I had some time to kill on Friday afternoon while Hugh and his coworker got started with their whiskey conference. We all had lunch together at the Central Markets Asian food court. The boys had yum cha while I went for Korean. It was delish, and I was reminded that Adelaide has some great things going for it!
Then I headed out on my own to kill time. Annoyingly, it was raining, and didn't stop raining until late in the evening, and my suede moccasins were soon a bit damp. We were lucky, though--Melbourne experienced record rainfall on Friday, with 48.6 millimetres in 24 hours (that's, like, 2 inches). Five motorists were stranded in floodwaters!
I visited my old work to say 'hulloo' to work buddies, but then I was at a bit of a loss. I decided to hang out at the library until it closed at 6pm, then take advantage of late night shopping to stay dry in the department stores.
Note: In Australia, stores and malls generally close at 6ish. But once a week, Friday in the city and Thursday in the suburbs, stores and malls stay open until 9pm. This is called, "late night shopping." Oooh, they live large out here!
However, the Art Gallery of South Australia is on the way to the library, and I remembered that I never did check it out when I lived in Adelaide. So I stepped inside. There was a large desk in front of me, staffed by two women. I tentatively approached. "Hello," I said. "Er, how much..."
"It's free," the nice lady informed me. Ah, excellent, my favorite price! I checked my coat (also free!), deposited a couple dollars in the donations box, and stepped into the first gallery.
It was then that I remembered that I hate art, especially old art. Meh, too late, I'm committed now. I checked my coat, after all. But it wasn't long before I found a pretty piece of Australian metalwork that I quite liked: it was tall, like a large candlestick or a small side table, and held a crystal bowl at the top. Basically, a candy dish holder. But the candlestick bit of it was made to look like a palm tree, and had a metalwork landscape at the base of the tree, and even a metalwork Aboriginal man with a spear. It was beautiful, and there were several of them! As I ventured deeper into the museum, it became clear that the museum was under a bit of construction. The floorplan definitely didn't match my map. I also noticed that some of the rooms had a mixture of old European artwork, and modern artwork. I'm not sure if this was intentional, or simply because of the construction, but it was brilliant! It drew me into the "boring" rooms with really interesting installation pieces, so I ended up looking at everything. One room, featuring homewares, included a plaster toaster decorated in bright colors and referring to the Cold War, as well as a beautiful Japanese bookshelf created for Westerners, with shelves at offset levels, which for some reason I really wanted to be a dollhouse. I never quite did grow up...
All in all, I was really pleasantly surprised with the gallery. I shouldn't have put off going there, but it was a perfect diversion for this rainy day. When I left, I deposited a couple more dollars in the box.