Friday, 29 July 2011

The Outback

I have seen a lot of strange things in the Outback. Snakes, crocodiles, rock wallabies, a town entirely obsessed with UFOs, pubs in the middle of nowhere, canyons, gorges, Uluru, fainting Germans, asthma attacks, and lots and lots and lots of red dust.

Today my tour group and I were walking through a dry gorge when a crow said "Aaaaah" and our (female) tour guide said "That's what she said."

Later on today we stopped at the small town of Hermannsberg, and I was happily eating a Drumstick, which is the Australian equivalent of a Cornetto, when a load of Aboriginal children, probably between the ages of seven and ten, walked past me and yelled: "Want money! Want money! Want money!" I was so startled that I shook my head, hid behind a bin, and quietly pretended not to exist.

Gotta love the outback.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Completely Spoiler-free Review of Deathly Hallows Part 2 (and some stuff about Darwin)

I would, ultimately, have preferred to see Deathly Hallows part 2 with someone who I could discuss the film with afterwards (no doubt incredibly loudly.) Also, I can't HELP but think that the atmosphere on release day in England; today, in fact, would be slightly better than the atmosphere in Perth at 9.35 in the morning on the inexplicably earlier release date. The cinema was only half full, due to all the major keenos going to the midnight release the night before, or going in the evening like normal people. However rather than catching the two buses and the train that the Western Australia travel planner recommended (for literally a half hour journey) I got a lift with very nice family friends with small babies who cannot go out in the evenings, so I'm incredibly grateful that I even got to the cinema.

Well, it was amazing. I did not cry until about two seconds before the end credits. I'm also not entirely sure I breathed properly until the end credits. When I left the cinema I looked in the mirror in the toilets and was relieved to see that I still looked as young as I had done before the film. I was kind of worried I might emerge as a proper grown-up with a mortgage and the ability to drive, or something. It was true to the book, and Maggie Smith was very much like a certain A Level English teacher who taught us Chaucer, and Alan Rickman did some serious hardcore acting.

It's also pretty good in 3D, although I was so absorbed in the storyline anyway that it would probably be good either way.

I swear one minute I was reading the first book when I was seven and suddenly all the films are over and I'm nineteen on Tuesday. That's another thing...I'm nineteen on Tuesday. And Tuesday happens sooner in Australia due to the time difference, so I am sort of nineteen before my twin brother, who was born two minutes earlier. Until I return to England and balance is restored to the universe, I will be sort of older than my older twin. Crazy.

I am in Darwin now, having two hours on the internet in an air-conditioned internet cafe because I cannot face the 31 degree heat again. And that is actually all I have to say about Darwin, other than why do we have to have our bags searched and walk through a security archway to get into the library, and why does the library only have reference books? I wasn't planning on stealing an encyclopedia.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Wallet Incident

Firstly, I recently had the single most terrifying moment of my life. More terrifying than leaving the resort on Fraser Island in the middle of the night to look for dingoes. More terrifying than firing a shotgun or riding a horse through a creek. More terrifying than the moment on the coach on the way back from the Woman in Black trip when the lights went off. You get the idea.

I left my wallet in a shop called 'Hot Dollar' in Sydney, where I bought a pen which could have turned out to have cost me all my money, all my Dad's money, my provisional driver's license, all my luggage (the locker reciept with the access code to my luggage was in the wallet) and basically everything except my passport, a copy of Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, and some orange tic tacs. I discovered this loss only an hour before my train was due to leave for Perth, a three day train journey across the outback. I was supposed to be at the station an hour before departure, but instead I was running frantically down George Street, knocking into pedestrians and panicking more than I have ever panicked.

As I dashed into Hot Dollar, I asked the check-out man and he said he had not seen a wallet. For a minute there, I was sure that in the next hour I would have to a) go to the hostel and get them to break into the locker with my luggage in it, then b) go to the bank and plead for a new card, and c) ring my cousin in Melbourne in tears and explain how I had lost everything, and finally d) ring my dad and explain that I had lost his emergency credit card and he must cancel it immediately. If by some miracle I then managed to actually get on the train, I would have to live on orange tic tacs for three days.

Luckily, my Canadian friend Brooke who accompanied me on the mad chase down George Street asked the next check-out man, who asked me to give a detailed description of the wallet "Black! With a clasp shaped like a padlock," before he handed it to me. Needless to say, I got on the train and within the next six hours or so my heart rate returned to normal.

"Phew" doesn't even come close.