Friday, December 28, 2007

NT notes...

On first arriving in Alice Springs

Went to a cafe. Then, at my brother's urging, went to see a film about a dude called 'Mr Magorium' whose principal dramatic function was to have a name that rhymed with 'Wonder Emporium'. Then went to have lunch at a Subway.

The natural sublimity and awesomeness nature of this place is almost overwhelming...

Attack of the Slightly Outdated Murals!

I remember when I was a kid, one year at Balranald Central School they made us all walk two blocks to the town oval and paint a mural on the big water tank there. Another time they made the entire Year 8 art class paint the wall outside the woodwork and technology building, perhaps to add a decorative effect to the gigantic square of concrete that it bordered.

Driving into Alice Springs I was reminded of this - the town was covered with these sort of murals. One random back-street wall had Astroboy and the Powerpuff Girls in prominent positions. Most garishly of all, the Todd River Mall was graced by a gigantic painted mural of an Aboriginal in a loincloth.


EUAN: I need a battery.

LACHLAN: You need a what?

EUAN: I need a watch battery.

LACHLAN: A watch badger? What is a watch badger?

TIM: A badger who watches. Just like a watch dog.

LACHLAN: Oh yeah, obviously. I dunno. Is there any place in Alice Springs that sells badgers? Tim, you have watch badgers in Melbourne, don't you?

TIM: Oh yes. I have given birth to badgers.

LACHLAN: We'll get some badgers after lunch. At the local badgery.

Random observation

If on Christmas Day you decide to go playing frisbee in the pool, don't be too surprised if the dogs join you. Also, they may just be better than you at catching the frisbee.

From henceforth, I shall be known as Tim 'Bested By A Dog' Train.

Holiday conversation

LACHLAN: Would you like another beer?

TIM: Errrrrr....

LACHLAN: I'll take that as a yes.

(For time of conversation, please insert the words 'Christmas Eve', 'Christmas Morning before breakfast', 'Christmas morning during breakfast', 'Anytime during Christmas day', 'Christmas evening', or any combination thereof.)

Local observations

- There seem to be a hell of a lot of places up north that are, quite literally, holes. Seriously. They all have names like 'Gap' and 'Gorge' and 'Chasm', and there's even, simply, 'Ellery's Big Hole'. My mother has a photograph of herself by 'Helen's Gap', and on Boxing Day, we all went on an excursion to 'Emily Gap' and 'Jessie Gap', basically a hole between two hills. My father at one point made the stunning observation about Emily Gap that 'these rocks are probably metamorphic'. Having performed the rather unimpressive feat of climbing one of the hills at this Gap, I can find nothing to contradict his observation.

- Large indigenous population in Alice Springs. Lots are sitting around on town corners and the like, but there's one place that I noticed about thirty or so indigenous people sitting around. The name? 'Aboriginal Employment Centre'.

- Ever the model of adaptability and thrift, the Alice Springs police station, on renovating their building, simply set up shop outside with a single police van and fold up card table. They work hard, those police force, all right!

- When I asked my brother a bit about the local alcohol laws since the much-touted Federal Government intervention, he explained that many of the indigenous population went outside the border of the town to drink (there's a law against drinking in public places). Alcohol was also banned in Aboriginal communities, for some reason. (I'm guessing because some are based around community housing, and hence designated as 'public place').

Favourite northern linguistic innovation

Wallaby = Wobbly


alexis said...

I understand that the proposed Badgery's Creek airport in Sydney's West was to have been powered entirely by the cast of The Wind in the Willows on treadmills. For some reason, it all fell through.

TimT said...

According to reports, it was because of a breakdown in negotiations. Ratty was going on a boating expedition up the river with Otter, Moley was just having a cup of tea in his home at the time, Toad was involved in an ongoing legal case against the Weasels over the property rights to Toad Hall, and as for Badger, well, Badger could be heard muttering from his home that he'd had enough of the foolish business. (Apparently he used quite forceful, unbadgerlike terms, too.)

Maria said...

How was Mr Magorium? I mean the film, not asking after his health? I was thinking perhaps to see it. Touted as something of a Willy Wonka, but with toys replacing chocolate, I believe. Your review, TimT?

TimT said...

Horrid. All the characters learned that magic really does exist, and all they have to do is believe in themselves, and the innocence of children is a precious thing! It's all pop psychology, half-hearted puns in an effort to make the film seem clever, and ideas stolen from better kids' films (ie, Willy Wonka).

Email: timhtrain - at -

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