Well, I am finally going to be up-to-date with my blogs! As you all know by now, I am in Adelaide... City of churches... as you can see:
Yes, it's the church of Scientology, here in Adelaide! We actually also saw one in Melbourne, right before we left for our trip... I wonder if there is one in every major city in Australia? I haven't seen Tom Cruise yet, but I'm still looking! Oh, and I have a story about Scientology coming up later, too.
So, Adelaide is a pretty neat city. I had heard that Melbourne is an artsy kind of city, but it pales in comparison to Adelaide! I mean, you go walking, and weird artwork would pop up everywhere. Most of the neat stuff was at the outdoor Rundle Mall, but other strange stuff was strewn all over the city. My favorites were the pigs. There were 4 pigs, just wandering around in the mall... one was rooting through the trash... but these pigs are not like other pigs. These pigs, friends, are metal.
The plaques you see in front of them are the pigs names... the seated one is Horatio, and the one closest to the picture is Truffles, but I can't remember the other ones names... one of them was Oliver, but I don't remember which one.
Heres a close up of the one going through the garbage. It's not actually a garbage can, most of the garbage you see in it is metal, but people who don't realize that it's ART throw their garbage there too.
This was another cool thing at the mall... if you look closely you can see me in the ball taking a picture of it!
I spent a lot of time at that mall, because there was always something fun going on. There were tons of street performers... little kid violinists...
It was a REALLY hot day. I think that is his dad you see in the background, I know his dad (or guardian) was there... and I think it's terrible that they make their LITTLE kids play violin in the heat for money. This picture was yesterday... but today it was even hotter and I saw a little girl violinist. I didn't take her picture though.
And here is another something in a park when I was just walking around... there was also a giant hose, a fish bone, and a giant flip flop next to this clothespin.
So, I guess I'll break down my time here by the days... I got here on Thursday, and I already told you what happened that day on my last blog. Well, on Friday, I pretty much just did a little walking around, went to Rundle Mall... there was one guy there dancing around to Les Mes (Master of the House) and was doing a comedy show, I watched for a little while. Then I checked out out the hours of the museum and the art gallery (I would be going there tomorrow) and didn't do much else. I went to Woolworths to buy myself some food for the hostel (I have decided I need to start cooking my meals instead of eating out... since I am spending too much). I couldn't really spend any more time outdoors though, because it was probably over 100 degrees and the sun was HARSH... so I went back to the hostel and just hung out there.
Saturday I did the Museum and the Art Gallery... the museum was neat... but they made me feel like they didn't trust me. I think I might just have been a bit cranky that day, but I was carrying my purse, it's a bigger purse than some have but it's not like a huge bag... and they made me check it. I've taken this purse many places that make you check your bag, but never before has anyone made me check this purse. And then, when I was walking around, looking at all the stuff, the museum people were everywhere, and they all seemed to keep looking at me, or when I was in a room by myself for too long (looking at the objects and reading the descriptions!) they came into the room, peeked in, looked at me, and left. I don't think I look like a museum thief, do you?
But besides that... it was a neat museum. I didn't look at the rooms that had the stuffed animals and the fish facts and all the kind of stuff that I might see in any other Australian museum... I just checked out the Aboriginal room, and because I love them, the Egyptian room. The Aboriginal room was actually a few rooms, with all kinds of Aboriginal arts, weapons, household objects, jewelry, and all about how they did things before the white man came and changed their way of life... and I learned a lot about their culture, and the 'Dreamtime' stories. Actually, that is one thing that I can't wait for about the Outback tour that I am going on... we are going to be learning a lot about the Aborigines, and their culture (and that means when I get back and can write about it, YOU will be learning!)
The Egyptian room was neat too... it was small, and no one was in it when I was (the museum people came to check on me 3 times while I was in here). There were a few mummies and the mummy coffins, and some hieroglyphics... jewelry, artifacts... I love museums, you can learn so much! And just looking at the mummies is so strange... knowing that 4000 years ago that person was a young man or woman, living their normal life... and now they are on display.
