Who we are is defined by our experiences. They make or break us – from emotional baggage due to ruinous relationships to the blessing of real, deep friendships. When traveling, I think one can see a lot of himself that is hidden in day to day life. I think that it helps us find ourselves the same way it helped Flaubert fully understand his fascination with the Orient: “I have found, clearly delineated, everything that was hazy in my mind”.
9:30 daci n daci bakery
The problem I have with bakeries is that they just push into your gaze all these muffins, croissants, cakes and batter, with it’s freshly baked smell and buttery skin, and make you want to buy endless amounts of the stuff.
The problem is that most times it smells good, it looks good, and when you have a bite all those dreams and expectations come crushing down. I mean, how difficult is it to make some remotely tasteful scrambled eggs? I’m not asking you to paint me the Mona Lisa or be Hachiro Mizutani, just put some damn salt and butter in those eggs!
Then the raspberry oat slice was much too sweet. I like sugar but if I wanted to drown my tastebuds in it I would just pour the free brown sugar I got at my table.
10:30 salamanca market
Not entirely satisfied by the breakfast (yet luckily I had some nice cups of Earl Grey)’I move on to one of the famed attractions of Hobart: Salamanca Market. Open only on saturdays from morning till 3pm, it’s most likely a great place for the locals to come and unwind.
Why is it that markets entice us so much? Flaubert (you will see me quote him quite often in this travel series) exposed it as the “exoticism of chaos”; when disembarking in Alexandria, Flaubert was immediately taken in by the chaos of Egyptian markets, with merchants haggling and chickens being killed on the spot. It enticed him so much because he believed that life is essentially chaotic, and very much despised the order of “bourgouise” life.
I think this exoticism carries on with all markets: unusual stalls, people all around you, musicians trying to make a living. It engulfs you. Or at least attempt to do so. Certainly enough, Salamanca market cannot compare with markets you find in Asia or the Orient. It’s too petite for that. Nothing really enchanted me to open my wallet and pour out money.
11:30 polen tea rooms
In a vain attempt to find a place to recharge my ever-dying phone, I stopped at another cafe in battery point for one of the most important rituals of my travels: the writing of postcards.
Initially, whenever i would go somewhere, I would buy many friends souvenirs. Needless to say I spent more money on those souvenirs than on anything for myself. Yet it wasn’t so much the money that made me switch from souvenirs to postcards. I dont even think it was the fact that my travelling had become exceedingly minimalistic. It was, rather, the realisation that those random souvenirs don’t mean all that much to them. Sure, I never bought fridge magnets and attempted to buy, whenever possible, consumables, yet I was already travelling too much. A postcard is not only very storage-able, but it carries a sort of value that other souvenirs don’t. That and I can write things on the back and send them even off the moment I bought them.
The place was quite nice and cozy – tho very small. I fear I had consumed too much tea by this point of the day and had become Mad as a hatter.
15:00-17:30 bus to launceston
Daniel had convinced me not to stay all my time in Hobart and attempt to return to Melbourne from Launceston. Which was a great idea considering that after a day and a half I had probably seen everything that the Tasmanian capital had to offer.
I had bought a ticket with Redline (39.95$), and boarded the bus at 230 Liverpool street. The entire ride avoided any cities on the way (except towards the end) – but perhaps that is the case because there are no cities on the way there. The Tasmanian landscape would slowly unveil itself as we drove on, so it’s really a great way of seeing more of this beautiful place.
If only there wasn’t a hell-spawn child in front of me. For the entire two and a half hours, this creature found every possible way of being loud and obnoxious, not stopping for even a second. From yelling to singing loudly, to slamming toys on the floor and smacking it grubby little devil hands on the window. I cannot possible explain how obnoxious it was. I tried to avoid listening to the shrieks by playing my music on maximum volume, yet my battery was low and had to ensure I still had battery once in Launceston so that I can find the hostel.
I spent much time imagining gruesome way of silencing the child. It seemed to offer some sort of comfort.