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From the Where2sing.com stories:
The Great Karaoke Escape 2004/05

DAY 14

Overcast morning in Broken Hill, and quickly out of the place, to stop just an hour west at a little truck stop for breakfast and a good old chat with the delightful lady who owns it and used to be a truckie. She wondered what I was doing in those parts, and upon the reply that I was going from Sydney to Brisbane but the 'long way round', we got onto the subject of websites, and karaoke. No, they didn't have karaoke around there, and I resigned myself to the possibility that I was going to cover a fair number of kilometres before I would sing again.

Then on for a really long drive west, trying various positions in the seat as over five hundred kilometres of remarkably similar terrain passed by. Stopped for a walk around in Cobar, and noticed the previous truck stop business listed for sale in a real estate window - price $320,000, motivated vendor'. I bet!

Then another hour or so into Nyngen, and a few phone calls forward to Dubbo to find a karaoke for tonight - the one listed for Wednesdays no longer running, but got a lead that tells me about the River Inn. Only getting a fax tone when I try the River Inn, but it seems like the only Wednesday night karaoke within a few hundred kilometres.

Anyway, time for a coffee here and a walk around - oh, how strange, there's a helicopter sitting over there in the carpark. Dammn, I knew there was a faster way to get around in these parts. Standing having a look at the helicopter (it's bolted to the carpark surface and doesn't look like it's been going anywhere for a few years), I end up in conversation with a lady who turns out to be the local school headteacher, and her husband, an intestesting couple very willing to chat and tell me how friendly the town is apparently in cotrast to a few other towns where people view outsiders with suspicion. And they went to the last karaoke at the local RSL, not that they thought much of the yobbo and drunken singers. Oh, and the helicopter was a relic from the floods of a few years ago when the army was called into airlift people to safety.

So on to Dubbo, and it's dark well before I get there - a surprisingly big place when you come over the hill and see all the lights spread out below. A quick swerve around the road as I avoid pieces of distergrating tyre from the truck in front of me, but all the pieces miss the front of the car, happily!

Soon after, a quick drive around the town to find a place to stay. Obviously this is one of the places where outsiders are viewed with suspicion - the girl at the motel I choose from a streetful of motels frantic for business is surly and uncharming.

Then off to find the River Inn, and it's there looking very closed. As in permanently closed. I ask a nearby couple of cabbies for suggestions, but they suggest places I have already confirmed as running on other nights, and have no other suggestions. Cabbies are my last resort for information, so I'm in Dubbo on a karaoke-less Wednesday.

Oh well, perhaps Chinese food is the go? The first in the line of chinese restaurants has an Aussie proprietor, and I give it a miss as I want something really Asian. The second has a Chinese cook, but another local is serving staff and ignores me for a full five minutes before coming over and greeting me with 'we're closed'. It's just after 9pm, and the sign on the door says that they are open till 10. I'm fast getting the impression that Dubbo is not a friendly place, but it's too late to go on to somewhere else.

The third place has a wiry Vietnamese man hanging out of the door awaiting a customer, and he is happy to see me. It's a great find - the Vietnamese seem passionate about their food, and it lives up to expectations. I'm allowed to choose something delicious, and carry it back to the hotel along with a couple of beers.

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