Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 – New Norfolk, TAS to Glenferrie Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Distance travelled 62 kilometres by SUV
We ate our breakfast and while Lucie packed, I sought out the little old lady and paid our bill. She was a quite a character and in conversation revealed she was originally from Essex in England and had only recently returned from a visit there.
While I was seeking her out, I came upon a room I had not previously entered. It was full of the kind of inconsequential bric-a-brac I remembered from my youth. Sitting on some of the chairs was a substantial collection of “Gollywog” dolls in their little stripy trousers.
Coming from Europe, I found it surprising that these, once so commonplace, were being so openly displayed in today’s hyper-sensitive and “politically correct” climate. But, I supposed, this was not some racist statement by the hostess but more or less served as a microcosm of everything Australians believe. Stuff happened, if it was bad, we changed it. But it still happened and, if you do not like it, just move on.
Australia, away from the few cities, had what I suppose you might describe as a “redneck” air. Tough, down to earth people living in the main, tough, down to earth lives. Retrospective guilt is a First World luxury which has no place in their existences. Australians identify a problem, fix it and carry on. They see no need to re-write history just because a vocal minority of today’s people have decided they do not like stuff that happened before they were born. Tasmania might have been a bit like Tennessee-on-sea, at times, but I liked it and I liked the people. Straight talking always works for me.
Even though it went smoothly, taking back the car, flying back to Melbourne and taking the now familiar route to the Glenferrie Hotel took up most of the day.
I have not mentioned it, but in our MYKI perambulations, we kept passing yet another of Australia’s famous cricket venues, the Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG. Another icon ticked ff ! We retrieved our luggage and were given a different room, but it was just as grand and expansive.
Before we knew it, it was time to have dinner with Hana and John. Hana had located a very swish Italian restaurant and it was only a short walk for us. It was a little bit strange that it was NOT strange that we were sitting for the first (and probably last) time in our lives in a restaurant on the other side of the world, with dear friends who lived so terribly far from us.
That is travel.