Thursday, June 14, 2012

Australian Adventures #2

I feel like all my posts recently are all over the place.  Seriously.  Scotland, America, Australia, other random stuff.  Soon, enough the Scotland posts will be completed and we'll move on to Australia reviews.  It's been a crazy journey for me as well, but there is light at the end of the tunnel...  a very long tunnel if you consider how long it took for me to edit Scotland photos and how many more photos I've taken here in Australia..... oops..  :)

This post isn't for photos though, its to tell you about all the fun and not so fun things I've been doing.

So after our first day off, which was spent in Perth.  We worked for 3 days.  The 2nd day off, we checked out the Caversham Wildlife Park, where we got to pet some furry creatures (wombat, koala, kangaroo, and some others).  I did almost touch the wombat's testicles which could have been slightly awkward, but he was all sprawled out, so it would have been his fault.  I got lots of pictures.  The biggest thing I've learned doing animal photos is to take a bunch and hope that you get at least one (yay for digital camera!!).  I went through the zoo photos and deleted several hundred photos just because the animal moved and everything went blurry.  So yay for less photos to edit!

After we finished at the wildlife park, we decided to grab lunch at the Flying Taco (which was suggested here (it was ok)), then we headed down to Fremantle.  We got there, parked, and started walking around.  I stopped by a souvenir shop to pick up Teh Dad's Father's Day present (love when you can combine being a tourist with a gift holiday).  The guy that worked at the shop was a fountain of tourist knowledge.  He suggested we visit the Fremantle Prison, which we hadn't even heard about, but quickly decided it was for us.

We got there right as a tour was starting, which was awesome that we didn't have to wait.  The Fremantle Prison was built by Australian prisoners from 1851-1859 and was in use from 1855 till November 1991.  From the beginning till the end, each prisoner's toilet in their cell was a bucket.  There were minimal modern technologies throughout the prison.  This place seemed like the "hard life" for a prisoner.  Prisoners got to spend 8ish hours out of their cell's a day either on a working party or in the "yard".  The yard was concrete slab with concrete walls.  It was uncovered and non-working prisoners spent their 8 hours there no matter the season or weather.  No thank you.  It was definitely the most awesome thing we did while in Australia.

There was an abnormally tall guy who joined the tour with us at the last minute.  I joked to him that it was good he wasn't a prisoner.  All the doorways were pretty short and I'm sure he would have had to lay diagonal to spread out across a cell.  He agreed.

After the prison tour, we decided to do some walking around the city...  literally.  I'll take credit for the fault, because we crossed the train tracks and didn't realize there wasn't going to be another place to cross again until a few miles down the road.  Hello sore feet.  It started getting too dark for any more photos and I started to get tired of walking, so I suggested it was time to find dinner.  We started to head out of the city and made a spur of the moment decision to find a ferris wheel we'd seen earlier, so we could see what else was around it.

We found the ferris wheel and also several places to eat, including Little Creatures Brewery, which had been suggested to me by a friend from work.  I suggested we have dinner there, the motion was passed.  We finally found a parking spot and walked into a very crowded restaurant, since it was a Friday night.  I had to ask what the seating situation was, but once we got it all figured out we were good to go.  We ordered (I had pizza, my cohort had kangaroo) and waited, observing the atmosphere and relishing over how awesome the prison tour was.  I also went up to the bar and asked for a taste of White Rabbit White Ale, which instead came back as a whole glass.  I am sometimes (though not often) hard to hear, so I just paid for it and brought it back to the table.  I tried it and liked it!  No jk!  I let my cohort try it and I actually managed to drink the whole beer before we left!  Yes, I might be proud of myself.  I drank my first beer, the whole thing.

After pizza and a bite of kangaroo (which was particularly chewy), I ordered the sticky date pudding.  It was everything I dreamed it would be.  I am really going to have to try those recipes I pinned on Pinterest for the Sticky Toffee/Date Pudding, because I'm not sure how I'm going to live my life without it.  It might be the most delicious dessert I've ever had, and I'm a dessert connoisseur.  After an extensive food-gasm, I finished the beer and we decided it was time to head back to our hotel/resort.

