Adelaide

Finally I am going to be up-to-date with my blog posts! So let me tell you about Adelaide.  Adelaide is the city of churches, as you can see:

Yes, it’s the church of Scientology, right here in Adelaide! We 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 as well.

I liked Adelaide. I had heard that Melbourne is an artsy city, but it pales in comparison to Adelaide. In Adelaide, you can go for a walk and weird artwork will pop up everywhere. Most of the best stuff was at the outdoor Rundle Mall, but other strange stuff was strewn throughout the city. My favorites were the pigs. There were four pigs that you would see just wandering around in the mall. One was rooting through the trash. Yep, four metal pigs.

The plaques you see in front of them on the picture above are the pigs names. The seated one is Horatio, and the one closest to the picture is Truffles. I can’t seem to remember remember the other pig’s names. I know that one of them was Oliver, but I don’t remember which one.

Here’s 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 there seem to also be people who don’t realize that it’s art throw their garbage there too.

Here is 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 interesting going on in it. There were all kinds of street performers – like this very young violinist:

Here is something I found 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.

I guess I’ll break down my time in Adelaide by the days. I got here on Thursday, but I already told you what happened that day on my last post. On Friday all I really did was a little walking around. I went to Rundle Mall. When I went there that day, there was a guy dancing around to Master of the House from Les Miserables, and was also doing a comedy show. I watched that for a little while then I checked out what the hours of the museum and the art gallery were, as I planned to go there the next morning. I went to Woolworth’s to buy myself some food for the hostel (I have decided I need to start cooking my meals instead of eating out as I am spending too much on food). I couldn’t get myself to spend any more time outdoors after that because it was probably over 100 degrees and the sun was HARSH. I went back to the hostel and just hung out there the rest of the day.

On Saturday I went to the Museum and the Art Gallery. The museum was cool, but they gave me the feeling like they didn’t trust me. I was carrying my purse, and while it’s a bigger purse than some might have it’s not a huge bag, and they made me check it. I’ve taken this purse to many places that make you check your bags, but never before has anyone made me check this purse. On top of that, wherever I went while walking around in the museum the museum people seemed to be watching me or following me. If I was in a room by myself for too long looking at the objects and reading the descriptions, they came into the room, looked at me, and left. I don’t think I look like a museum thief, do you?

Besides that annoyance, I did enjoy the museum. Two of my favorite rooms were the Aboriginal room and the Egyptian room.

The Aboriginal room was actually a few rooms that were filled with Aboriginal art, weapons, household objects, jewelry, and stories about how they did things before the white man came and changed their way of life. I learned a lot about their culture and the ‘dreamtime’ stories. That is one thing that I can’t wait for during the Outback tour I’ll be going on next. We will be learning a lot about the Aborigines and their culture – which means when I get back and can write about it, YOU will be learn it too!

The Egyptian room was small and it didn’t have anyone in it while I was there. Though the museum people came to check on me three times while I was in here. Within it there were mummies and mummy coffins, as well as some hieroglyphics, jewelry, and other artifacts. I just love museums, you can learn so much about the pas. Just looking at the mummies is so strange, knowing that 4000 years ago that person was a young man or woman who was going about living their normal life – and now they are on display for our amusement. Will I be in some museum in 4000 years?

The Art Gallery was conveniently 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 but he told me “oh no, you don’t have to check that!”.

I walked through the halls starting at the religious paintings and worked my way over to the landscapes, ended up at mod-art. But before I start talking about the mod-art, I want to say that 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 what drew me to it was the way that the artist (HJ Johnstone) did the water reflection. It was almost hypnotic to me.  I guess I’m not the only one that thinks that, since it is “Australia’s most copied painting” I guess it was used as an art school exercise where the students copied that painting, so there are over 200 copies floating around. I wonder if I can get one for my wall?

When I was finally tore myself away from that painting I went to the modern art section. I still don’t get modern art. There were these really crazy displays downstairs. Some of them were cool but some were just… strange. There was this one where you had to take off your shoes to enter the room it was in. When you got in there you saw it was a bunch of Persian rugs with lamps (black and white) hanging over them. Only the white lamps were lit. I did like the feel of the soft plush rugs beneath my feet!