The Art Gallery was conveniently enough right next door to the museum, so I went straight from one air conditioned place to another! I saw that they had a sign saying to check large bags, and I asked the guy if I needed to check my purse, and he said "oh no, you don't have to check that!". Hmmm.
I looked through the halls... starting at the religious paintings and working my way over to the landscapes, and then the mod-art. Before I talk about the mod-art... there was one piece of work in the landscapes that REALLY stuck out to me. It was a work called "Evening Shadows"... and it was just BEAUTIFUL. I kept finding myself going back to look at it again. I think it was the way that the artist (HJ Johnstone) did the water reflection... beautiful. And I guess I'm not the only one that thinks that, since it is "Australia's most copied painting"... To see the painting: http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/1999/EX99%20Reflections.html
The article says it was used as an art school exercise, where the students copied the painting... so there are over 200 copies floating around... wonder if I can get one for my wall?
Well, when I finally tore myself away from that painting, I went to the modern art section. And I still don't get modern art. There were the really crazy displays downstairs... some of them were really neat, some were just... strange. There was one where you had to take off your shoes to enter the room that it was in, and it was a bunch of Persian rugs, with hanging lamps (black and white) lit over them. Oh, but actually, only the white lamps were lit. The rugs were nice and soft beneath my feet though!
Another one was a room with 2 projectors... with 2 movies going on at the same time. On one side, there was a young man, and he was in his living room, dancing to his music. He was really busting a move! On the other side, there was an older woman, who was also in her living room. She was just doing household things, and just sitting there... then the young man who was dancing stopped dancing... and when he did, the woman on the other screen started to sing. The man who was dancing was now just sitting there, looking around... it was interesting.
In another room, there was a film that I am still trying to make sense of. It was of a young Aborigine girl who was talking about her Nana, and how great her Nana was... you saw her laughing at her Nana's antics, making her food, etc, and all the while the girl was talking in the background about what her Nana did for her. She said that her Nana made paintings and sold them, and that they were always of the same Dreamtime story, but her Nana said that the 'white man' wouldn't know the difference anyway. Near the end of the film, you saw a scene in the desert bush with a sign going into Aborigine land saying "No Drugs or Alcohol Past This Point", and you see a car stopped at the sign. The Nana and another older Aborigine woman went up to the car, and started grabbing beer from the back of the truck and throwing it onto the ground, breaking it. The man in the truck started protesting, and I guess he got out of the truck, and the Nana and the other woman started beating him with a stick, I mean really beating him. All the while, the little girl was watching from her Nana's car. There was a dog barking near where he was being beaten, and I didn't know if he was the Nana's dog or the mans, but I heard a 'Yelp!', so I guess he was the mans and the Nana hit the dog as well. At the end, the girl says "When I grow up, I want to be just like my Nana."
Now, I can't figure this one out. Is it putting down the Aborigines as being violent, or is it saying that they are finding ways to stick up for themselves (as the white men WERE bringing alcohol into their territory... and way more than just for themselves to drink so perhaps they were going to try selling it to the Aborigines...) and maybe she was beating him to protect herself, because he got out of the car? I don't know... but she really gave him a beating...
There were other strange pieces, one was actually neat because it was just a whole tower, or cube actually as you could walk into it through a door, of STUFF. Stuff that was packed together as perfectly as possible... in a way that gave you the most possible room. I mean, the person who did this sculpture/art piece, I wish I could hire them to pack my suitcase or car when I go on trips!
I'm sorry, but I didn't take pictures in either the Museum or the Art Gallery, because it said 'No photography' and I didn't want to give the museum people a reason to throw me out, and the art people were nice so I didn't want to annoy them. It was a nice way to spend the day though, in the air conditioning, and both were FREE!
