1. You loved when your family road trips meant a stop at Frosty Mango.
You know the one — the store in the middle of nowhere with excellent macadamia nut ice-cream and a ginormous mango outside.
2. The Townsville Bulletin was your family’s bible.
It was always a big deal if you or your school got published in the Newspapers in Education section each Tuesday.
3. You despised summer and loved winter.
There was no such thing as autumn or spring, just nine months of hot, sweaty, and humid weather. You loved the slight sweating reprieve during “winter,” but it never lasted long enough.
4. You are a cyclone expert.
You would have experienced at least one cyclone ripping apart your hometown. You know bathrooms are sturdy, what is needed in a cyclone kit and found it amusing going to the supermarket before the cyclone hit to see the majority of aisles emptied of their contents, just like a scene from an apocalyptic movie.
5. You had a love/hate relationship with showers.
You loved cold showers twice a day, even if you went to turn the heat down and realized the water was at its coldest setting already. You hated getting out and sweating as soon as the towel touched your wet skin, because you didn’t know which droplets were sweat or water.
6. The North Queensland Cowboys were the only sports team to follow.
No one else mattered.
7. You enjoyed branding your siblings in your parent’s car.
Your family car got so hot from roasting in the sun that if you happened to touch the metal seatbelt plugs to your sibling’s skin, it would brand them like a stockman branding a cow.
8. You thought there was nothing greater than air-conditioning.
But the machines had to be set at 25 degrees because that’s what the Ergon Energy advertisement on TV said.
9. You had a snake chart in your house.
You received it for free in the local paper. It listed the different snakes you might encounter with a corresponding photo and whether or not it would kill you. Very handy.
10. You loved getting Wahu toys for Christmas.
And spending the rest of the day playing with them in your backyard pool.
11. You didn’t actually swim in the ocean much.
Tiny killing machines called stingers inhabited the water from October to March. You didn’t want to wear a stinger suit, as head-to-toe lycra didn’t look good on anybody.
12. You thought everyone in Ingham and Ayr was Italian because they all seemed to have Italian surnames.
13. Your school trips often involved the Great Barrier Reef.
Including visiting Magnetic or Hinchinbrook Islands in the Marine Park or a Reef HQ excursion.
14. Sunscreen was/is your BFF.
You never went outside without sunscreen on, period. Your house always had a large home-brand pump bottle on hand, plus aloe vera gel in the fridge or a plant in the garden. The smell of sunscreen was the smell of your childhood.