Hobart is amazing. Tasmanian devils are so cute and, contrary to popular belief, in the wild they do not hurt humans. They were named devils because of the sound they make when they argue over food – it sounds kind of like a woman screaming. Sadly the devils will be extinct within a decade or two if a cure is not found for a disease that causes them to get so many tumors on their face that they can’t even eat.
I also spent time with a lot of wombats and koalas, which I learned are related. It makes sense – if you pin back a koala’s ears it looks a lot like a wombat. Both animals have a hard plate in their bottom area that can be used as a defense mechanism. It’s so hard that wombats will burrow and use their bums as a manhole cover, which predators can’t chew through. Wombats are also interesting because they cannot be tamed. Even if they are raised by humans, at some point instinct takes over.
On top of the beautiful landscape and the interesting animals, the people in Tasmania are so friendly. Everyone I met was helpful. When I went to the Cadbury chocolate factory, the bus driver got out a map and spent a great deal of her break showing me where to go… which I really appreciated because I had to go to the chocolate factory! It was as informational and tasty as I had hoped it would be. Hobart was chosen as the location of the factory instead of more populous cities because during its construction air-conditioning wasn’t an option, and chocolate has to be temperature regulated – as anyone who has ever held M&M’s in their hand for too long knows.
Melbourne was really special because I was there during the cup. Everyone dresses to the nines for the horse races. My friend bet $10 and his horse won – he received $3 in winnings. When I asked a few people in Melbourne why gambling was such a big deal, the response was – It’s not, we just like having an excuse to drink, dress up, and have a good time.
I’m going to miss all of the friends I made in Perth, and the Cadbury chocolate. My sorrow for leaving Perth is subsided by the excitement of traveling to Asia. Hooray.