Hobart

by leahplotz

I sit here, my secret hiding place on campus. Quiet, undisturbed, I look out over the city and try to put theory behind my latest campaign idea. What stategic and ethical considerations should be—ya know what, ACG5098? It’s Friday, leave me alone.

Because as I become giddy over planning a fun-filled trip with Becca to Sydney come September, I think back on my trips this year and the strange stories and places. I wanted to travel on my own and was never lonely. Thing about travelling alone is, you can always surround yourself with people in bars or tour groups if you want, or stay quiet.  Hobart called to the introvert in me, and I mostly stayed quiet.

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Mt. Wellington from my window with fresh snow on the peaks.

Hobart has approximately 100,000 residents on either side of the water. It is the largest city on/in Tasmania. Such a unique, quirky place as well. When I asked my host if I should be careful about certain area of town, she smirked. One of those smirks where it was obvious that I had asked a silly question. “No, certainly not a problem for you. Just be careful at night; there are minimal street lamps.” In this and similar ways, Hobart felt like a trip back in time. The famous state cinema added to this effect, and I don’t know if I used my debit card at any cafe. Even the bartenders seemed from an old black&white movie, greeting me with that white shirt & suspenders, glass and towel in-hand asking, “How can I help yuh, Miss?”

The most life to be had was on Saturday morning at the Salamanca Market. That was so much fun! Lots of local crafts, products, and pride. I really enjoyed looking at everything except all of the stuff made from “Tasmanian forest.” I’m sure it’s all ethically sustained and whatnot, yadda yadda, but still…it wasn’t sitting right with me. The Australian and state government could care less about the untouched forest. Even the logging companies have asked, “Really? Are you sure you want to do this?”

So when I came up to a wildlife protection organisation’s booth, I had to stop for some booklets and to have a chat with the lovely ladies advocating for protection. I learned a lot from that side of the story, and walked away with an entire library on material about proposed logging and the wildlife it will affect. Logging in any forest is just so sad, but in a place like Tasmania!! Oh, my heart aches. You could tell the residents still mourn the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger due to hunting culls in the 1930’s, and I can’t imagine what will happen to the Tasmanian devils if they tear down the precise forest where they thrive the best.

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Rainbow over beautiful Tassie

But alas, my time in Hobart was not dedicated to spending some alone time or protesting on behalf of the devils. One day I dedicated the entire day to art. If you look at my life in the past, say, five odd years, I have maybe once or twice made a conscious decision to go to an art gallery. But MONA, or the Museum or Old and New Art, is truly a spectacle to be invested in. This genius weird dude with shitloads of money opened it three or four years ago, and it was mind blowing, I tell you! Mind blowing!

So, in this place, you are likely to find 200 casts of various “styles” of vaginas next to a mummified Egyptian next to a floating scrap metal thing from imaginations beyond our Normal Human understanding. This place was insane! I loved it. One exhibit was of a “digestive system,” the whole room smelling of rotten raw chicken. Another was a mirrored toilet (no comment on that one). My favourites were probably 1) a 1936 German documentary on the Olympics, groundbreaking technology for the time, and what a time for it. 2) The Death Gallery.

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Don’t worry; he looked both ways before crossing.

Hobart was cute, inviting, and oh-so Tassie.

OK ACG5098, see you again on Monday.

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