Sunday, July 22, 2012

Attempting Tourism

My list was very small:
  • Go to a grocery store.
  • Go to a clothing store.
  • Eat cool food. 

Just relax and be a tourist, my friends told me.... but after you have spent a year trying your best not to be a tourist or be branded anything close to it, it is kind of a strange feeling to accept that identity.

Thankfully, it didn’t seem to bother my aunt at all, so we actually did some pretty awesome things (besides eat bacon) while we hanging out in Cairns, Australia for a week this past June. Because my aunt had been so busy with her work with the audit team while in Papua New Guinea (PNG), we didn’t actually see a lot of each other. By going to Australia, not only were we both able to catch a quick holiday, but it was also a chance for the two of us to spend some concentrated time together since we won’t see each other again for another year.

We did, of course, get our beach time (sandy beaches—hooray! In PNG, the beaches are often made up of bits of coral, so the sand was a lot of fun.) and people-watched from behind a book as people wandered down the Cairns Esplanade...

Going to the zoo was pretty fun, not only because this has been my family’s tradition since I could walk, but also because many of the animals that are in northern Queensland are also found in PNG. I could learn about the ecosystem and creatures in my country :) and that was pretty awesome.

Yes, we have crocodiles in PNG

So was holding the koala

And feeding the kangaroos

And petting the wombat :)

Since we didn’t have a car, we also went by railway to the historic town of Kuranda, located in the Queensland rainforest not too far outside of Cairns. Kuranda is cute, touristy little place with lots of food choices and shops. Unfortunately, all that choice was a bit overwhelming for me (remember the discussion about the grocery store?), so my favourite parts were those set in the rainforest (it felt almost like PNG)—the train ride up the mountain and (wait for it...!!!) the sky-glider ride back down the mountain. Wahoo!

I definitely think we should install one of these, especially for getting up and down Nobnob mountain for POC participants.

Really cool!

And lest you think I missed my clothing store experience, lo and behold, I even walked into an Auzzie Target!

And thus concluded my attempt at being a tourist. It was decently successful, I suppose. After all, I only carried my bilum (traditional PNG string bag) on my head once!

Where have you been a tourist recently?