Wos is das?


By Shane Drew / June 15, 2015 / No comments


A while ago now, 3 generations of Drew’s were working on site at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

A great place, run by dedicated people, doing good things for our wildlife.

So, when you work there, the ethic of helping tends to take over.

It is no surprise then, when tourist see you working in a uniform, they ask you all sorts of questions.

It doesn’t matter that your uniform isn’t green, with a totally different logo on it to the sanctuary uniform. Nor does it seem to matter that you are installing signs with drills and ladders and non animal stuff.

Tourist see you in a uniform so you must know the mating call of a wombat, or the distress call of a Tasmanian Devil, or the directions to the ladies loo.

Most times we did our best to answer but some questions were pretty hard to understand.

One Japanese woman started yelling that she had been there 15 minutes and hadn’t seen any animals. I was a bit surprised given that we were only a few paces from the Kangaroo enclosure that was teaming with the little critters. When she calmed down, I asked her what she wanted to see in particular. “Anything!” was the reply. ‘Well’ I said in my best tour guide voice ‘ if you’d like to follow this path, the Kangaroo enclosure is just beyond that gate’. I did the hand gestures and everything. Everyone knows if you can’t speak the language, just raise your voice and point with your hands. It works wonders.

“KANGAROOS? I don’t want to see them, I want to see Birds.” was her response. So I pointed her in the direction of the bird show and she went on her way, not before giving me the look that gave me the impression that if she didn’t like the birds, I was going to be held responsible.

Apart from Japanese, we also me a lot of Indian, Italian and German tourists.

One thing that was pretty obvious from the start is that safety cones defining a ‘no go’ area mean nothing to the overseas tourists. We had people stepping over the cones to get into our work space, playing with the cones, and manhandling our unfinished signs.

What is Indian for ‘Don’t Touch’ anyway?

The second sign we installed was beside a staff only gate. While I was working, I was conscious of this very attractive woman with admirable assets trying to get my attention. Wanting to be a good ambassador for the sanctuary, I finished what I was doing and asked if I could help her.

She looked at me, pointing to the lock said ‘Wos is das?” Looking down I said it was a security lock.

She pointed to the lock again and said “how doo I git in?” I told her very politely that she needed to buy a ticket at the shop behind her, and go through the main gate.

Then, she looked at me and said “Wos is das?” and started pointing to her breasts.

I considered telling her the obvious but I figured she probably already knew that. I wasn’t sure of the answer she was looking for, or if I was on candid camera, so I opted for the safe option and said ‘Pardon?’

She started throwing her chest out and said “Wos is das…. un my Breast?”

The first thing that came to my mind was ‘freckles’ but I don’t think that was the answer she was after either. I opted for ‘Pardon’ again.

“Look! My Breast! Wos is das un my Breast?

At this point I was very conscious of my son watching his dad being encouraged to ogle at a very attractive woman’s assets.

I then realised she had droplets of moisture on her skin. I was so close to her breasts it could easily have been the perspiration from my forehead. I began wondering how I would explain this to the wife after my son gave his interpretation of the event. All I could think to tell her is that it may have been rain.

“Rain? From da sky?” she said somewhat disbelieving. “Nothing dangerous” I said.

She seemed happy but my son was less than amused.

‘Dad’ he said ‘ there isn’t a cloud in the sky’

He was right. But if it wasn’t rain, it was probably bird pee, and I was not going to go down that path with a young woman who saw nothing embarrassing about shaking her bootie in the face of a middle-aged man in full view of everyone, especially his son.

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