Chapter 1 - History and mystery
I am standing on the footpath, straddling my bike.
Is that her? It must be her!
The evening is still and the air crisp on my skin.
I look around. No-one. A few cars passing by, but no-one walking, or anywhere.
I look back to the mural. Maybe it's not a mural. Maybe it's just really good street art. It's certainly not graffiti – too much artistry.
I lead my bike off the footpath, flip down the stand and walk over to stand face-to-face with this large purple-tinted portrait.
Is it really her?
I stand right in front of it. I trace a full circumference of the head with my outstretched arms.
Then I notice the necklace. I know about this necklace. I heard a radio doco a few months ago about how unique this style of necklace is; how ethnically distinct it is; and how this one lady is bringing back the craft of making them again.
It has to be her. But here? How? Why?
As an ex-Tasmanian trying to deal with what it means to be an ex-husband by touring the fjords of my broken heart; attempting to recover, or discover, something of myself – here, suddenly – I am faced with a heartbreaking episode of my homeland's history and a little Nordic mystery.
Taswegian/Norwegian – is there some practical, historical link?
Maybe this is a statement about indigenous people in general? I know the Sami, the reindeer people of the far north, suffered terribly in this county.
I look around again, for anyone. I really want to ask these questions right now, and get some answers right here. But no... no-one... nothing... damn.
Why, in this Norwegian city, is there a painting of one of the last full-blooded Tasmanian aborigines on the grey wall of some indistinct industrial building?
Why is Truganini in Bergen?