Tuesday, June 22, 2004


I caught the bus out to the 'burbs this morning to see a man about a dog. Or my back. Either or.

Anyway, the bus ride was rather long because I couldn't be bothered walking into Civic to catch the express bus, and as we looped around and around, past Parliament House and various embassies and the enormous building that houses the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, I started to think about what I think about Canberra.

Firstly, I don't know the city very well at all. My knowledge of this city covers a rough triangle - from college through the university campus (only some of it though - I'm constantly surprised by what I find when I sometimes turn left instead of right here), to Civic, and then to Parliament House and that area and back again. A very small area of Canberra really, in the scheme of things.

It takes a long time to 'know' a city; to be able to tell what direction you are travelling in at any given moment, to know that around the next corner is a cafe where the coffee is better than the one that you're currently standing in front of. I certainly know Launceston like this, and good old Brockville, and possibly Hobart, but not Canberra.

Canberra confuses me - there's the 'capital' parts, the bits that everyone sees. But then there are these satellite suburbs that stretch out in some directions, but not others (we passed several enormous paddocks on the way back this morning). And I have absolutely no sense of distance, no sense of how long it takes to get, well, anywhere really.

I also discovered this morning that some of these satellite suburbs are incredibly ugly. The absolutely crappy weather didn't help, but these were particularly depressing groups of houses. The entire morning the song "Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky" was running through my head.

So yeah, no point to this post really, except to say that Canberra confuses me, the 'burbs suck, and the weather is crappy.

Oh, and James? Write us a goddamned email!

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