Kiwis and Castles

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Australia highlights

I got back from Australia about two weeks ago, but forgot to finish writing about my time there. After Lake Burrinjuk we all went back to Canberra where I had another couple days of wandering the city on my own. I did end up going to Questacon which proved to be a lot of fun. Some of the exhibits were clearly for younger kids, and some of them were nearly identical to ones either at ScienceWorld in Vancouver or Te Papa here in Wellington, but Questacon's Circus exhibit was really neat. There were some optical illusions, carnival games and the science behind them, and a death-drop slide. It was a giant slide, about 4 meters tall, and it looked like it dropped vertically down. I was taken up to the top, put on a silly jump suit, took my shoes off, and hung from a bar at the top of the slide. Looking down it seemed totally counterintuitive to let go - it looked like I was going to drop 4 meters and break both my legs. The staff said to let go on 3: "1 ... 2 ... 3!" I hung on and said "year right." He laughed and assured me he's put 500 primary school kids down it and not one had gotten hurt. So finally I let go and sure enough nothing was broken. The slide slants just enough so that it catches you feet on the way down you just end up sliding on your back. But good grief it was scary.

Here are my picks for the top three most random things that happened while in Canberra:

#3: The kangaroo at the Lake with the world's biggest testicles. I swear, this was one well-endowed roo. They were bigger than any I've ever seen before, on any species. And he would just stand outside the door to the cabin so when you went outside, you really couldn't help but looking.

#2: Being asked by a group of female Japanese tourists to take a picture. I assumed they wanted me to take their picture, but as soon as I said yes they put their arms around me and pointed to one of their friends who snapped a photo. I think they'd be disappointed if they found out their white Australian friend was really just a tourist as well.

#1: Dressing up as a World War I nurse in the War Memorial. Doesn't sound nearly as funny as the picture looks. (And on that note, I promise promise promise to start posting pictures soon. We've finally loaded them onto the computer so it's just a matter of uploading them into an online photo album, then I'll provide the link.)

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