Paul has been chronicling the last of the Toyota Previas in use in Eugene as taxis (see here, here and here). Well, this may be the last Tarago (Previa) I’ve seen in use as an official vehicle for The Extraterrestrial Embassy.
Ok, ok, so it’s also the first. Until this weekend, I had never heard of this embassy. If you’re so inclined to learn more, the URL is helpfully printed on the vehicle.
It didn’t come as much of a surprise to see a vehicle so emblazoned in West End, an extremely eclectic, bohemian neighborhood in inner-city Brisbane that’s definitely worth a visit. The area attracts a diverse group of people, from indigenous Australians to hipsters, hippies, and older folk who have been frequenting West End since well before it was cool. There’s a slew of amazing restaurants run by European and Asian immigrants, plus plenty of bars and easy access to our Cultural Precinct. I don’t know exactly where the Extraterrestrial Embassy is, however. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps but if it’s anywhere in Brisbane, it’s probably in West End. (And if it’s not, it’s probably in northern New South Wales, where the drugs are plentiful and there’s allegedly a number of communes and alternative religious compounds.)
There’s still plenty of these Taragos around Brisbane, being as they were the most popular minivan here for some time and hot property for families that could afford them. Their reliability is undoubtedly why they have been used as taxis in Eugene and extraterrestrial embassy cars in Brisbane.
Photographed Saturday, 6 April in West End, Brisbane, Queensland.
Curbside Classic: 1991-97 Toyota Previa/Tarago – The First and Final Frontier For The Space Pod
I would have thought this more appropo!
Obviously the van is parked in front of the embassy building. No doubt about the ETness of that structure. Note the clever front business “Suncorp Bank”, barely disguising the solar origin of the creatures.
I always find it amusing to realize that people involved in these far-out endeavors occasionally still have to do totally mundane things too, like stand in line at the bank.
On the other hand, they are exempt from other mundane tasks. Like for example making sure the front and back wheels match.
I wonder how far a diplomatic immunity argument will get the driver if there is a speeding ticket or a traffic infraction? Probably not far.
“I’m giving you ten seconds to beam yourself up, Sarek. After that, I’m putting you in the back of the cruiser.”
If you’re gonna be a nutcase, might as well do it in a oddball vehicle, right?
And if it’s not, it’s probably in northern New South Wales, where the drugs are plentiful
And just where aren’t drugs “plentiful”?
Not to get into a thing here, but actually lots of “alternative religious compounds” and “communes” eschew drugs, and focus on the alternatives (meditation, yoga, etc.) Meanwhile, at least in this country, the opiate epidemic and other chronic drug use is by far worse in older, traditional cities and towns that have been left behind economically.
Unfortunately, most modern societies are awash in drugs, legal (prescription opiates, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, etc.) or otherwise. I’m not a fan of assuming that just because folks are having a bit fun with their extra-terrestrial interests or are involved in spiritual practices/activities that it necessarily reflects on drug usage patterns. That’s strikes me as a bit antiquated.
They were two unrelated thoughts. I’ve heard murmurings about some of the places across the border and you’re right, some of them are apparently very regimented and eschew things like drugs.
As for the region, its excellent climate means it’s a prime location for grow operations. Nimbin, for example, was regarded as the weed capital of Australia. Also, funnily enough, a hotspot for cheese.
I’ll take weed over the serious ice/meth problem plaguing small towns and downtrodden areas in Australia. And frankly, we’re dragging our feet on legalisation. I don’t know if our opioid problem is as bad as in the US but I’m sure it needs work. And to your point about drugs, yeah, I don’t know what these people would be taking that would spur them to see aliens. Certainly not NSW’s dankest bud. So it’s probably just that they’re very spiritual.
These egg shaped Toyota vans are everywhere locally, why you ask, simple its apple harvest season and we are awash in fruitpickers and they are issued vans to transport themselves to and fro just the Mr Apple Co alone must own several hundred Estimas/Previas if the fleet numbers on them are relevant,
By the way the area referenced in northern NSW is a beautiful part of OZ very scenic, with laid back people a welcome respite from the horrific regime of QLD in the 80s when heading south.
Ah, that’ll be the Raëlians.
You nailed it. I knew something looked familiar about that.
Nice find William. Basic Previa styling has a grace and elegance that aged well. Unfortunately, the loud graphics here takes away somewhat from the clean design in this example.