Big Question Marks

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic fever and other things

We might have mentioned we've been enjoying having a TV lately... perhaps a little too much. And just when we were starting to go for evening walks and not watch cop dramas all week, the Olympics began... and we're pretty much glued to the set again (maybe you guys are back home as well?). It's definitely a little weird watching the games in a country that's not your own-- all of the television coverage is extremely one-sided. (Though the Aussie are pretty good) We managed to catch the Canadian guys play field hockey-- but only because they were getting whipped by the Aussies. Luckily we have the internet and can check the medal standings... and we're sad to see that Canada has absolutely zero medals. Come on! Even North Korea has a couple; who cares if it's for shooting?! How about Friday night's opening ceremonies though... completely amazing!

We're getting excited to head to Tassie on Friday-- for one thing, it's about time for a holiday already, and for another thing, we were burned by the Melbourne cabbies on a bitterly cold, pouring-rain Saturday night when they turned our business down presumably because we don't live far enough from the CBD for our fares to be worth their while (though it's a good hour's walk back to our apartment!). It'll be great to explore a new place, and we're going to indulge a little in some confy hotel rooms (very cheap this time of year!) and hopefully lots of local cheese. Yum! We've booked our first night right on the waterfront in Hobart at the historic Customs House Hotel... might as well head to the Antarctic in style! Apparently there's no snow in Hobart itself but there is on top of nearby Mt Wellington, so it's going to be quite weird to encounter the white stuff after so long, especially in August. Since we bought the super-cheap flights to Tassie, we have to pack all of our gear into small carry-on bags-- we love a challenge!--so we might just end up wearing most of our clothing onto the plane if it doesn't fit in the bag. Many photos to come! (Speaking of, we've uploaded some new ones from the past few months just now)

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the week was watching The Dark Knight in "Gold Class"-- the posh way to catch a flick. Before we left Toronto there was something similar at the cinema at Bay & Bloor-- basically, you pay a lot of money to get a really comfy seat and to get waited on while watching the film. Since we're definitely too cheap to pay the $30 or so for Gold Class tickets, we were pretty happy when each of us received a pair of the tickets from work. We kind of thought it might be a little lame, after all, who really needs a waiter when you're in the cinema? We figured it was mainly just for prima donna types. But it pretty much rocked-- we got to hang out in this flashy VIP-ish lounge until the film began, then got led to our seats-- these giant ultrasuede Lazyboy chairs with a little table in between us and a button to summon the staff. We stupidly ate a big dinner before going-- we had no idea of the giant menu-- and wine list-- they had. Next time we'll go for the gourmet salads and desserts... maybe even the $400 bottle of Dom Perignon. But for this time we stuffed ourselves on popcorn and beer, which was brought to us, of course! Not to mention that the movie was pretty awesome too. It's been booked solid for months since all the Aussies want to see Heath Ledger's last appearance (don't know about "Oscar-worthy" though).
Favourite Olympic moments so far:
- The womens' 129km (?) bike race in pouring rain. We watched all 3 hours of it in amazement, quite possibly for the wipeouts. Reminded me of the day I got lost on my bike in rural Cambodia after taking a wrong turn from the 29km Angkor Wat circuit... (a story I promise to share someday!- D.)
-The opening ceremonies. Yes, the fireworks were spectacular. And we're sure they really helped the Beijing smog problem, too.
-Lastly, we think the Germans should win a medal for their horse names- especially for Mr Medicott and Butts Leon!