March 4, 2011
If Adelaide is the City of Churches then Canberra has got to be the City of Suits. If the quick-paced, carry-on-toting men and women at the airport are any indication. But Canberra IS the Capitol of Australia. So I guess “suits” makes sense.
I happily settled into my hotel room and if you followed my escapades in Adelaide you will appreciate this – – – these accommodations are HEAPS better, my friends! Clean. Non-sketchy. And not a sphincter in sight! Not to mention, I have quick, reliable access to the internet (two thumbs WAY up). Enough with the ‘housekeeping’…
My meeting with Peter R., which was scheduled upon my arrival in Canberra, was phenomenal. Peter is on his way out, administratively speaking, and is handing over the GRDC MD reigns to John H. ( who I also had the pleasure of meeting at the GRDC offices). Peter is animated, engaging and opinionated. And I like it. You get entertained and informed all at the same time. I think that I kind of have a crush. Well, maybe that’s pushing it. Anyway, key take away of the day: “burning platform”. The phrase is now embedded in my brain for life, Peter.
On my way back to the hotel for the evening I picked up a beautiful bottle of Australian red – Berton Vineyard Reserve, Shiraz (Borassa) 2007. Wonderful! I ordered a proscuitto pizza from room service – which was not so wonderful. The wine definitely made up for the pizza’s misgivings.
That was yesterday. Today, I spent most of the day responding to emails and finalizing and submitting a paper for publication. This was the first day since I arrived in Australia that I have been able to sit down and attempt to organize information, sources, papers, interview data and my thoughts – as they relate to this trip. My interview transcriber, K, kicks some serious transcribing @ss.She is over halfway through the 13 interviews that I have sent her and will likely have all of them done by the time I get home to Canada next week. There will be blanks to fill in and she warned me of that. K had trouble with the accent and, on more than one occasion, there was background noise (hammering, dishes rattling, crowds, etc) to contend with. When she conveyed the ‘accent’ problem to me, I spent some time observing the Aussies as they responded to my questions. I thought, yes… I rely quite a bit on lip reading and body language when discerning certain things that the Aussies are saying. I am at a considerable advantage sitting face to face with these folks.
Speaking of accents… The Vietnamese taxi driver that ferried me from the airport to the hotel yesterday commented on my English accent.
“I rike it! He said with a wide, animated grin. “‘Straalins speak from throat. You speak from da nose!”
I thought to myself, “‘Cause that is SOOOO much better!” [#TheNannyNamedFran #FranDrescher] ;o)
I am off to GRDC again today to meet with L to talk metrics.
Highlights: Borassa Shiraz and a non-scummy hotel/room.
Lowlights: Pigeon with a mohawk pecked at my foot. B@stard. More on this story tomorrow.