Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties
resonant

Canberra!


John Howard Monument in Canberra John Howard Monument in Canberra
This is a piece of public artwork in a plaza near the Canberra Youth Hostel. It's supposed to represent the relationship of the government to the governed. The people (represented by the sheep) look up to and follow their leaders (represented by the ram in the chair with its butt facing the sheep). The ram in the chair is draped with fine clothing made from the wool stripped from the sheep that do its bidding.

There are apparently deeper layers of meaning, too, but I don't know enough about local politics to comment.

A rather surreal experience happened. A homeless person in a suit and tie approached me, said he was a senator, and asked for $16 for dinner, as he had forgotten his wallet. I said that I was hungry and looking for a good place to eat, and would be pleased to buy for us both if he could show me a place. He said that he wasn't planning on eating just right then, and anyway I wasn't dressed properly for the place.

I instead ordered a pizza in the pub below the youth hostel. When they realized I was Canadian and not American, the locals became quite friendly. I ended up drinking one of each of the beers that they had on tap, for free. The head of a local engineering firm offered me a job, but then he got into a fight with one of his workers over one of the girls playing pool and was asked to leave. I was taught that you can tell someone's job by the beer they drink (Victoria Bitter, or VB, is for people who do heavy work, while the sweeter Carlton Draught is for doctors and lawyers; milder Little Creatures is for nurses, and then I got dizzy). My comprehension of Australian dialects actually improved the more that I drank.

Upstairs to the hostel room, this time to share with muscular New Zealanders touchy about being mistaken as Australians, and to sleep.


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