All in all, a wonderful day off spent very productively.

Then came 4 more days of work.  Rah.

4 days is not really a big deal, but after a while, sitting in a room with no windows for 8 hours a day starts to wear down on your sanity.  There's only so many depressing movies you can handle before you just give it up and start editing photos or playing Sims 3... for hours on end.  My sim family is at it's 7th generation or something ridiculous and I own pretty much all the town (which I may have purchased with some initial cheats), that's devotion ya'll.

The evening after that 4th shift, there was a party going on, so I split a bottle of Sailor Jerry (which was $44, wwwwhhhhaaaaat?) with someone and said I'd do some drinkin.  Knowing that I was going out the next day, I took it easy since I didn't want to have to deal with the ramifications of leftover Drunk Teh Megan while trying to sight see.  Taking it easy meant that all the drunk people were that much more annoying, so I called it a night around midnight and went home and tried to sleep while listening to the phone ring off the hook (who calls people after 9pm?  I thought that was a rule or something) and hearing people try to come in my room (glad I'd locked the door, but seriously, wtf people? stay out, when I leave the party, I've had enough of you).

The next morning, I woke up sadly early, made some toast, filled my water bottle, popped a motrin, chugged some water, and talked to Teh Bear and Teh Dad (briefly).  Once the birds finally quieted down and the leaf blower was turned off, I laid back down for a few minutes, then restarted my day with a quieter wake up.  I got up and got ready and we were off to King's Park for some city scape photos of Perth before the weather rolled in.

Ironically, we were told "pack for Scotland" and I was like, "pffffth.  This is Australia.  It won't be snowing!" It hasn't snowed, but damn if it didn't storm/rain most of the time we've been here.  I don't mind, but it definitely put a hindrance in the plans for the flights, which resulted in several unplanned days off for all the not-watch standers (meaning most everyone else except 3 people, including me).

After photos, we headed to the cafe at the park and had lunch.  I had a burger and "chips" (fries) which was pretty uneventful.  I then ordered a strawberry milkshake...

Let's take a moment to do some math.  I'm not very good at math, so bear with me.
milkshake = milk + ice cream + flavor ingredient (examples: chocolate syrup, peanut butter, cheesecake, strawberries)
milkshake =/= milk + flavor ingredient
milk = milk + flavor ingredient

My "milkshake" did not come with any ice cream, thus I had strawberry milk.  ICK.  YUCKY.  NO NO NO.  The only flavors of milk should be chocolate or original.  Those are the options.  When I was handed a cup with some neon pink liquid inside, I was extremely curious, depressed, anxious, and crushed all at once.

After (an obvious) extreme milkshake disappointment (and a need to make up for such a disappointment by a milkshake from Cookout (which I'm not sure when I'll be able to remedy)), we headed back to Fremantle, which has definitely been our favorite place so far.

This time we went to the Maritime Museum, which was (mostly) boring except for the sub tour part and the current exhibit about child migration.  So if you're reading this and considering going to the museum, just pay for the sub tour.  Unless you're particularly interested in the maritime industries in Western Australia (and/or whatever random exhibit they have), take my word on this.  The sub was the HMAS Ovens and for the exercise we're in Australia for, we are actually working with a guy that was stationed on that sub.  Cool.  The child migration exhibit was strange.  I didn't realize child migration was a thing.  Honestly, I'd read it as child immigration at first and was like, meh.

Child migration is something similar and much different at the same time.  Apparently, in the UK as a way to control the population and take care of orphans/homeless children/random other kids during the 1800s, children were shipped to Canada and Australia.  These kids were often forced to work and sometimes even abused once they arrived to their destination.  Some kids had it good, but I didn't get to read all of the stories since the sub tour started soon after I discovered the exhibit.  I did take the "labor test" and I am able to lift 10kg of bricks with a straight back and didn't have to bend my knees (it was a bucket lifted by a rope pulley).  Check.

