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Amparo Bertram

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08:00 am: Australia trip report, Day 4
March 9

In the morning, I did the same as the previous day and took the 8am bus to town. When the bus driver dropped me off, he commented, "You must be taking the Kuranda train to get off at this stop, because the mall doesn't open until 10:30."

I was puzzled at this, because I had eaten at the food court just the day before at about the same time of day. I went to do the same thing...but the mall doors refused to open. I couldn't figure out why, when it had worked one day earlier, until I looked down at the mall hours. It opened at 9am every day except Sunday, when it opened at 10:30.

Living in a Buddhist country has spoiled me in some ways. Sure, Japanese shops are frustrating when they are randomly closed on, say, Tuesday, but at least they don't force poor unfortunate tourists to starve on Sunday mornings.

Exasperated, I wandered the streets until I came upon an early morning market. It was quite amazing, packed with table after table of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits. I wound up buying a huge mango for about a dollar--one of the cheapest items I encountered my entire stay. I didn't have any implements with which to eat it, so I had to split the skin open with a fingernail and peel it like an orange to get to the fruit inside. It rather reminded me of Costa Rica, actually. I was only sorry that there had been no green ones at the market, since I like the flavor of those best.

I headed to the main bus terminal area and caught a bus to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park. I picked up a disposable camera at the gift shop there before heading in for the show. (Thus, any pictures will have to wait until I get the film developed.) The park offers a series of shows put on by a group of aboriginal performers. The shows include dancing, a demonstration of the didgeridoo, an explanation of aboriginal food, and a reenactment of the creation myth. There was also a chance for visitors to try throwing boomerangs. (I sucked, by the way.)

After leaving the park, I took the bus back to Cairns. By this time the mall was open, so I wandered around in search of an electronics shop to get an adapter. That accomplished, I returned to my hotel, where I packed all my stuff while my camera battery charged. I had packed a duffel bag inside my suitcase when I came. With the clothes, books, and various souvenirs I had bought, both pieces of luggage were starting to get full. I would just have to restrain myself in Sydney.

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