Published: January 11th 2012January 11th 2012
The way to make a right hand turn from the left hand lane
It has been a while since our last blog entry and thankfully nothing too crazy has happened. We’ve all gotten the standard tourist sun burn. For me, my shoulders finally no longer look like tomatoes and Chris’ arms are looking less like lobsters. So far the weather has been nice, windy but nice. It has rained a bit while we’ve been here but the other day it bucketed for a bit, by bucketed I mean poured like crazy. Though we’ve been told a really big rainfall will actually cause the city to flood for a day or so. Thankfully we are safe and dry in our cozy apartment on the fifth floor watching TV shows that I never thought would be seen on television again, shows like Charmed and Macgiver; lol it is better than nothing.
Day to day life here is much like being at home; there are a few subtle differences. Food for the most part at the grocery store is either the same or cheaper. Cheap coffee is really only available from Seven Eleven, everywhere else a small is at least $3; but $3 coffee is awesome, I already know I’m going to miss flat
whites. A flat white is like a café con leche or a no foam latte. Hahaha I don’t know if it the coffee that is so good or full fat milk :) . Traffic on the wrong side of the road also takes a bit of getting use to. Neither of us have even had a close call, we still never seem to know which way the traffic is going to come from, especially when drivers make a hook turn. A hook turn is where you pull to the top left corner in an intersection wait there until all lanes of traffic is cleared to make your right hand turn. Bizarre! On top of never knowing which way a car may come at you, jaywalking seems perfectly legal here, kind of like in New York – if there are no cars coming why are you not walking.
On one of the first nights we were here, as a part of Chris’ program, we did a lane way tour of downtown (also know as the Central Business District or the CBD). In Melbourne they have redeveloped all of the alleys into places for street art, restaurants,
coffee shops, bars and stores. These lane ways run the whole gambit from hippester clubs to high-end retail. Melbourne is a lot like most European cities where shops and restaurants are only open certain hours on specific days. It is not uncommon to find a café closing up at 3pm and the restaurant next to it opening up at 6pm, or for something to be closed on a Tuesday. Plus this is holiday season and some places are closed until Jan 24th
. I was pretty excited to find a store like the Running Room that offers a free run club on Tuesdays and Saturdays only to show up and find that it is on hold until the 24th
! Oh well, it has not stopped me from running though! I’ve been out 3 times and I really feel like I’m at home running along the Bow River, only difference is that the Yarra river is deeper, browner, and there is always a few people rowing.
Yesterday we made it to the beach, finally! Unfortunately it was not beach weather, as I was kind of blustery, however it was awesome to finally see the ocean here in Melbourne. The
weather is suppose to perk up by the weekend so we will probably tram or bike out to a beach outside of Port Phillips and spend the day. Hehehe we may even grill up some burgers shaped like the continent of Australia! Most nights if we are not enjoying our $3 a bottle white wine, we are out exploring the various neighborhoods of Melbourne. They all seem to have a very quaint commercial street or streets that are buzzing with people at all times a lot like the lane ways of the CBD.
Not too sure how interesting our travels will be the next few weeks as we are living in Melbourne more than being tourist; however that will not stop us from trying things and visiting new spots. Like tonight we plan to check out the night market and hopefully the open next week.
We miss you all!
Beckie and Chris
There are more photos below