I was curious about what the island was like; like most Americans, I knew next to nothing about the place except that cartoon animals that turn into tornadoes were from there. Flying in, I was disappointed to see that a lot of it looked cleared; somehow I'd pictured a forested, primeval land of mysterious creatures and few people. It was like that once, but it seems the loggers and farmers have changed much of the landscape even here. But there's still a lot of woods left, and a strong "green" group here is fighting to keep it that way.
Anyway, Hobart, the capital, is a nice, small city of 190,000; not too big, with a nice waterfront. I didn't see much my first night; after stopping by an Irish bar to try some Tasmanian beers (both excellent), I was walking along the pier and met a girl by way of her pomeranian, "Princess", and we wound up talking for hours. Kerri had a very profound insight into human nature, and is working on a book about it; I wish her well and hope it gets published, it could do a lot of people good.