Monday, December 06, 2004

Canberra blues

Canberra was a zombie town on the day that I arrived, the streets were deserted and I spent over two hours trying to find an open shop. But the next day the workshop on animal navigation began, and I soon forgot the existence of the city lying just outside the University. We were well cared for in the Uni, three meals a day and a good place to stay, and each daylight hour packed with information. I had decided to spend one extra day looking around, a decision that I deeply regretted, but I was determined to put it to good use, and I made an almost piligrimageous circuit of the various museums and galleries. Even stopped at the National Science centre but they seemed to think that only kids needed science based fun. The highlight of the trip apart from the All-weather Bee Lab and the intense discussions on biomimicking robots was the Bushdance. The place where I was staying had organized a bush dance, and the Band (Bunyip Bogan) was already playing when I stumbled upon the common room. Hearing loud music in that zombie town was already a strange thing and I immediately wended my way over. The bush dance looked insanely complicated at first look, with all sorts of intricate steps, and the 30 odd students there were quite energetically taking part. I can't even describe the dance, except maybe in this way: imagine a regency england country dance mixed with irish jigs and a modern band. There. Something like that. But I was ...shall we say... persuaded to join the horde and I spent close to two hours looping all over the room in various patterns. Quite quaint.