Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
January 2023
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Observations of the returned exile

I have now been back in Tasmania for six months. I have made the following observations.

  • When I left Tasmania in 1999 the state of the economy was all rather doomy-and-gloomy. I believe there was a bit of a boom in the mid-2000s. However, it’s back to doomy-and-gloomy again. I don’t think I am responsible, but there does seem to be a correlation with my comings and goings.
  • Hobart and Launceston are now further apart. It used to take maybe 2hrs 15mins to get from one to the other; it’s now out to 2.5 hours. This is due to the lowering of speed limits along some stretches with some added urban sprawl (also resulting in lowered limits, plus more traffic), and the fact that the long anticipated Brighton by-pass is not yet open.
  • Most Tasmanian drivers seem incapable of actually getting up to the 70km/hr speed limit on the bridge, with many travelling at 60 … or 65 if you’re very lucky. I’m sure they speed in heaps of other places, but when crossing the Derwent they seem to forget that they have accelerators.
  • We’re still debating whether or not to put a cable car up the mountain.
  • A lot of the people at Church are much greyer than I recall. One of the kids I taught in Seminary (early morning scripture study class) is now the Bishop and another is one of his counsellors.
  • It’s colder. I’ve been denying this fact to my Melbourne friends for the past 13 years, as part of a campaign to convince them of a Utopian paradise south of Bass Strait, but I don’t recall any Melbourne mornings where it was 2°C when I arrived at work like it was this morning.
  • Some idiot allowed a McDonalds in the narrowest section of walkway in Cat and Fiddle Arcade. However, it was reassuring to know that the Cat and Fiddle still works, even if there’s no longer water in the Railway Roundabout fountain.
  • Late night shopping is not very late. I keep getting caught out thinking “I’m sure that will still be open until 9” only to find it closed at 8 … or 5. Perhaps the rest of the good people of Tasmania have early nights.
  • We still haven’t grown out of our petty north-south rivalries.
  • The Hytten Hall toilets haven’t been painted since I was a student there in 1986. I also discovered that the university’s student database program is about the same vintage … which is somehow even scarier.

3 comments to Observations of the returned exile

  • Linda

    Wonderful observations. Suspect the bridge speed is something to do with the fact that we all KNOW there are speed cameras on the bridge – everywhere else we can’t be too sure about. We may have 2 degree mornings but we don’t have earthquakes and it doesn’t take us over an hour to get to work. Can think of lots of parts of the uni that haven’t changed since we were students too(which is very depressing I agree!). Also very depressing to work out what year the current crop of first years were born – 1994!!!

  • Lucy

    So glad to read this to remind me that we’re perfectly happy in Adelaide. Great place to visit though…

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