a The Transit Lounge: WTD 15 & 16: I Heart Canberra - NOT

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Thursday, May 3

WTD 15 & 16: I Heart Canberra - NOT

WTD 15: Griffith to Wagga Wagga, via Nerranderrah
The Day was a bit drizzly. Again our apperance location had been won by a competition which is why we ended up at Yenda first thing in the morning. One of the mothers had created this huge banner for us, about 2 metres wide and 5 metres long but because of the rain there was nowhere to put it.
We decided to have lunch in and poster Nerranderrah. All I have to say is "Why aren't the kids in school?" Instead they are sitting there on the street corners in groups, watching our every move (Youse reckon those girls are from around here?). While we were there, the town experienced a black out so it was our time to move on.
Our motelier was very friendly in Wagga Wagga (remember if you are NOT a local (and an OLD LOCAL at that), do NOT drop the second Wagga unless you want to be kicked in the Wagga......Wagga that is). We decided to hit the pub for a chicken parma. Turned out we were there on the right night, $10 parma. IT was huge, but way too dry. I think the wrong cheese was used, so I still have to say the Irish pub in Newcastle who inadvertantly got our order wrong, still supplied us with the best parma by far.
WTD 16: Wagga Wagga to Canberra
Our appearance in Wagga Wagga was the first to get the TV News crews out, both for Win and Prime. Tres exciting, and the cameramen/reporters were CUTE! So Dotti and I did our thing, got filmed and were on the local Wagga (wagga) news that night, although we were long gone by then. Our subsequent postering of Wagga (Wagga) was a little amusing. You see, I have learned not just via this job but through life experience in general, there are just some people in this world who feel it is their duty to bring you down no matter what.
And the lady working in the handbag and accessory shop in the Main Street (right near the Maccas) was this kind of person. Here is a snippet of conversation that ensued as a result of me entering her shop:
Miss Riz: "Hi I am Liz, I work with The **gg***. D**** the D***** is coming to Wagga (Wagga) next month, to do a performance at the civic centre. Can I leave you a poster for the shop?"
Handbag Lady (laughs haughtily while taking the poster): "I s'pose everyone laughs at you, don't they?"
Miss Riz (ignoring the snide tone in her voice): "ACtually no they don't. Most people get on board right away and really get a kick out of what my job entails."
Handbag Lady (snorts, whinnies or growls, I am not sure exactly what is was): "Sure they do. How did you get this job? I s'pose your just some random off the street."
Miss Riz: "I have no idea what you are taling about. I have worked in TV and film production and the last couple of years have had the chance to write for a magazine whilst living in Japan, as well as taking on a number of charity PR roles, so it has all been really great training for the job I need to do now."
Handbag Lady (stunned into silence) in a very small voice says: "Oh" and then quietly asked if she could take some flyers too.
Unfortunately, we had to leave Wagga (Wagga) and go on to, dare I write such a dirty word on my blog....Canberra. Double whammy of unfortunate-ness. Although we did stop and let ourselves be disappointed by The Dog on the Tuckerbox near Gundagai.
How can I describe Canberra to you and do it justice? I mean do all of you justice so you understand just how bad it really is?
Let me begin with the accommodation. We rang them on our approach to ask exactly how to get to them, as our map indicated it was in a 'bus' area only. "Well yeah it is" came the reply from the lady who was to be our receptionist for the next 3 days. Explaining we have a car that we need to park we were informed, as though we were idiots and should have known, that there was no parking at their motel. "Okay, so where can we park our car then?" You see where I am going with this?
When we finally made it up to our room, Meg and I quickly burst into hysterics (it was either that or throw a major jissey fit and cry) as we realised if she and I stretched at from a wall each on opposites sides of the room, we could easily touch hands in the centre of the room Unluckily for us, Parliament was in session so there was no room anywhere else for about a 100km radius.
We decided to survive this city, we would have to spend as much time out of the room as we could. This proved to be an even bigger challenge. When you are in a city with absolutely nothing to do, checked into a hotel room you want absolutely nothing to do with, what the hell are you supposed to do??
The "CBD" was filthy, the people were very erratic and dodgy looking, and the streets smelled of urine. Pigeon poo was everywhere, as were the flies and litter was being blown around by the wind. The people we spoke to, i.e. our waiter at the pizza shop and our lovely hotel receptionsit, seemed to believe it 1983, and not very on the ball. Neither could tell us anything to do in Canberra, which seemed to confirm my first impressions (suspicions as they were).
So we went to bed. And it was only 8pm.

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