18. Australian Road Trip: The Hazards of Oz 2 - Going Troppo
Troppo spotting locations
Many people begin to Go Troppo at this iconic Sydney beach
Coffs Harbour - the recognised point where Real Troppo traits begin to appear - it must be all the bananas.
Best place to view folks Going Troppo while still partially functioning in society. nearby Nimbin is another story.
The actually Tropic of Capricorn - everyone north of this line has gone Troppo.
Cairns is stiff with people Going Troppo as well as a large population of Ferals.
Out on the Gulf - there is even a pub here specifically catering to Psycho Ferals - The Animal Bar.
What you lookin' at?
Dr Salty's Guide to the Hazards of Oz
Part 2: Going Troppo
What is it?
Spend too long in the tropics, particularly the Australian tropics, and you run the risk of “Going Troppo. Please note that “Going Troppo” is a state in itself. Once you reach the level of actual “Troppo” you then enter a new state, often referred to as “Feral”. The Feral stage can sometimes be a good state of being where sufferers experience such feelings as “Chilled Out;” or it can be the complete opposite, that is - “Psycho”. Which way you go after you Go Troppo is down to the individual and is dependent on such things as the location in which you end up after the “Going Troppo” phase.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of Going Troppo are often subtle and vary from person to person. In my experience men tend to go Troppo faster than women, possibly due to the fact that males care less about personal hygiene than females. But a Troppo/Feral female is guaranteed to be a worse prospect to encounter than a male, at the end of the day.
The general symptoms of Going Troppo begin with things like:
- Not shaving (male and female)
- Not wearing proper footwear
- Not brushing the hair.
Please note: You do not need to actually cross the Tropic of Capricorn to display these initial symptoms, they can begin to manifest themselves less than 4 kilometres from the Sydney CBD (Central Business District), in Bondi for example. However, the further north you travel, the more extreme the symptoms become. This can be calculated in the following simple formula -
( K + W) x (°C + B) = T
Where K = Kilometres Travelled; W = Weeks on the road; °C = Temperature over 30°C; B = Beer consumed; T = Troppo
Symptoms become progressively more noticible as you enter the sub-tropical zone that begins just north of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. These acute symptoms include:
- Shaving one’s head
- Or conversely, cultivating Dredlocks
- Sarong wearing amongst males
- Wearing mismatched flip flops (Note: at this point non-Australian Going Troppo victims begin calling the ubiquitous rubber footwear by its Aussie name – Thongs)
There are certain hotspots along the coastline where Going Troppo is rife. These danger zones actually speed up the Going Troppo process to the point where the effects are irreversible. The most notorious Troppo hot spot on the East Coast is Byron Bay NSW, where Troppo actually co-exists with commercial tourism. For the casual observer and curious non-sufferer, this is the best, and safest place to view people who are Going Troppo.
Warning : If you are of a weak disposition, have drug issues or simply don’t understand hippies, then stay well away from the notorious township of Nimbin. This is where many post-Troppo suffers have stopped and settled, not even reaching the actual tropics before succumbing to feralism. Other towns to beware of include Muwillimbah and Mullimbimbi.
Beyond the Byron/Nimbin Troppo Zone, symptons will become chronic and soon form part of the lifestyle. Sufferers at this late stage display such tendencies as
- Lounging about in speedos (AKA Budgie smugglers) at all hours of the day.
- Getting tattoos and piercings
- Increased casual swearing
- Lack of Care (colloquial: to “Not give a Shit”)
- No Fear.
Coping with GBT (Gone Beyond Troppo)
Once the patient has Gone Troppo and is fully exhibiting all the chronic symptoms associated with Feralism, they develop coping mechanisms which help them get through their long days.
For example: If a sufferer also happens to be a surfer then there is nothing any medical practitioner can do to drag them back into polite society. There is no one anywhere on this earth more contented than a surfer who has Gone Troppo. These people wear speedos as a matter of course (often underneath their baggy shorts to avoid “nad rash” from lying on surfboards). Lack of Care is a positive coping mechanism to them, as is the Lack of Fear which particularly helps them cope with large waves, the possibility of sharks and Agro from long-term feral surfers who see every wave and every other surfer as something to fight (see future article on feralism).
People who have GBT often find great comfort in less strenuous activites such as beach fishing or sitting around with their mates. Community centres such as pubs offer a range of theraputic activities for GBT suffers. These include Rock music, Pool and Beer. (XXXX and NQ lager are particularly soothing as is the “Odd Bong” which in most cases can also be procured from the pub.)
Often times, the best thing for GBT sufferers to do is to head as far north into the tropics as possible. The North Queensland city of Cairns boasts fantastic facilities for the GBT traveller, and the Chilled out Feral. Psycho Ferals are probably better off heading even further north to locations such as ”up the Cape”, or "Out in the Gulf" or in terminal cases, going all the way to Darwin where everyone is feral or works for the Government.