Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 24 2001

Spent yesterday at King’s Park, a section of rolli…

Spent yesterday at King’s Park, a section of rolling hills near downtown Perth, full of serious joggers, business types, and gaggles of schoolchildren screaming at water fountains when they (the fountains) went off and spouted huge jets of water in the air. There was a double helix-shaped structure one could climb to get a nice 360-degree (oh, how I love being able to use that term in a non-corporatespeak context!) view of the surrounding area and the city. Far off, I could just glimpse the Indian ocean and Rottnest Island.

As we made our way back to the city, we passed a park with a lake full of black swans and ducks. They were positively feral, because when we sat down they literally rushed us. My friend Simon tried to get a recording of swan sounds, but they just tried to eat the microphone. They also tried to eat our bags, shoes, shoelaces and everything else in the vicinity. Simon made the observation that naughty children should be brought to this park and let loose among the swans for a few mintutes, so that afterwards all the parent would have to do to get them to behave was threaten them with more swans. At the very least it would make an interesting story of childhood trauma for entire generations of psychologists.

When we got downtown I booked a berth on the Indian-Pacific train to Sydney, which takes three days, for this Friday.It was quite expensive, but I hope it will be worth it. I booked the “Red Kangaroo” class as opposed to the even more expensive “Gold Kangaroo” class. Apparently red kangaroos are substandard. Since the Melbourne Cup is approaching, it was very difficult to find a berth, so I’m leaving Perth a bit sooner than I had originally planned, but that’s ok. I can always come back west sooner. I also got an Australian phone card so that I wouldn’t have to pay so much money each time I make a call on my mobile, or rather each time some uninformed person calls me from Taiwan.

Later on we visited an aborigine shop with a bunch of native paraphanalia. There was a couple from Europe there, one of whom was blowing into a digeridoo and making no small amount of noise. “It’s first time for me to play this instrument!” the beaming man said to the assistant, who nodded in obvious awe at his musical aptitude. We made a hasty exit, however, when the other member of the couple started to try out the boomerangs.

Perth seems like such a small town, but it has well over a million people. The streets never seem crowded, but I suppose that is because I am used to Chinese crowds, which are some of the densest I’ve ever seen. Personal space seems to be more of a western concept. This is the first English-speaking country I’ve visited outside of the US, and the similarities and differences can really mess with one’s expectations and preconceptions.

Ok, I’ll stop the analysis for now, as your hand seems to be inching towards the “favorites” button for something more inspiring. Today is another beautiful day.

posted by Poagao at 1:57 am  

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