Nissan Memoirs


Driving from Sydney to the snow this week bought back such fond memories of doing that particular trip as a kid. We used to come down to the snow each year and now I can see why. It is a great family holiday because you put the kids into ski school, and they come out at the end of the day buggered. My parents were quite smart, with hindsight.

There were four of us kids at the time. Our family car was a Nissan Skyline Sedan. They would put the four of us along the backseat with the middle two sharing a seatbelt. The laws were more lax 30 years ago. Mum would then pack the car, filling the boot and later carefully inserting luggage around us kids. If we were to be involved in an accident, we were pretty well wedged in, so our safety was almost and illegally, guaranteed.

We would start fighting as soon as we pulled out of the driveway.

If you looked at someone the wrong way, you could quite possibly receive a horsey bite, or a chinese burn. This would lead to an all in brawl. The car would be pulled over, threats would be made, calmness would be restored for a moment and the journey would recommence.

The first stop would be Goulburn. The car would pull beside the park opposite The Paragon Cafe. We were ordered to run around and climb the big metal rocket structure, to get rid of some steam, and frustration.

Then we would feast on fancy ham and cheese open melts at the Paragon, which had a policy of garnishing each and every dish with a sprig of parsley and a twisted slice of orange. Then it was on to Canberra.

It was at the Canberra City Gateway Motel that I first discovered the true meaning of the word LUXURY. I mean, where else could one experience the extravagance of having a toilet with a paper ribbon declaring that the loo was sanitized “FOR YOUR PROTECTION.” Or have tiny little individually wrapped soaps nestled in plush towels, shaped in a fan! And come morning, you had unfettered ¬†access to all the little packets of butter that you could eat.

After a night in Canberra, Mum would again pack and stack the car, bitching and moaning would recommence as the car sped towards Cooma. We would not stop unless someone was about to wet their pants or hurl their cookies after eating too much butter for breakfast.

The flat straight road would start to become windy and we would start to shriek with glee at the first sight of the snow topped mountains. Around Lake Jindabyne we would go, with every kilometre covered, our excitement would intensify until finally, we pulled up at the Jindy Shops, where the parents would fill up every last little bits of space with bottles of schnapps, gin and wine.

And then there we were. In the snow. Springing forth from our metal tomb, we sought revenge for all the cupcake farts, for all the evil looks, for all the wriggling annoyances and for all the “SHE IS TOUCHING ME” moments from the previous two days.

Good times. Good memories. Good to be making some for my kids. And just so you know, apparently cupcake farts and horsey bites do not skip generations.

Have any memorable car trips?