Sometimes you don’t feel like doing something when you have the opportunity. Should you do it anyway? Last time I was in Sydney (in 2005), I skipped the chance to see The Polar Express at the Darling Harbour IMAX, which was the largest IMAX screen in the world. I had no interest in seeing that film at the time, and I haven’t seen it to this day. Last week, I found out that IMAX screen is closed for redevelopment, so I missed out again.
Years later, I did regret not seeing something at Darling Harbour. It influenced my decision to watch the final Harry Potter film when I happened to be in London for the first time. I’m not a fan of the franchise, tried reading the first book and film, gave up on both. It wasn’t until I was hanging around a bunch of Brits that I ended up watching film 6 on tv and 7 in the cinema with them. I figure if I were to ever watch the last Harry Potter film, it might as well be on the largest IMAX screen in the UK.
Last time in 2005, I had the chance to see a special exhibition of Van Gogh works at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne, I skipped it in the interest of saving money, as most of the rest of the museum was free anyway.
That’s another conundrum. Should I prioritize visiting places that charge admission, rationalizing that they must be better if they are charging money? Or hit up all the free museums/activities and still see/do plenty of interesting things for no extra cost? Fees aren’t really deal breakers to me, as they have rarely been exorbitant. I don’t mind supporting educational venues. It’s also why I often buy something in the cafe and/or gift shop.
It did mean I missed out on some good free museums on this trip. For example, I skipped Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and most of the Australian National Maritime Museum. In the latter, I had time to see one exhibit on William Bligh before the museum closed because I spent too much time walking around. That’s twice I had the chance to visit (14 years apart) and missed it both times.
That brings us to today, I was on the train returning from the weekly St. Kilda Esplanade Market when I passed the NGV again and saw their special exhibit was a display of China’s Terracotta Warriors, in conjunction with a contemporary Chinese artist. I’ve spent a lot of money on this trip already, and I already have planned another venue that charges admission.
It was only $30, so I did it, along with the free guided tour, which took so long that I didn’t have time to see any of the rest of the museum’s free galleries before it closed (though I did get 20 minutes before the tour started, which got me through 1/6 of a floor). I’ll try to be back sooner than 14 years this time.