Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, What a Feeling in Hobart, Tasmania

Wow, our breakfast at this hotel is anything off of their menu. I had Eggs Florentine, while Ron had Eggs Benedict. What a treat that was. The trade-off is that the coffee is instant and not even a good instant. This prompted us to finish our breakfast and find a coffee shop for a better cup of java.

During our hunt for caffeine, we stopped at the Tourism Office. Small, but quick and efficient, we had all of the information we needed to makes some decisions on day tours. Hunting down options for exchanging money, we did not find any significant difference between the banks and the exchange office.

The balance of our day was spent wandering around Hobart looking at the different neighborhoods pointed out by the tour office as interesting places. This is a pleasant little city, very hilly, more so than Sydney. We found a number of little used bookstores and found a couple of good titles we have been hunting for, but the criteria is that it has to be a paperback and under eleven inches in size otherwise they are just too weighty.

When we returned, we had to get to the tour office before 5:00 to book our trips. We changed money, went back to the hotel to drop off some things, and then headed out again. We have been buying a couple of little gifts for a friend of ours in South Africa; she just released her sixth novel. She based it on our apartment from when she came to Budapest and is sending us a copy. We wanted to mail the gifts from here having more secure feelings than if we sent them from Budapest. The registered mail envelopes could not be removed from the post office, so we had to bring the things there to mail. That was out of the way and on the way. At the tourism office we booked two tours for tomorrow and the day after. Friday, we return to Adelaide for our finale before returning home again.

Walking wore us out, so the hotel called and said “Hey, don't you need a nap?” Who could refuse such consideration, so we went back for a beer and then a snooze. The bar was jammed inside and out with young people, mostly wearing black and all having dead bands or armbands of white and blue or white and red. I thought they were here for the cricket match, but when I asked the waiter, he said it was a funeral for a 20 year old.

Watching these young people made me wonder yet again and certainly not for the first time. When did it become acceptable for men to use hair pins, bobby pins, barrettes, and headbands? How does that transition from “god damned faggot” of my generation when I was their age to now it is de riguer or not even noticed. Along those lines, I noticed a number of men with pierced ears, both ears. A number had those hole stretchers in them that look like rims on a car's tire. It would be interesting to touch bases with them in twenty years or more to see if they had to have their ear lopes surgically cut off to remove the Brahma bull lopes left after years of stretching or do they still have them into their forties and fifties? While I am on body modifications, I have never seen so many tattoos as we have seen here in Australia. Not only men, but women too have tattoos on their arms, legs, tops of their feet, and where else that does not show in public, I don't even want to know about. It is not that I am against tattoos, I have one myself and know the pain involved, so how can they stand to have the multitudes of them they have?

Using our Frommer's, we hunted out a restaurant, but it no longer exists. We found a pub restaurant where we chose to take a chance. Great gamble. I had chicken schnitzel with guacamole and cheese melted over it. The chicken was all white meat: a half plate size portion, thick and moist throughout with lots of the green stuff hidden under a perfect layer of a white cheese. It came with a small salad, but I had already ordered spicy fries with it. One of our more memorable meals.

A walk home to relax and some television watching and it is called an evening.

Side note, Ron read in the local paper that the waters across from us are infested with jellyfish, so there is not swimming until further notice. There have been three shark attacks around the country within the last week. All three people survived, but had to beat the shark off. One man had ninety teeth wounds on his leg. Anyone for snorkeling? Not me.

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