Tasmanians can be a bit precious. They get miffed when cartographers leave their island off maps of Australia, or even when graphic designers leave it out of logos. From prior visits I know never to ask a Hobart waiter “How much is that in Australian dollars?” And Tasmanians are quite sensitive about being reminded how they succeeded where so many others had failed by perpetrating a wholly effective genocide on the indigenous population, the last Tasmanian aboriginal having died in 1876. Tasmania is to Australia what Cornell is to the Ivy League – they’re in, but only just.
I’m excited about doing something new in my own hometown – when was the last time that happened? Tonight I am aboard the ferry Spirit of Tasmania I, enroute from Port Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania. This is one of those voyages I have long wanted to take, but always defaulted to the cheaper and faster flight option. For years I lived a stone’s throw from its Melbourne terminus, Station Pier, but never could bring myself to spend the time and money. Now that I am unemployed, I have the time, and now that I’m an old man, I have the money. So here we are.
Continue reading 01. The Spirits of Tasmaniacs