Tuesday, June 10, 2008


After an unventful 9 hour plane ride (uneventful is the best type of plane ride) I reached Melbourne, hopping on the bus, it whizzed into town. I had contrived to lose the booking/directions to the hostel somewhere between the airport and the central bus town. I did however manage to pick up a leaflet for the same place. After getting oriented upon exit I found the place okay.

Back in a dorm room again, 8 creaky bunk beds to the one room. I had two maps of Melbourne, the main city is situated on a grid running roughly North-East. One map had rotated the roads off to face East, while the other used North, somewhat confusing. Just close by the hostel is a park where the possums frolic after dusk. First time I just caught a glimpse I thought it was a giant-cat sized squirrel.

Just round the corner is the Queen Victoria Market, a bit of everything here, most of it junk, kinda like the barrows, but a bit more organised into a grid. Cafes all over the place, the ubiquitous breakfast here is a bacon and egg roll, very healthy :) Seem to be big on being outside, pretty much all cafes/restaurants have outside areas. Maybe this is just for the smokers, seem to be a lot of people smoking here, but maybe that's just because there is a lot of office blocks in the centre and it's more visible with people huddled in doorways.

I've been wandering around the streets trying to get a feel for Melbourne, seems like a nice place. Lots of parks and greenery. The central business district (CBD) in the centre is bound in by Parliament on the North, a park on the East, and the river to the South. Lots of stadiums for the sports mad Aussies. Two big ones in the city, Telstra Dome and the MCG, then a few other dotted around the fringes. Still not quite sure what Aussie Football Rules is all about, but here football is AFL and football is soccer.

There are a few subdistricts such as Port Melbourne, South Yarra and St. Kilda which all make up Melbourne, these are a bit further out from the city and can reach them by tram or bus. Haven't used them much mostly been walking everywhere as you see more. I walked out to St. Kilda have a look at the beach, but being winter doesn't look too inviting! One man and his dog was the only other people there, it's only a small stretch of beach, with a view back to the skyscrapers of the city. Again lots of cafes, and loads of cake shops stacked high with goodies. Then there is Luna Park an old rollercoaster. None of your corkscrews and whirls on this, it was built in 1923 and made of wood.

Back in the city, I went down to the relatively new Federation Square. A collection of various odd shaped buildings, one of which is the ACMI. I went in there tAo see Game On. A history of computer games, through the ages. You can play some old classics. I spent a while playing R-Type and Monkey Island!

Another day I headed over to the Melbourne Museum, I was there for a couple of hours, before they closed, didn't get to see everything though. Some of the aboriginal exhibitions were interesting, about the government taking the kids away to make them civilised. Crazy to think that their civilization is 30,000 years old, kinda puts Western history in a different perspective with a timescale like that!

Anyway not much happening on the job front at the moment, but I'll keep looking and see what I can find. Think I'm spending as much on food as anything else at this point. At least the portion are bigs, and I got a free muffin today from a cafe, because they forget about my egg & bacon foccacia.

Sitting in an internet cafe on Smith Street in Fitzroy typing this up, only $1 for wifi here but it is a fair walk from where I'm staying. Nearby is the busy Brunswick Street full of more cafes and bar, another separate district from the city centre. At least I've managed to avoid being attacked by dropbears