Saturday, August 05, 2006
Tasmanian to the Core
Mainlanders often say that Tasmanians have two heads - a reference to the fact that we must all be inbred since the state has such a small population (around 490,000 in total) and that we're so isolated from the rest of Oz by the 'liquid highway', or Bass Strait. Of course, this line of reasoning doesn't hold water for long when you realise that one of the inevitable results of inbreeding is stupidity, and quite frankly, anyone who chooses to live in the rat-race dog-eat-dog uncaring high-priced fast-paced heartless environment of the mainland, when Paradise is just across the water, must be more stupid than anyone here in the 'land under down-under'.
We do, however, like any small isolated population, develop our 'ways' of doing and seeing things, and one of the best examples of this would be in relation to distance and travel. Some years ago when I lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for a few months, I quickly adapted to the idea that travelling long distances was ordinary behaviour, as evidenced by the fact that one day between gigs, with nothing much else to do, I tried to get the boys to slip up to Ayer's Rock for a look-see, a distance of around 4,000 km round trip. And yet it was only a month or two before when we drove off the cross-Strait ferry that we were astounded to see the first road sign in our lives to have more than three digits on it!
And yet now that I'm back in Tassie, the old ways return oh so easily. This weekend my brothers, sisters and I have brought my kids down to Hobart, a distance of 600km there and back, and this was a trip we carefully planned for the last 2-3 weeks - what to take, where to stay, how much money we would need... We were worried because their Mum wouldn't be able to drop them off until 6:00 pm because Kierran had footy after school, and that would mean we would get into Hobart very late after a long, long trip. How distant those Adelaide days seem in my mind now, when we got off the ferry at 8:00 am and drove through to Adelaide, heaps of stops on the way, and arrived about midnight (750 km - wow!). If ever you must drive to Adelaide, plan your trip that way, so that you arrive late at night. The sparkling lights of the City of Churches, seen from those high hills surrounding the city, are one of the must-sees for one of the most beautiful places in Australia - except Tasmania of course.
And on the topic of two-headed Tasmanians, have a look and listen to this, which would probably be the song which mainlanders would say best describes things in Tasmania:
Listen to I'm My Own Grandpa