November 30, 2010

Memories of Leavers, Almost 20 Years On.

Earlier this week there was a photo in The West Australian of a group of "leavers" at Rottnest Island.  Not much new there, except for the fact that they were on an exceptionally large Sunseeker motor yacht.  And there were several designer clad girls on the front who looked like Paris Hilton.  But with better hair.  My instant thought was - yep, the first thing I would do if I had a very expensive boat is lend it to a bunch of seventeen year olds...  And then I had a few memories of my own end of high school celebrations.

I went to Rottnest Island at the end of Year 12, sometime in the early 1990s.  It wasn't called "leavers" or "schoolies" then.  It was just called "going to Rottnest at the end of Year 12".

I stayed with a group of friends, not in a yacht unfortunately, but rather in a skanky Rottnest Island Authority rental.  We had to chain our fridge door closed so no one nicked our booze.  I took a whole 6 pack of Strongbow Cider.  Strongbow Sweet Cider.  Special. ( In retrospect the chain was probably superfluous.  Not even a school leaver would steal Strongbow Sweet.)

My wardrobe consisted of two pairs of shorts from Katies and three T-shirts from Sussans.  I don't think I owned sunglasses, let alone Prada ones.  For those who did have sunglasses, Oakley Frogskins were the pinnacle of fashion greatness.

The height of sophistication was sneeking into the pub.  Admittedly that wasn't that hard , as you just snuck down the beach and jumped over the wall while the solo bouncer was checking someone else's ID.

My Idea Of A Designer Label At Seventeen

We drank "cocktails" we made from Brownes Choc Milk and Kahlua.  Even now my stomach turns at the smell of Kahlua.

The coolest outfit I wore the whole week was a poncho. I had made it out of an army blanket with a hole cut in the middle.  It was my Mexican outfit and I wore it to drink Tequila slammers.  Interestingly I can still stomach Tequila easily (but then I never ate the worm).

We listened to the Hoodoo Gurus, The Violent Femmes and a decent amount of Madonna.  Eighties music didn't count as retro then.

I can't remember anyone having designer clothes, designer boats or designer drugs.  No designer anything really.

I was feeling a bit bemused by the whole motor launch concept and then I bumped into a local girl who was just back from Rottnest.  She had sprained her arm.  She had absolutely no memory of how.  So obviously some things haven't changed...


This Mid 30s Life said...

Gotta love Rotto, those authority rentals are the best, love them. Even love the quokkas.

Schoolies was the best. Most of my friends went to the Gold Coast, with their parents happily footing the bill. My olds were fine with my going, but only if I paid so I ended up going to Terrigal staying in the caravan park. There was a big group of us and we had an absolute ball, with lots of friends hiring beach houses too. I look back and feel for the locals. *Shudder*

Did you read about the two 17 year olds who met at Schoolies and married 5 days later? True love of course.

Sydney Shop Girl said...

Ahhh - leavers at Rotto.

I never quite made it there myself...

I will live vicariously through your memories, AFW.

SSG xxx

Not A Ballerina said...

Ooh yes, I remember those days at Rottnest. Well, I remember that I went. Not sure I remember much about being there. Except that I never had the same passion for Midori and lemonade that I'd had before.

Not A Ballerina said...

But did you have to mention it is nearly 20 years on? A fact that has *not* made my morning.

A Farmer's Wife said...

This Mid 30s Life - That marriage sounds like a sure thing....

SSG - To be honest, you probably didn't miss that much! But feel free to live vicariously, it is a favorite pastime of mine.

Not A Ballerina - Midori and Lemonade is almost, almost as bad as Strongbow Sweet. Nowhere near as bad as Kahlua and Choc Milk though. What was I thinking? Was I thinking at all?

This Mid 30s Life said...

Kahlua and choc milk? Seriously?

A Farmer's Wife said...

I know, can you think of anything more sick making????