Monday night in Hobart

What’s not to love about the exit row? First, you get loads of extra leg room. I’m not a particularly large person, and so generally don’t find myself ever cramped on an aircraft, but it’s still nice to have a bit of extra space in front. Second, you get to capitalise on people’s superstition’s about being row thirteen, and so you generally have a spare seat next to you as well. I don’t get the superstition thing, by the way. I mean, if the plane’s gonna crash, it doesn’t matter if you’re in row thirteen or not. Correct me if I’m wrong. And third, being in charge of removing the exit door in the event of an emergency, you can potentially become the hero who saves lives. And if you stuff it up, there’s no one left alive to say it was you, anyway. Jetstar may not have business-class, but it’s got the next best thing: the exit row.

This the second time in as many weeks that I’ve scored an exit row seat on a Jetstar flight, the last time being to and from Gympie. This trip to Hobart which is also work-related, is my second-ever trip to Hobart. Of all the Australian state capitals, Hobart is probably my favourite after Sydney. In common with Sydney, there’s an colonial and convict history which remains intact. Also in common with Sydney, the water dominates the landscape, and the streets are crooked and windy. I’m not a big fan of cities based on grids: I like little nooks and crannies that you can explore. Though I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to look around, as work starts early tomorrow, finishes late tomorrow night, with the same again on Wednesday. I might have a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon to look around, though, before catching my flight home.

The last time I was in Hobart was three or four years ago, and was for about three or four days or so. At the time of colleague of mine now was living and working here, and so I was able to travel around with her, and to really get out of town. This time it’s very much a visit based around central Hobart, though we are visiting a function centre about ten to fifteen minutes from town on Wednesday night.

Since arriving I haven’t done much. I’ve booked in, have put some washing on, have organised some dry cleaning and went across the road to Hog’s Breath Cafe. Hog’s Breath is a cafe I only ever go to when I’m travelling for work. I remember vividly going to one when I visited Tamworth a few years ago. I sat there, ate my meal, and enjoyed my newspaper. The staff thought it was odd for someone to be sitting by themselves, and came over on several occasions to ask if I was okay.

There was no such problem at Hog’s Breath tonight. It was clearly a “family night”, with loads of people who left by about 8.30pm. I sat there, enjoyed my meal, and got on with the business of eating. Frankly, I think Hog’s Breath is over-priced, and not all that good. But it’s a place where you can go by yourself, sit down, and not have to worry too much. I mean, I could have looked for somewhere nicer, but I just couldn’t be bothered, as I needed/wanted to get back to my room to watch Q&A which is on shortly. As the nation waits for a confirmation about which way the Independents will choose to allow Abbott or Gillard to form a government, I’ve been especially anxious for it to be resolved. My job involves a role of coverage co-ordination for ABC Radio, making sure 60 radio stations get the message about press conferences and so on. It’ll be interesting what Bob Katter has to say tonight.

So I’m back in my room, the washing machine is rumbling away, that bloke on Media Watch is going on about something, and I’m enjoying the fresh clean sheets. Does life get any better?