Monday, January 15, 2018

Space Ship Perth

I can’t remember the last time I had a window seat for an airplane ride.  If the choice is mine I never want to be stuck on the inside of a row, dependent on two people to move out of my way when I need to hit the can or stretch my legs. It was just the luck of the draw this time,  traveling with the rest of the cast.  However,  it was a chance to see a landscape I have never seen before.  Australia is pretty much a doughnut of a country. There are these great coastal cities around the edge and a lot of nothing in the middle.  Really nothing, mostly desert with the occasional river that snakes through the continent like some huge forrest green serpent. It was like the current view out my hotel window, but that comes later.  It was actually entertaining to observe the OutBack from that perspective.  
As we got close to Perth  the air turned very brown.  At first I thought it was just pollution but it kept getting thicker and browner. It soon became apparent that it was a huge range fire outside of the city, in fact it was two fires raging on separate sides of Perth. The evening news said that the athorities suspected arson and were looking for the perps.   As we landed I snapped this picture of the fire from the airport runway.  It reminded me of a massive toronado but this wasn’t Kansas,  and we were already in OZ, Dorothy. 
It was very hot outside and extremely humid as we left the airport.  The cars were covered in brown ash and the smell of burning brush stuck in my throat. Everyone who knows the theaters we are playing in Australia says that the one in Perth is their least favorite.  That knowledge coupled with the gloom the smoke cast over everything was depressing.  It seemed to mirror the spirits of the troupe.  Everyone was a little down.  
We had to say goodbye to the knife throwing act. The doctors determined the female partner needed surgery on her foot and had to stay off of it or damage it permanently. They never got to do the act in Melbourne and now they were officially gone.  Hard to say good bye some of the original troupers. 
The girl acrobat in the Lyra (that’s a big hoop that gets suspended in the rafters) pulled a muscle and was out of the last three shows in Melbourne.  We are hoping that with a few days rest she will be back for opening night here in Perth. This two show a day schedule is really hard on the athletes and the dancers.  I think Perth has a more traditional schedule and we will do only a couple of two show days in the next two weeks.  Hopefully everyone will have a chance to get well.
We have been staying in the same hotel chain from city to city.  We thought we knew what to expect when we got to Perth, but it was very different. The same name brand but the other hotels were walking distance to the Theaters, they had washers and dryers in every room, fast Internet, efficient air conditioning and the floor plans were small but efficient . This hotel has no washers and dryers, slow Internet, some of the air conditioning units do not work, and some rooms smaller than ship crew cabins, and it is a thirty minute drive to the theater.  I managed to get a little bigger room with a working air conditioner on my first move.  Several people in the cast had to try four different rooms to get one that was “sort of” satisfactory.  Half a dozen of us ended up in Harrisons room after dinner to play a great video game when the room got extremely warm.  Matinence came twice to try and fix the air, but never could so they moved him to another one... his fourth.  We grabbed his suitcases, the beer, the video game and moved the party to another location.  We were a movable feast.    
Today it rained, all day long.  It put out the fires, cleared the air and cleaned the ash off the cars, but it made getting supplies difficult. This is unusual to have rain this time of year and it is the most rain they have had in the last eight years.  We are near some really cool restaurants and places to shop and get anything we might need but we are so far from the theater, that becomes the issue.  
What I love about the cities of Australia so far is the architecture and the art that is all around.  I have seen some of the most interesting buildings and art installations in Melbourne and Sydney.  For some reason I thought Perth would be more conservative, or more rural.  That is not the case.  For example: My Hotel window looks out on this mural.  It is the back of a building in an alley and can not be seen from any street.  I love that it is just my taste in art, and seems to be there only for my enjoyment.  

I don’t know what this leg of the tour will turn out to be.  It is supposed to be a very big stage, and big theater that’s part of a resort and casino/hotel.  I don’t know why they didn’t put us up at the hotel on property.  It would have been nice to just take and elevator to work every night, but I would miss seeing this green organic reptile outside my window.  It will always remind me of Australian geography from 35000 feet in the air. 
As you were,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

I eagerly wait for each chapter of this travel book, Jay. Thank you.