When he heard our American accents, Martin, our tour guide at Victoria’s Parliament building announced, “I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. Tony Romo is going to do it for us this year.”
Jeanice (Seattle Seahawks) and I (Baltimore Ravens) hooted with laughter. “Dallas?! Romo?! Are you kidding?!!!” (“Australians have a thing about Texas,” said my brother, when I told him about the conversation later. “I don’t know why.” Maybe they feel a kinship based on BBQ, wide-open spaces, and rough-rider traditions?)
Construction on Victoria’s parliament building began in 1855 and bits and pieces added until 1926. Between 1901 and 1922, before Australia’s capitol of Canberra was constructed, it served the federal Parliament of Australia (Victoria’s Parliament was scuttled off to the Royal Exhibition Building during that time).
Despite Martin’s misguided allegiance to the Cowboys, he turned out to be a fun and informative guide. “The lights,” he deadpanned while describing the incongruous mid-century modern fixtures in the neoclassical Upper Chamber, “are from Ikea.”