Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cadbury, Cruise, Restaurant Rebels, and Haunted Shower Stalls

Today I went to the Cadbury chocolate factory. It really wasn't that great of a tour, I mean, they didn't even let us see machines or anything; they just showed a video. But we did get some free candy. And then I bought 6 more bars of chocolate of various kinds, and am going to have oh so much fun cramming them somewhere in my already jam-packed luggage. But I guess when in Rome, and when standing the the candy store at a chocolate factory that has a hint of that Willy Wonka-esqueness to it, it's kind of hard to resist. As you can see, I also took a picture with Freddo. My uber geeky picture number 1 for the trip.

Like my tour on Monday, it was all couples. And also like that tour, I ended up conversing mostly with a pair of elder Aussies on the lunch cruise. There was also a newlywed couple on the cruise that talked to me quite a bit. (This pic is of the inside of the boat, btw.) The man, named John, is actually a baseball pitcher, which I think is weird because I didn't know there was baseball in Australia. I decided to share my story about asking Mario in Sydney if he "struck out" with a girl and him not understanding what I was saying. I realized it was a very American expression since it's a baseball term. Angela, the new bride, thought that was hilarious and shared it with John. They were married just on Saturday in Sydney and decided to go on their honeymoon to a couple of places in their on country they hadn't been. They want to go to New York someday and see a Yankees game.

After the lunch cruise, I fought every fiber in my being to not hail a cab. My foot gels are really working (they should go ahead and give "Scholls" his doctorate down here as well, he seems to be doing good work), so I manned up and walked back from the waterfront. It was about 2 pm when I got back, so I decided I was going to go out and have a nice dinner tonight. Around 6:30, I spruced up and went to this place down the street called El Suprema Ristorante. It was an Italian place. I dropped quite a lot of cash for a backpacker's dinner, but since I hadn't technically spent money all day, and it was my last night in Tasmania, I rationalized it well (I learned this from a former roommate- love you Sal!). There were not a lot of people in the restaurant since it's a Wednesday, so both the waiters were talking to me a lot and asking me questions about my trip and North Carolina. One of them asked about the weather. I explained it was temperate, so we definitely had distinct seasons, and most times at least a little snow in the winter, at least it's always cold enough for it. And I said we were on the edge of the South, so it got very hot in the summer as well. He said "Oh, so you were on that side of the war?" I said "Oh yeah, we were the rebels." Australians love this. They love the idea of rebellion against government and such, so I've so far had very positive reactions, which is why I bring it up. This was no different. He smiled, "Yeah, we're rebels down here too. Up in Launceston, they drink Tooleys. We drink Cascade here." I don't know how this is rebellion, but I laughed. After I few more minutes of talking, I ducked out because it was looking like it was going to rain; one waitress was predicting a thunderstorm. One thing about restaurants down here- no one is in a hurry to do anything. See, in America, working on tips, they want you in, fed, and out so they can get your and the next person and the next person's tips. In Australia, they don't get tips, so they couldn't care less if you sat there all day; it's actually less work for them. So I often find myself sitting around and waiting and hoping the check is coming, but it never does. You always have to request it. They always assume you want another glass of wine or dessert or coffee, so they are in no hurry to clear your plates and bring you the check. And in some restaurants, the check isn't brought to you, you have to know to go up to the register when you are ready, even in some nice restaurants. It's still extremely confusing to me sometimes, so I find myself watching what other people do around me to see what protocol is. And sometimes I feel like I am seen as curt or demanding or something asking for the check. Sometimes the waiters seem disappointed. I mean, I have to go, and you want this money, so we have to do this eventually. I don't know, maybe it's just something I haven't quite figured out yet.

Also, I have found myself lying to people in Tasmania about what I've done in Tasmania. Yes, I did this state wrong. I should have scheduled hostel staying in a couple of regions throughout Tasmania to see more of it, but I was just doing like I have done so far- pick a city to see. People seem really disappointed if you haven't seen everything they ask about, so, haha, I have lied a couple of times. I mean, they won't find out, or ever see me again, and everyone walks away happy. I just don't understand them getting so disappointed- I'm the one missing out on seeing stuff, not them. If you visit Tasmania, if possible, get a hire car (what they call rental cars) or camper because there is lots to see everywhere. Day trips from Hobart doesn't cut it. And if Tasmanians ask, let them you have, even if you haven't.

Also, I really am sincerely starting to wonder about this hostel. I'm wondering if it's haunted. Every morning, in the shower, I hear the distinct sounds of people moving around and banging in the stalls on either side of me. Like the sound of something being dropped and moved, someone is there getting ready to shower. But when I turn the water off and get out, no one is in there. And I am only taking like 2 minute showers. It's very weird. I guess it's a good thing I am checking out tomorrow morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment