On reflection, there have been incidents! Incidents I didn’t choose to be hair raising, but they were.
One heart stopping incident occurred when my husband and I chose to take a scenic flight in a small sea plane to observe the fiord area of New Zealand. All roads leading into Milford Sound had been closed and flights cancelled because of poor weather, so we were delighted to find that a flight over Doubtful Sound was available.
On reflection, the weather report and the name ‘Doubtful Sound’ should have been a warning. Taking off with great excitement it wasn’t long before we hit bad weather. I likened the aircraft to a fly in a thunderstorm. Dropping sideways, we gradually lost altitude and the looming, snow covered mountains became precariously close. My husband and I were silent. My thoughts were ‘we will never be found, it’s going to be quick!’ It was truly terrifying. Many lurches and dips by the plane, with visibility very poor, added to our fears.
Eventually the pilot managed to turn the aircraft around and head back to land safely on a lake. As we shakily scrambled out of the plane the pilot acknowledged he would never have flown had he realised how risky it was.
And then there was the incident when we were managing a motel in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs. We had been hired as trouble shooters by the owner, who suspected that his current managers were pocketing the takings. This was quite a big motel and restaurant and it wasn’t long before we found evidence that implicated the managers of wrong doing. The managers consequently were sacked and we were asked to stay on for a month until new managers were found.
What follows was a series of threats, stalking and harassing calls, so much so we felt our lives were at risk. The owner employed a private detective to ensure our safety.
It was a frightening area. We experienced our car being broken into and contents stolen. The restaurant was being used by undercover police to record drug deals across the road. The fence, yes the whole fence, of the school opposite as stolen. Previously the body of Karmein Chan had been found about 500 metres from the hotel.
Then there was the time when we innocently brought back from Bali to Australia a package a Balinese had asked us to deliver. Nearly an international incident that one!
Some I would classify as ‘close’ incidents. One involved finding a deranged murderer I was nursing had removed his restraints during night duty St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. No security or police were in attendance. We came to a verbal agreement. The same person was found later to be harbouring several knives and to have a very paranoid personality.
We all have stories to tell. Like the film ‘Sliding Doors’, twists of fate, luck, decision making right or wrong all contribute to each person’s life story. Our many years of running The Top of the Town Motel added to our list of incidents, some unique, some scary, some funny enough to develop new scripts for our own Fawlty Towers.