“How did was Perth, Cynical Scribble?”
“Well, now that you ask, I’ll tell you…”
I stayed with my cousin in Fremantle (which is a really nice old-ish suburb – where apparently most of the tourists head to), so it was a bit of a change to the city living I’m used to. However, in general, even Perth CBD, it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of other cities, so it was a nice change of pace for me.
I ended up doing some touristy things; I went to the Perth Mint and picked up a gold bar (they’re dead heavy) – didn’t manage to sneak out with it though.
I visited Fremantle Prison (which was in use until 1991), which was pretty good – There were 4 people with my (not that common) surname, who served time in there and they were all originally from the north-west of England. If they were somehow related to me, I’m blaming “Abraham” for my scally characteristics.
Then a few days later I took a ferry over to Rottnest Island – which is 19km from Perth. There wasn’t much there, but they do have an animal which is a cross between a big rat and a dead small kangaroo – called a Quokka – which is only found there and some other place in Western Australia (WA), so I seen a couple of them (David Attenborough will be proud).
Being over in WA also saw my first winery tour at Swan Valley. Being a lager-drinking yob, I didn’t have a clue how winery tours work. The whole ‘just drive into someone’s house/farm and drink wine – for free’, didn’t compute. The first few places we tried were either shut or long closed. So my expectation levels dropped and instead of free alcohol and expected some yokel to be sitting on the porch playing a banjo. I didn’t have to wait long until we found somewhere half decent though. The first few tastes I tried I said it tasted like wine you get in a box (goon). By the 5th/6th winery I was swirling it round the glass giving my critique of the grapes.
There were a few other places I looked at a map at and thought ‘I’ll hire a car and go there’, it’s not until you do that, that you realise the 2-inch distance on the map is a 10 hour drive [insert joke about a small 2-inches turning into something massive]. It’s a stupidly big country. But given my cousin lives over there I’ll probably go back again at some point and venture further afield.
The overall impression I get of Perth is that it’s “nice”. But it’s too nice, it’s like Disney has built it. The change of pace of life is good for a break, and even though there is a pub called the “Lucky Shag” (I still walked out single), I’m not sure I could live in Perth – there isn’t enough going on for me (not from what I could see anyway). On the plus side, the weather, beaches and colour of the sea are far better than in Sydney.