Friday, May 18, 2012

Darwin, Continued

Busy day today.  Went to a high school in a town called Palmerston, about 20 miles outside of Darwin.  Then a 45 minute panel interview on ABC Darwin, with the director of a local health care center, and a journalist.  An interview with the Northern Territory News, another high school, a meeting with members of city government, and then an informal talk at the local Royal Australian Naval Base, to a group of officers, enlisted, and government agency heads.

The high school kids were a hoot.  Though I started with a talk about politics, they invariably wanted to know more about the U.S., so I wound up talking about the differences between Australia and the U.S. One student thought that we were defined by "pies," by which she meant the meat pies that are common here.  She was very surprised to learn that if she asked for pie in the US, she'd likely get a wedge-shaped crust filled with apples, cherries, or chocolate.

The journalist was hilarious, too: he was fascinated by the number of elections we have, and thought it uproarious when I told him that we actually elected our coroner  (judges, too).  We even talked about it on the show.  He thought it odd that we have so many elections, but don't have compulsory voting.

Tomorrow I'll visit a museum that deals with the Japanese attacks on Darwin during World War II, and another with exhibits about cyclone Tracy, a 1974 storm that killed dozens of residents.

Everyone in Australia says that Darwin is a unique place.  They're right.


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