle class families do a stack of crazy white, middle class things like splash out on coffee, let kids stay up past bed time and check Facebook to see what’s happening back in Brisbane.
Image from http://www.cocomooloolaba.com.au/mooloolaba-accommodation/page/2/