Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brisbane, Part III (Australia)

We returned to Brisbane and met a racist on the train. In less than 15 minutes, a conversation Rich was having with a random old man turned from his recent holidays in Europe to the state of the Spanish economy to how the immigrants are all to blame. Uh, what?! The man merrily went on about the blacks [the indigenous Aborigines] and the boat people [Asian immigrants] being a drain on Australia (curiously enough, a couple of our Australian friends had recently posted some statistics refuting these on Facebook) and how Australia should be only for Australians. Whatever assumptions the man could have made about Rich, what I found even weirder was his expectation that I - clearly of Asian descent - would be in agreement! We had heard others talk about coming across racist Australians, but never did we expect one would be so openly vocal... and to complete strangers no less. It boggles the mind.

We had a couple of days to kill before the departure of our long flights home. Avoiding the masterpieces on loan from the Prado (well, we had devoted a whole day there when we were in Madrid), we wandered around the paintings from Australian artists in the Queensland Art Gallery. Next door the Gallery of Modern Art also had a fantastic exhibition on sculpture involving everyday objects, including Vespa scooters customized to look like stags, a mesmerizing set of whirling car wash brushes, and inner tubes suspended like clouds in the air. In the same neighborhood, the Southbank Parklands Lifestyle Market featured probably 100 open air stalls selling arts and crafts, clothes, and decor to peruse.

Taking advantage of the availability of theater in the English language, we managed to score tickets to one of the last performances of "The Harbinger" at La Boite Theatre. It's an adult fairytale about an old man with his dreams and memories featuring live actors and... puppets! (Oh, how we miss the annual giant puppet shows in North Carolina!) The Australian company goes by the clever name of the Dead Puppets Society, and the themes were considerably darker. We enjoyed it thoroughly. The only downside was that our slight age difference meant that Rich got a substantial discount, and I had to come to terms with paying the much higher old people's price!

1 comment:

  1. Racist people are definitely the down side of living in Queensland ... oh that and Campbell Newman!!! Janice