Well, I’m safely ensconced at Mel’s house with free interwebnet and a handy nearby rail link to the city centre. I have a little schitzu squished up next to my thigh and the “untouchable” cat keeps trying to sit on my lap. The new labrador pup keeps trying to chew the laptop cable. I’ve not had much to do the last couple of days, so I decided to make up for not frequenting the cinemas in recent weeks.

I’ve seen five films in two days.

Mind you, I’ve not paid more than $10 a ticket for any of them. Got to love cheap cinemas. Although the $5 one in Canberra’s still the cheapest I’ve seen outside of Asia.

OK, upcoming plans first and film reviews second. Check out the schedule down the right hand column as I’ve pretty much decided where I’m going and what I’m doing. My only slight problem is getting a Vietnamese visa somewhere quickly enough to ensure I have it to make the flight on the date I want. I don’t have time here to mail my passport off (especially over Easter), and I only plan on 2 days in Singapore which may not be enough time to get the passport done in person – so I don’t want to book a flight in advance. Grr.

Possible solution: fly to Laos first and sort the passport there while I explore Vientiane; or to Cambodia and have it organised in Phnom Penh. I guess I better start checking out flight prices from Singapore.

As far as the next week or so go, though, it’s all busy. Tomorrow I’m being treated to a BBQ in the park near the city and I’ll spend a good couple of hours walking around the place. There are some nice statues and monuments in there from what I’ve been told.

Over the weekend I’m spending one day with Mel – who’s going to take me round Fremantle – and one day with her mum Jacqui – who’s going to take me round north Perth.

Monday morning will see me jump onto another bus for a 3-day trip around the SW corner, getting back late on Wednesday. I’ll then have Thursday daytime to recover before the Slayer gig that evening and my flight to Darwin on Friday 13th (which is also my mum’s birthday).

Back in Darwin I’m really looking forward to seeing my old bunkie Esther, the still-21-year-old Sharna and my French island-travelling-companion Delphine. Should make for a good few days before the Singapore flight.

I also think I’m firming dates up for the round-Europe trip around The Walk. Having spent a good few hours in Borders going through the Lonely Planet books, I’m getting a hankering to check out some of the Eastern European countries. I may do these between Prague and Italy. Just a night in Bratislava another in Sarajevo and so on.

Talking of Borders, I very nearly bought Europe on a Shoestring as they’re doing 20% off all the Lonely Planet books at the moment. The thing is, I did the maths and with the discount the book’s barely a pound cheaper than the full UK cover price! Books over here are not cheap. I’ll dig out a second hand one somewhere…

OK, films. I’ll rattle through these quickly as they’re not really travel-related! I hopped between the local Hoyts (big chain) and the Palace (local old-fashioned art-deco cinema with as much legroom as a Bangladeshi bus). Both charge $9 before 5pm on weekdays, and the Palace is still only $10 after that and at weekends.

Meet the Robinsons was well worth the money. It’s also the first time since I was a kid that I can remember seeing a Mickey Mouse cartoon before the main feature. Said film was great on both kiddie and adult levels with a huge amount of thought gone into the little details. The “bad guy” is like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves‘ Sheriff of Nottingham taken to extremes.

The Good Shepherd was overlong, convoluted and rather dull. If it had been around 45 minutes shorter, I’d have enjoyed it. Maybe.

TMNT was pretty good. Some outstanding fight scenes and cracking dialogue. Eastman and Laird have a lot to be thanked for. The fully-CGI work has given what was a floundering franchise a new lease of life. I’m just wondering if it has the title TMHT in the UK?

300 was fairly enjoyable. Storywise a little thin, but visually stunning. Not as awe-inspiring as Sin City (from the same brain-pan), but that’s not surprising considering how superb that was. What is surprising is that despite the grim effects and violence, some of the dialogue had the audience laughing out loud (in a good way).

Finally Babel which I appreciate has been out for ages. Not bad for an arty effort, but one or two things never really made any sense. Having hung around in a couple of Islamic countries over the last few months I was pleased that I recognised a few of the phrases used during the Moroccan sequences!

Less films, more Perth from now on. I promise.

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