A Fast One

March 31, 2006 at 1:15 pm (Uncategorized)

This week was insane. First of all, I was at my internship for 28 hours instead of the usual 20. I did not hate this as much as I thought I would, in fact, it was nice to be so busy. It took my mind off being sick (I am finally over all of that as of yesterday).

I picked this week to do extra hours because Lynda, the archivist I work with, was having the week from hell. She was supposed to have use of the 3rd floor at Foreshore House (currently empty but soon to be leased out) for the next three months to get the entire library full of documents, pictures, slides, etc. into the computer. The company decided to speed up the process of leasing the place out, so now she only has two weeks (last week and this coming week). Also happening this week was the Heritage Prize awards ceremony, so she was losing it. I did my best to help keep her sane . . . I helped with a little bit of the data entry but mostly I finished the powerpoint presentation for the awards ceremony and tackled the design/printing/assembly of the nametags for all of the guests. The ceremony happened this morning and it went pretty well, especially considering that Lynda is the only person in charge of putting it together and she has no background in events management.

So those are the boring details of my work life. What really happened this week is that I learned some interesting things. First of all, I did not know that the curve of the southern Australian coast is called "The Great Australian Bite". James told me this at work on Wednesday. Another priceless piece of information from Mr. Shepherd: There is this well-known Australian guy named "Chopper". Or that's his nickname I should say. Anyway, there was a movie about him starring Eric Bana. He claims to have killed 19 people (drug dealers mostly) but no one can prove that. He spent all but 13 months between the ages of 20 and 38 in prison. In prison, he was going to be killed by some of the drug-dealers friends but the guards didn't believe him so they would not transfer him. To make them believe him he cut off his own ears. Since he has been out of prison he has written a children's book called "Hooky the Cripple" and recorded a CD titled "Criminal Record". His main hang-out is The Observer, a pub near where I work, and tomorrow night we are going to go check it out and see if we can't get a glimpse of the Chopper himself.

I also learned this week that the child who called me a ghost last week had a reason. There are two ghosts in the building I work in. One is a little girl, which is kind of creepy. The other one is a man who dislikes all of the Pub Tour guides and gets upset if Janet stays too late at work. They used to make the house feel weird, like people weren't welcome, but then they brought in Uncle Max, an Aboriginal elder, to do a smoking ceremony and ever since the ghosts have been more behaved. I heard all of this from Janet, but I haven't seen/felt/worried about a ghost since I got there.

Also this week (today specifically) was our class trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens. We got a tour from Clarence, an Aboriginal man, who gave us that perspective on the garden. He showed us a lot of the native plants and gave us their Aboriginal uses. We even got to eat some real bush tucker (berries). Clarence also said that women don't play the didgeridoo because it's phallic and if they did play it they couldn't have babies. Suneeti (our anthropology teacher) told us that if a woman hears the call of a Kookaburra that they are or will be pregnant, so I guess the next time I hear that call I'll just grab myself a didgeridoo and I'll be cured.

Another interesting thing about Clarence is that his cousin is Shane, who was the boat captain when I went on the Aboriginal Cultural Cruise. I like both of them, but I think I like Clarence more because he was funny and very informative. Also, he showed us how to make bush bandaids and he demonstrated on my finger. He took a leaf from the nearest bush and put it on my pretend cut. Then, he grabbed a very thick thread from a spiderweb and wrapped it around the leaf, binding it to my finger. He didn't tie it or anything, the web was sticky enough, and it stayed on for half an hour until I took it off. It was pretty cool.

Last weekend Peter was here. I would recount everything that happened, but he has already done that and so I will just refer you to his blog (the link is in my blogroll). We had a good time. He mentions the night that we went out to a bar in King's Cross which was the scene of one of the crazier things that has happened to me since I've been here. Peter left before us because he was "tired". When Denise, Nina, Kristine and I left we were wandering outside (a bit intoxicated) trying to get a cab. This guy with a really think Irish accent started asking me for directions back to "Paddy McGuires" as we were standing at a crosswalk. I pointed him in the best possible direction and he gave me a high five (behind the back). Instead of leaving though, he turned and said, "Wait! Here's a kiss from an Irishman," and planted one right on my cheek. I turned into a statue for those few seconds and when he was gone, turned around to see if everyone else had noticed what just happened. Completely dismayed, I wondered if he was a clean person and continued to cross the street.

I can't think of anything else that happened this week, although I'm certain there were other things. I can only assume that if I forgot them, they weren't worth writing anyway.



  1. ethan said,

  2. Matthew said,

    1. There are ghosts in your building! That’s awesome. Please try to find them and tell the story.

    2. Best children’s book synpopsis of all time: “Hooky the Cripple. The story is set in the sixteenth century. It is about a hunchbacked son of a prostitute who stabs a bullying butcher in the head 21 times, and eventually goes to trial for murder.” Also best cover artwork. Also best tagline: “The grim tale of a hunchback who triumphs.” Oh god Wikipedia has a ‘Australian Criminals Series’.

    3. The didgeridoo? Really? Whoa, watch out ladies. Wikipedia says, “The taboo against women playing the instrument is not absolute; female Aboriginal didgeridoo players did exist, although their playing generally took place in an informal context.”

    4. You said “blogroll.”

  3. mbrantle said,

    These Australians aren’t fooling around . . . we went to The Observer tonight but we didn’t see Chopper . . . the rest of the story is for another time.

  4. Peter Gene said,

    1. If you shift the emphasis to the second syllable, saying “blogroll” becomes a whole lot more fun: blogROLL.
    2. Megan to the rescue! It must be nice to be able to so ably aid someone so stressed; that you get to do it in a building full of appeased ghosts makes it all that much better.
    3. Thank you for proving that is IS possible to update your blog more than once ever other ice age from Australia. Some others, who we shall call by the fictional name Krendan Bemp to protect his identity, would do well to study your example.

  5. Matthew said,

    I heard Krendan Bemp likes grapefruit ice cream and brushes his teeth backwards.

  6. Peter Axtman said,

    “tired”? I was travelling since 7 am gimme some credit

  7. MOM said,

    At least for the time being, stock up on Didgeridoos and wear ear plugs when within hearing range of any Kookaburras – Mother’s advice!!!

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