South Park Self

my head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night

I like Melbourne a lot; its buildings are eclectic and vibey, its atmosphere is decorously festive, and its people are very friendly. Also, half its architects are Cthulhu cultists. Fact. I counted one tribute to Cthulhu, one silver Yog Sothoth on the side of a skyscraper, and more non-euclidian angles than you could shake a stick at. The hotel we stayed at was considerably more plushly comfortable than the perfectly adequate Brisbane one, and had escaped the fatal tendency to decorate in white and oatmeal. The only black mark against it is that my techno-jinx apparently escaped yesterday morning, and took down the hotel internet. Since Sid is still rampaging and I'm fairly dead, internet withdrawal is at this stage an entirely unnecessary additional symptom.

Melbourne University was closer to Cape Town in feel, older buildings, a less corporate feel to the welcome, but they're a bloody good university and are doing fascinating work. Their people are also lovely, what's with this? I refuse to believe that all Australian academics are sweetness and light all the time. I suspect a plot.

I also like Melbourne because it has lovely botanical gardens filled with Indian mynah birds, who have the ability to make the most extraordinary range of sounds - clicks, trills, whistles, pops. liquid gurgles. I want one. I could probably teach it to imitate an expresso machine. Also, the Victoria National Art Gallery had a phenomenal exhibition on Viennese art and design from the early 1900s, including paintings and posters and furniture and jewellery and, occasionally, bits of buildings, and covering artists like Kilmt and Hoffman. Amazing stuff. Incredible aesthetic. As a bonus, the front of the gallery has its entire giant glass window covered with a thin film of falling water in beautiful, meditative patterns, before which I lost myself for about half an hour. I love falling water.

We are now in Sydney, with, thank FSM, the weekend off, as I'm more than somewhat dead. We have, alas, taken a sharp nosedive in hotel quality, and are tending to the minimalist and threadbare. The walls are thin, the decor isn't, the kettle plug took me twenty minutes of swearing to plug in, and there's no power point for my netbook without unplugging the clock. If, however, the bed supports my weight, I shall be able to at least defer my complaints.



This is Melbourne, though. See? non-Euclidian angles, and slimy green bulbous bits. Perverse.
  • Current Mood: exhausted ded
Melbourne does have the drawback that the daytime temperatures in summer can be > 35c (and humid) for weeks on end. it may be on the coast, but in an inverse of Cape Town there is land on 3 sides and water on 1.

The heat is, in fact, what drives the architects to the manyfold arms of great Cthulhu.
I wish we'd had more time there, I had a yen to explore it in a way I'm simply not inspired to explore Sydney. Sydney is too big and full of people and tourists.
You write: " Their people are also lovely ... I refuse to believe that all Australian academics are sweetness and light all the time."

You're visiting, so:
1) They put their most personable academicians on prominent display with instructions to be on their best behaviour, or else (reference: all that Cthulhu architecture)
2) They locked all the rabid ones in the cellar complex (you didn't look there, did you?)

Anyhow, glad you're enjoying your trip. Sounds like it's made of good stuff so far.

XXiii