29th September 2008, Monday
We started our beautiful day in Melbourne by walking about town. Curly said this would be a good time to explore the city. He took us around Melbourne City to familiarize ourselves with the tram and bus system. Things are pretty convenient in Melbourne. There are tourist buses and city trams we could ride for free to various tourist spots. Curly has been staying there for the past three years, so it was wonderful and very nice of him to take us around, so that we don’t get lost!
The city is very well planned and organized. However the street names can be a little confusing as if they had ran out of ideas. Like Victoria Street – there are many, MANY Victoria Streets in Melbourne alone. Curly stays in Brunswick East, and there is also another place called East Brunswick. Even though they are in the same area, they are NOT the same street!
The first day was a little confusing for me. Curly, in his lecturing mode went on with his teaching style of telling us the directions. “This is Lonsdale Street, there is Little Lonsdale… Burke Street, Little Burke Street.. etc etc.”
For people like me who remember landmarks more than street names – I find some monuments are quite useful as landmarks for me to get off the tram – like a giant purse in front of the grand post office or where we could get a tram back to his place – three skinny men with suitcase in front of Politix shop. Lol!
It was a mixed feeling as I strolled along the streets of Melbourne. There are so many Asians that you would never feel out of place! As I strolled along Swanston Street, I could hear many languages being spoken from Korean to Japanese, Cantonese to Hokkien, Vietnamese to Thai. It’s not surprising that, Vietnamese is the second most spoken language in Melbourne.
First Blooms of Spring
Many people from all over the world come to Melbourne to pursue their studies. Since the University of Melbourne is situated in the heart of the city, it was easy for students to get around town to shop for their groceries, to meet their friends or simply hang about town to watch the day goes by.
Lovely Couple applauding
The weather was perfect. It was a little chilly if the wind blew but nevertheless it was quite okay for me. It’s like a colder version of Genting Highlands. So, be prepared to bring your sweaters and windbreakers if you plan to visit Melbourne in September/October. I love it as I don’t break into sweat!
One thing though, most of the walls in the back lane were decorated with graffiti. Some are really nice, some are merely scribbles of words. I heard that they might want to ban selling of the color spray to prevent unwanted graffiti.
We were caught by surprise that there was a police parade. Curly was also unaware of the event. A few roads were closed for the police to march around town. Retired policemen were also invited to participate. There was a sense of pride arising from the loud applause from the crowd as the retired policemen walked by. I thought of the police force back at home and felt sorry for their reputation.
Since everyone was bragging about how yummy Krispy Kreme donuts taste like, I bought two dozen as breakfast for the boys and I. I was somewhat disappointed. I think the donuts were too sweet for my taste –it’s diabetic inducing merely by taking one mouthful! The glazed one was better as it was not too sweet. Overall, there is nothing to shout about this donut.
Lovers waiting to cross the road
Melbourne is a city of love. Everywhere you see many cute couples walking hand in hand. I am sure there are also a lot of couples in other cities but I guess, due to rush hour or working time, I simply did not notice any apart from holiday makers walking hand in hand. It’s a Monday, a working day in Melbourne and yet, there are many people taking leisurely stroll along the streets of Melbourne. Life indeed is good.