Friday, April 20, 2007

Ninja stars, chicken burgers and Strawberry Shortcake.

First off... Before.

And after

As you may have noticed, I haven't trimmed my beard since starting the trip. As a result, I was starting to look a little Shaggy Baggy™. So, after a few drinks at the Twisted Hop (a great little pub that brews its own beer in Christchurch), I decided to do something about it. So, I still maybe be baggy... but I'm signficantly less shaggy.

The following morning, we had a few hours to burn until our flight, so we caught the trolley again, and took it to the Arts Center, a group of small artist galleries, coffee shops and cafes in the campus of the old college. After a little wandering and scoring Sarah some hokey pokey fudge, we made our way of to the Christchurch Public Art Gallery, where we saw number of interesting exhibits including Reboot, "An energetic multimedia exhibition of contemporary art from the Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection, showcasing acclaimed young New Zealand artists alongside international luminaries." My favorite probably being a video piece involving a breakdancer spinning on his head... but I won't try to explain it further since, like most modern art, when described, it seems less "cool" and more "dumb."

Sarah on the trolley.

Then, it was off to the airport. The flights went fine, and fairly uneventful. I think that Sarah and I have both reached the point where we've flown enough on this trip that we just slip into auto-pilot for the duration: Sit in seat. Buckle seatbelt. Read book. Eat snack. Drink beverage. Use the restroom. Read book. Land.

Now, for this next little bit, I want to say before hand that I am not making any of this up. I say this because it may sound like I'm making some of these up.

As Sarah and I were standing in line at Australian immigration, there was a TV monitor that was flashing a number of things. First, it showed a picture of what looked like a pistol: "ALL B.B. GUNS MUST BE DECLARED AT CUSTOMS."

Fair enough.



"ALL KNUCKLE DUSTERS MUST BE DECLARED AT CUSTOMS." Accompanied by a picture of some brass knuckles.

"ALL BLOWGUNS MUST BE DECLARED AT CUSTOMS." With a picture of some intricately carved, dragon shaped blowguns. Wait a minute...


Finally, "ALL ELECTRIC FLY SWATTERS MUST BE DECLARED AT CUSTOMS." Apparently, Electric Fly Swatters look like small, plastic tennis rackets.

I'm just glad I left my knuckle dusters and ninja stars at home. Oh, and the guy who stamped our passport was unnaturally cheerful for someone working in Immigration. Really, a genuinely pleasant fellow.

So, then we had some time to burn in the Melbourne Airport before our flight to Hobart, Tasmania. And, at this point, I really hadn't had much to eat, so we decided to grab some burgers at Burger King... or as the call it in Australia: Hungry Jacks. Yep, in Australia Burger King is called Hungry Jacks. Pretty much everything looks the same, and the menu is the same, just the name is different. I'm not sure if you can get paper crowns either.

Oh, and while Burger Kings slogan in the States is "Have it your way." It appears Hungry Jacks slogan is "Have it the chicken burger way." To illustrate:

"Hello, can I get a Whopper Value Meal. And a cheeseburger."

"Ok, one Whopper Value Meal. And a chicken burger."

"Um, no. Not a chicken burger, a cheeseburger."

"Oh, sorry about that."

She hands me the bag, and I make my way back to the table. Sitting down, I open the bag to find a cheesbeurger and a chicken burger value meal.

The flight to Hobart from Melbourne is short. Possibly the shortest flight I've been on. So short that I couldn't even go through my usual flight routine. Instead it was more like: Sit in seat. Buckle seatbelt. Read book. Eat snack. Drink beverage really fast as the plane lands.

Early in our trip, Sarah and I realized that when we are flying into a new country late at night, its to our advantage to have a hostel booked in advance. So, before leaving New Zealand, we'd booked a room at the Hollydene Lodge, a hotel descirbed as such: "Hollydene Lodge is one of Hobart's oldest, historic buildings. It has been run as a hotel/guesthouse since it was built in 1820's. Today we continue to follow the tradition of a warm welcome and friendly service for travellers from all around the world."

Shortly after arriving in Hobart, our airport shuttle dropped us off in front of a run-down dive bar, where the slightly confused bartender led us upstiars to our small shabby room with Strawberry Shortcake window drapes. Literally. Look...

(In addition to showing off the Strawberry Shortcake drapes, this photo also shows how I've moved on step closer to my lifelong goal of looking like a British Comicbook Writer.)

The next morning though, we woke up with sun pouring through the windows and ready to explore a new country and island!


Tim said...

Hey Tyler,
Nice haircut. Does your head feel lopsided, though, since your beard hair is now longer than your head hair?!

Ali said...

Awesome haircut! And I love the Strawberry Shortcake drapes - I would have swooned over those in my pre-teen days :)

Rick said...

Tyler, A couple of quick notes: First I couldn't help but notice how the woman cutting your hair seemed quite happy before and almost angry after? Second the picture of you in the hostel it just looks like you are ready to kick some major "Strawberry Shortcake" ass...if only you had you knukle dusters.

The General said...

I figured I needed to toughen up my image so that the Aussies didn't pick on me. They're a fairly rowdy lot.

Actually, while its nice having no hair to worry about, the beard and bald head combo is a bit bizarre looking. Luckily, it works well with a hat... and I've got four hats now.