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Monday, February 24: Day 308 – Light Up the Night

Wesley Quarter is a block of shops. I was intrigued by their commitment to purpose. Shouldn’t everything we do have a purpose?

Here is what they claim to do: Value is created collectively. Here at Wesley Quarter we believe we can achieve this by building partnerships between us, our retailers, you and your community. We want everyone who comes to Wesley Quarter to be able to shop with purpose.

To think of a world where buying a cup of coffee, a pair of shoes, your new jeans or a gift for someone did more than just that. At Wesley Quarter we are partnering with our retailers, community, consumers and charity to do more. To give back, to share, to support and to act with purpose.

Just a few of many things that they are doing: not just solar panels but beehives on the roof. Not just remodeling, but repurposing old items. Not just conserving water but collecting rainwater for toilet usage. Read more in this inspirational and intriguing article.

Retail with Purpose

Former Australian politician The Hon Julie Bishop says of Perth, “Your relative isolation means you combine an entrepreneurial energy with a laid-back charm.” I agree. We have really enjoyed our time here.

The hotel is right next to a small restaurant. We have breakfast there each morning. A symbiotic relationship between a hotel and restaurant.

The Perth Zoo specializes in endangered species. Five million people visit the Perth Zoo each year.

It is time to travel to Darwin. We flew on Qantas, and I was very impressed with their safety video. It was like a tour around the world. It certainly held my attention. Watch Qantas’ Spirit of Australia Safety video here:

We arrived in Darwin. It was hot and balmy. It seemed like a remote town.

Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is not a state of Australia. It used to be part of the state of Southern Australia. Our cab driver told us that if you had problems with the law, one headed to the Northern Territory because no one would come after you. Hmmm. Does this speak to the type of people that live here?

We were warned that we would see a lot of people hanging out on the street, particularly Aboriginals. We further learned that all trouble makers in the NT are transported to Darwin in order to keep an eye on them. Doesn’t that make for a weird type of society? It used to be the haves and the have nots? Would this be the troublemakers and troublemaker nots?

Territorians or Top-Enders love the heat. I guess it is an acquired taste, especially if you can top it off with some amazing air conditioning!

As we were window shopping, we came across this most unusual men’s swimming suit. Or maybe more unusual is the head on this mannequin.

This trash can tells it like it is. The more direct word “landfill” makes you think more about what you are throwing away moreso than the word “trash”. But where is away anyway? A landfill is where it all ends up!!

Rob needed to get an important financial document notarized and then faxed.

In Perth Rob went to a bank to get the document notarized. The teller said that they don’t do that here. Go to the post office.

The post office clerk said that they don’t do that here. Go to the civic building.

The civic building employee said that we don’t do that here. Go to the lawyer one block over on the 25th floor.

The lawyer’s receptionist said “yea, we do that here. The lawyer is busy. He’ll be out soon.”

Rob waited for 15 minutes but ran out of time. He planned to continue his quest in Darwin. Now that’s the back story.

Once in Darwin Rob called a few lawyers who either didn’t answer, were out of business, or could notarize five documents for $165 on Wednesday afternoon. We will have left Darwin by then.

Since we are not making much progress, we decided to walk to Top End Visitors Bureau to get information about Darwin. As we finished Rob said, ” Could you tell me where I can get a document notarized?”

The young lady didn’t know what a notary was and contacted her supervisor for this information. After a little digging, her supervisor suggested that we go to the chemist. Chemist is the word for pharmacy, but that seems like an unusual place for a notary. The other suggestion is the J of P short for Justice of the Peace.

It is after 5:00pm, and we notice that everything is closing. We happened to pass by a chemist as they were locking up.

“Can we just ask a question?”


“Do you notarize documents?”


“What time do you open?”


“We will be back first thing in the morning.”

“Just bring a photo ID and don’t come until 8:15 as we will likely open late.”

Things in another country always take longer than you would expect.

Don’t get me started in finding a place to eat. After looking at numerous food establishments, we learned that most of them are closed on Mondays. I told Rob that I had smelled pizza earlier so we tapped into our hunter-gatherer genes and used our noses to locate our meal!

We top off the evening with a night walk through the Bruce Munro: Tropical Light exhibit. There are 14 outdoor installations about cities, seasons, art and people. We had an App with a Map that guided our steps.

But more interesting were these crocodile footprints. The crocodile is important to the indigenous Larrakia people.

This piece is entitled Telegraph Rose as the Morse code was important in this area to be able to communicate to remote areas.

Green Flash

Apparently right after sunset and just before sunrise, there is an optical phenomenon that produces a green flash of light. The atmosphere causes the sunlight to separate into colors. The artist reproduced this sculpture that flashes green one time every hour. We must have hit it just right because we saw this collection of lighted plastic bottles turn green, but I didn’t have my camera ready. (By the way, I wouldn’t stare at the sun to see this happen in real life.)

Gathering of the Clans

This piece represents groups of colorful cheeky exotic birds gathering on the iconic Hills Hoist clothesline for a chinwag. How’s that for Aussie talk!!

Water-Tower has changing colored towers that are placed on a bridge. An unscheduled stop of a cruise on The Queen Mary 2 added her own light to this installation. Her stop in Darwin was a huge boon to the businesses here.

Sun Lily

This display of lights moved with the breeze and resembled fireflies dancing in the night.

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