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Everyday Heroes
In times of peace, they were strictly enemies. Mr Wilson sat on his porch, sweating in front of an old desk fan, glowering at the boys who sat in the park, drinking beer on sun-baked afternoons, smoking cigarettes, hawking at the back of their throats, spitting, playing loud music, swearing, intimidating passers-by. They wore Nike-branded…
Down the Mullumbimby Rabbit Hole
It was a Friday, around 3pm, when we had our first glass of Kratom. Jai finished his glass first and placed it on the table. “I’m going to the tip,” he said as he removed himself from the lounge and walked through the front door. I was somewhat confused by this. Why would a man…
The Death of a Doorman
My previous portero died unexpectedly. One day he was there – a fat and jovial man, bald, glasses, head pushed a little forward giving way to the staircase of rolls in the back of his neck, always with a kind word, or the latest English phrase he’d taught himself, Goot eebening, or just to hold…
Leave Your Eggs in the Sand
It was a great day to be chasing sea turtles. My wetsuit was tight around the shoulders, zipper stuck mid-back. Father was already sitting at the edge of the boat with his oxygen tank strapped on. My brother had gone into the water, floating with our friends. Giving up, I peeled off the top half and…
Heritage, Porn and Islam
“Where are you from?” This is a typical way of breaking the ice among solo travellers. I get asked the question up to 10 times a day. “From Norway.” “From Norway? No way.” Norwegians do ask too, but not nearly as often. Although everyone sees in colour, asking a stranger about their heritage is considered…
Caruso
For a few years I lived in the Trastevere district of Rome. I rode a bicycle to work and bought groceries at the market. I lived in a flat at the top of a cobbled alley. All the buildings in the alley were painted a slightly different shade of terracotta; ivy grew on the walls…
The Wild World of Weed Trimming
Amongst the backpacking community, there’s always plenty of buzz surrounding the highly fantasised life that is weed trimming. And the first rule of Trim Club is that you do not talk about Trim Club. Rumours abound that you’ll make bulk cash in a short amount of time, which gives every traveller a semi-chub as they think about…

Astray is run by a team of writers who mostly live, work and play in lutruwita/Tasmania. With reverence, we acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the rightful custodians of the land, which was stolen and never ceded. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.