After the museum, we decided to park the car and find a souvenir shop for my cohort to finally do his shopping (since he was apparently only "window shopping" all the other times I'd dragged him into stores).  After he finished his shopping, we decided to do some walking around and found some aboriginal art stores that I talked him into going in.  Teh Bear had suggested I get something more lasting than a tshirt and had suggested art, so I figured I'd look into it.  I mean, sometimes he's right, so I figured I'd explore it this time.  I found some cool stuff, but struggled with what to get since I have to be able to bring it back in my suitcase, 1- without breaking it, or 2- making it fit.  I settled on a small bowl which I can throw little things in (earrings, lint balls, hair clips) for beside the bed.  I couldn't find any art that I liked, with a kangaroo, in the colors that I wanted, because I would have also been willing to ship it if I liked it enough.

It had started to get dark by this point, so we decided we should probably figure out dinner.  I wanted more Sticky Date Pudding from Little Creatures, but the guy at the souvenir shop (yes the same one from before) suggested Hippo Creek, which sounded kinda like a Brazilian steakhouse where you can get several different types of meat on skewers.  But when we looked at the menu online, you had to order a particular kind of meat, it wasn't an assortment that was offered.  It was also fairly expensive and not close to Little Creatures (where my food-gasm was waiting on me).  We decided to forgo the Hippo Creek and decided instead on Cicerello's, a place that someone who grew up here mentioned.  When he mentioned it, he said the place had some renovations since he'd lived here..  Since it was mentionable/memorable for him, I suggested it to my cohort, who passed the motion.  It turned out to be a fish and chips place.  Although for some reason, I had thought it was Italian.  W.r.o.n.g.  Fish and chips it was.  There were other options for fried seafood, but it was a cash only place (with an ATM right outside the door) and fish and chips seemed to be the most reasonably priced item on the menu (if you can call the food here reasonably priced).

Luckily, this place was also 2 buildings down from Little Creatures.  After a pretty greasy $14 dinner (one of the workers stared at me as I pulled out probably 15 napkins from the holder, which I used to soak the grease off the fish), a $4 Mountain Dew, a $3.50 bottle of water, a $1.90 container of ketchup, and a $1.90 container of tarter sauce (see what I mean about "reasonably" priced?), we walked down the street to Little Creatures, where we found most of our officers and some of the Aussie officers.  They had been there for several hours and invited us to sit with them (which was a little surprising).  We sat down and listened to sea stories and shop talk and ordered dessert.  I tried to get another taste of the beer, but they only had bottles and I wasn't sure I was feeling having to drink the whole beer, so I just passed on it and suck with dessert.

After about 1.5 hours, I was tired, so I suggested we start to head back.  The motion was passed.  After a slight snafu in the getting home program (if there isn't a clover around where 2 highways meet, it isn't a good idea to "take a shortcut" that way), we made it back and it was bedtime.

Then we started our next 2/3 days of work...

Soon the Australian adventure will come to a close, but it will include an overnight stop in Sydney, so there might be more pictures to be had!  Hopefully, my flight back to the states will be much less perilous and stressful and painful as the trip to Australia.  There are no big plans as of yet for my arrival back, other than to reunite with Teh Phil-boy, relax for a few days, relearn which side of the road to drive on, do laundry, and be appreciate of America..  Hopefully, I'll get a day or two off after returning to America, but we'll see how that goes.

You can tell just how jaded you've become when you automatically start to assume the worst.  :)

Apparently, all these buttons and gauges mean something to the coxswain
(who obviously has been on patrol a long time with that lack of tan).

Want to catch up on the Australia Adventures???1st day off in Australia (summary)
2nd day off in Australia (summary)
San Francisco (photos)
Perth Zoo abc (photos)
The Indian Ocean and downtown Perth at night (photos)
Caversham Wildlife Park abc (photos)
Fremantle Prison (photos)
walking around Fremantle (the city) (photos)
Perth from King's Park (photos)
HMAS Ovens (submarine) (photos)
Sydney at night (photos and a story)
Sydney in the morning (photos and a story)
Australia Panoramics (photos)

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