Another one was a room with two projectors that had with two movies playing on at the same time. On one side there was a young man who was in his living room dancing enthusiastically to his music. On the other side there was an older woman who was also in her living room. She was just sitting. Suddenly, the young man who was dancing stopped dancing. The second he stopped, the woman on the other screen began to sing. The man who was dancing was now just sitting there, looking around. It was certainly 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 while the Nana was making her food, and doing other things. 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 that were always of the same dreamtime story, but that her Nana said that the ‘white man’ wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Near the end of the film you saw a scene filmed in the desert that had a sign at the beginning of the Aborigine land that said “No Drugs or Alcohol Past This Point”.  There is a car that is 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 man’s, but I heard a high pitched ‘Yelp!’, so my guess is that he was the man’s 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.”

I can’t figure that 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 for things like the white man bringing alcohol into their territory?  I don’t know, but maybe the man was going to bring that alcohol into the territory to try to sell it to the Aborigines. Maybe she started beating him to protect herself because he got out of the car to cause trouble? I don’t know, but she really gave him a vicious beating.

There were other strange pieces. One of them I liked because it was just a whole tower – or cube actually – full of stuff. Stuff that was packed together as perfectly as possible. It was packed in a way that gave you the most possible room. So perfectly that I would love to hire the person who did this art piece to pack my suitcase or car when I go on trips.

I did not take pictures at either the Museum or the Art Gallery because it very clearly said ‘No photography’. 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 good choice as a way to spend the day though. I was in constant air conditioning, and both were free.

On the next day I did a bit more exploring. It was another scorcher though 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 the first thing I saw was a bunch of people wearing masks. It started out with just one person, walking around in a gas mask. I thought to myself, “Hmmm. What does he know that I don’t?” Then a whole crowd of people in masks walked by chanting something. My curiosity was peaked so I went and got a flier from one of them and read it. In big letters on top I saw the word “Scientology”. My first thought was, “oh boy, what are those Scientologists up to now?” but it actually 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 later found out the group was called ‘anonaustralia’ or something similar. They wear masks because they want to be anonymous because they are afraid that the Church of Scientology would harm them in some way if they knew their identities. On my way back home that day, I noticed four people sitting outside in red shirts that said “Church of Scientology” on them. I had noticed these people earlier in the day as well, but I didn’t realize until now that they were from the Church of Scientology.  I think they were outside to try to convince people who saw the protest that they weren’t bad people. It was all very interesting.

Next I found this little old woman who had a card table set up 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 sweet woman, but she spoke softly so it was a little hard to catch everything. The gist of what she said was that in six weeks I would find my calling. She told me that right now I was still finding myself and doing the things that I wanted to do, and that was great for me, but in six weeks, my time would come for getting meaning out of life. Nice, huh? As soon as I get back from Australia my life will have meaning!

I’m going to rush this last part a little. Today I didn’t do much outside. I did go out to get ice cream, but I had wanted to go to the botanical gardens and I couldn’t. It was just 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 going back to the hostel to research places that I wanted to go next. I did run into someone that I had gone on the Tassie tour with, so we chatted a little to catch up.

And here is what I saw at the mall today… Canada representing! Nude!

This woman was a bit rude though. I saw the tail end of the show (she said she was ending it early because of the heat) and she started saying “Everyone give me donations, 10 or 20 dollars each, 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 without paying, she would say to the crowd “EVERYONE! LOOK AT THOSE TWO GIRLS WALKING AWAY! BOO THEM!” I got away without being booed, but I didn’t watch her ‘grand’ finale of fire juggling.

Tomorrow is when I start out on my outback tour! This will be a 10 day tour. I don’t know if I’ll have internet or phone service during that time, so if you don’t hear from me for 10 days, do not worry! I’ll try to call, but if don’t please just wait for 10 days before you start worrying, OK?

Last thing for today – I broke down and bought some shoes with grip and a little bit more ankle support. They were pretty cheap (at a Payless type of store) but I think they will do the job. Unfortunately, buying something new meant that something in my luggage had to go. It had to be the yoga slide shoes. They really aren’t faring too well anyhow, the velcro hardly works now and there are rips in the fabric. I put them through a lot, but they did let me down. They’d have been great for just every day not doing much shoes, but for anything more they are useless. Here is the goodbye picture:

Bye bye, yoga slides. And shampoo bottle apparently.