An Old Banger

car

Sunday, 12 March, 2017

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

After my two days of difficult graft earlier in the month, I suddenly fell ill – clearly a higher power decided that my hard work warranted a few days in bed, and who was I to argue?

Although not everything about being wrapped in a blanket and blowing your nose fifty times a day is positive – take blowing your nose fifty times a day, for instance, that part is not ideal. I also had to miss out on Monica’s birthday cake, which I had chosen as it was the most mouth-watering one in the shop – I knew that our travel budget could be stretched, due to the money made from picking tomatoes and creating cocktails.

She suggested holding off on the eating part – but, I couldn’t be the reason somebody went without cake on their birthday; I did regret purchasing such a lovely looking treat though. I faked a smile and watched with a plate of dry toast, as everybody else around the table enjoyed the delicious cake I had worked my arse off to afford – sometimes life can be so cruel.

It could be suggested that I went on to get a little bit carried away with shopping this week – the cake was just a starter. I also bought a Toyota Camry. It is an old, rusty, absolute banger of a car and cost us $850. I budget better when I’ve not been working – as the math below may well indicate.

Combined total of wages: $153.16
Birthday cake and old car: $862.00
= -$708.84

Although, I haven’t factored in all the dry toast I’ve been eating recently, instead of sweet cake. So, that should probably just about balance out the budget and bring the total back up to where it needs to be. A car is pretty essential in Australia, to be honest, and backpackers buy and sell vehicles more frequently than they change clothes (that may be literal too, some backpackers absolutely stink). So, hopefully the Toyota is an investment that will more or less see us eventually break even.

Not to mention, we now have sleeping bags too; therefore, we can also use this great purchase as a makeshift house, should I continue to spend like a gambling addict let loose in Las Vegas every time I get a job. Four months ago I was a teacher with a steady income and comfortable life; today I contemplate living in a secondhand Toyota. Travel can definitely be humbling at times.

We’re actually very excited about taking the car for a spin – as I said; we’ve been somewhat limited without a vehicle. While ill, I’ve been working out a small itinerary that allows us to utilise the car and see the best of Tasmania. Australia does have a habit of making the ‘must see’ spots rather pricey though. Therefore, I may need to get myself another one-day shift so we can afford it all, or sell the car? If you can’t tell, this is very much a ‘work everything out day by day’ kind of trip.

On the days I’ve had the strength to pull myself out of bed – I honestly believe this flu would have killed most humans – we have managed to see a lot of Hobart, and the surrounding attractions. It’s a fantastic city.

I particularly enjoyed the Salamanca Market, a place essentially setup for people to sell their hobby to fellow townspeople on an otherwise sleepy Sunday. The event has a lovely community feel to it, with every stall displaying something slightly different from the last. I wanted to try a piece of everything – the creatively flavoured fudge, the homemade jam, the homebrewed beer – all of it. I had to constantly remind myself that I was currently sitting at -$708.84 for the week and couldn’t afford any more treats.

There was one particular stall that stood out to me more than most. A man, Jamie Maslin, documented his travel trip, turned his story into a book, and now sells signed copies at the local market. That was a purchase I just couldn’t refuse – perhaps reckless, considering the weekly budget was very much in the red. I just found something about the idea of a person writing down their travel journey and sharing it with everyone appealing. I have no idea why.

I couldn’t help but feel like that’s exactly the kind of book somebody would enjoy reading. In fact, I reckon if anybody I knew ever wrote a travel book, I’d have to buy it, tell my friends to buy it, and share it everywhere – hypothetically, of course. Jamie Maslin, I’m so happy that I supported you by buying your book, and I look forward to reading it.

We also managed a trip to MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, where the theme is sex and death. Prior to entering I was very curious as to whether we would be seeing old sex and new deaths or new sex and old deaths – either way, I was pretty sure that we would be getting into a different experience to, say, the kind you get at the Vatican.

This was made pretty clear by the piece entitled, ‘Cunts… And Other Conversations’, which is a wall made up of casts moulded into the shape of 140 different women’s vaginas. The Vatican always seemed far more appreciative of cocks if I remember rightly.

vag

The artist, David Walsh, actually took that display down for quite a while, as it was gaining too much attention. Translation: we’re all pervs and love to look at vag. Essentially, he didn’t wish for the rest of the museum to be neglected for one piece. He wanted to prevent his 140 vaginas from becoming the new Mona Lisa.

Mr. Walsh will be happy to hear that I was more entertained by other artwork within the museum, most notably a piece by MONA’s newest creative, Monica Lai.

I guess a few of them were on their break or something, as there were a couple of sketch pads and pencils untouched side by side – I obviously knew that they weren’t there for me though, and left them be. Instead, I decided to admire a lovely picture of a dog taking a man from behind (as I said, this place is not the Vatican). As I zoned in on the masterpiece before me, I heard an annoyed staff member expressing his discontent – obviously, quietly and civilly, the way you’d expect of a person working in a museum, but the basic message seemed to be, ‘what the hell are you doing, man?’

I tore my eyes away from the dog banging it out with the man for one minute, just to see what was causing such passive frustration. It was Monica that was receiving the telling-off. What could she have done?

I wandered over and saw that she had drawn on the sketch pad – much like a naughty five year old would – I arrived in time to watch her apologetically explaining that she thought the equipment was there for anybody to have a go. That’s the angriest I’ve ever seen somebody working in a museum, and he remained so softly spoken throughout the whole ordeal – I remember thinking at the time, if push came to shove, I could take him.

We exited the room pretty quickly after that – she was embarrassed, and I wanted check out the life-sized anime doll that’s jacking off in a different room – so, unfortunately, we will never know if Monica’s art was chosen to be displayed among the rest of the exhibition.

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