The next day, (Saturday) I did a bit more exploring, but it was another scorcher so I knew I wouldn't be able to spend much time outdoors... I went to the mall again to see what was going on, and I saw a bunch of people wearing masks... it started out with just one person, walking around in a gas mask... and I was thinking, "hmmm. What does he know that I don't?" Then a whole crowd of people in masks walked by... chanting something. I went and got a flier from one of them and read it... and I saw the word "Scientology". At first I was thinking, 'oh man, what are those Scientologists up to now?" but it turned out that it was an ANTI-Scientology demonstration. The flier gave quotes of things L Ron Hubbard said, things his son said, things they do, etc. I found this article about a protest, and while the date is wrong, this is the same group wearing the same masks. Maybe they are doing one a month or something... http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,23189467-5014239,00.html
They are 'anonaustralia' or something... they wear masks because they want to be anonymous, as people who have gone against Scientology have been harmed in some way. On my way back home that day, I noticed 4 people sitting outside in red shirts, that said "church of scientology" on them. I actually noticed these people earlier that day too, but I didn't realize until now that they were from the church of Scientology... guess they were outside to try to convince people who went up there that they weren't bad people, I don't know. It was all very interesting. :)
Also, Saturday I found this little old woman who had a card table at Rundle mall. She had two little seats and a cardboard sign saying "readings! 30 years experience! grateful for any donations!". She was reading tarot cards... I figured why not, I'll donate a couple dollars and get my cards read. She was a really sweet woman, but she spoke softly so it was a little hard to catch everything... but the gist of it was that she told me that in 6 weeks, I would find my calling. She said that right now, I was just finding myself and doing the things that I wanted to do, and that was great for me, but in 6 weeks, my time would come for getting meaning out of life. Nice, huh? I get back from Australia, and my life will have meaning, and I'll decide what I want to do!
And to rush this a bit... today I pretty much did nothing outside. I went out and got ice cream... I wanted to go to the botanical gardens but it was really too hot. There was a cultural arts festival going on that I checked out for maybe 10 minutes... but the heat is INTENSE here... my water bottle kept getting hot and I'd have to buy a new cold one or find a place to refill... it was tough. I ended up just going back to the hostel to research places that I would be going next... and I ended up running in to someone that I had gone on the Tassie tour with, so that was neat. Oh, and here is what I saw at a show today... Canada representing! Nude!
This woman was kind of rude though. I saw the tail end of the show (she said she was ending it early because of the heat) and she started talking about "give me donations, 10 or 20 dollars, or a few gold coins (which are 1 and 2 dollars)" I was thinking, "ok, not me, I saw like 2 minutes of your show" and when she saw people walking away, she would say to the crowd "EVERYONE! LOOK AT THOSE TWO GIRLS WALKING AWAY! BOO THEM!" Etc. I got away without being booed, but I didn't watch her 'grand' finale. Fire juggling, eh. Whatever, it's not worth being made feel guilty for not paying for 2 minutes of a 'free' show.
OK, guys, I am going to be going to be going on my outback tour tomorrow... this is a 10 day tour. I don't know, but I MAY not have computer and/or phone service for that time. So... if you don't hear from me in that time, DO NOT worry! I am probably OK! I will try to call, but again, if I don't, just wait for 10 days before you start worrying, OK?
Oh, and I broke down and bought some shoes with grip and a little bit more ankle support. They were pretty cheap (at a payless-type store) but I think they will do the job. Unfortunately... it meant that something in my luggage had to go... and it was... the yoga slide shoes. They really aren't doing too well anyhow, the velcro hardly works, and there are rips in the fabric already. I put them through a lot, and they did let me down, a bit. They'd have been great for just slumming around every day shoes... but for anything more, they are useless. Here is the goodbye picture...
Bye bye, yoga slides. And shampoo bottle apparently.
OK, signing off, and just a little note... normally I read over my posts quickly to check for spelling or other little errors... and normally there are some, but today, I am not going to do it because I am almost out of my time for today and I still need to write a couple of quick emails! So if there are errors or sentences that don't make sense or words missing on this post, please be kind about it!