Published: July 15th 2006July 8th 2006
Rod Laver Arena from the outside.
Sadly all of us had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 8 or earlier to get ready for class. This is summer! We are supposed to be sleeping in!!! No more of this early morning crap. I jumped in the shower, which is heavenly, if i do say so myself; and marched my way down to the first floor for a buffet breakfast. Eggs, hashbrowns (oooh baby i'm a hash brown kinda guy), and slightly undercooked bacon. They like that here.... I sat down at one of the larger circle tables and ate my breakfast as I listened to my iPod, looking to see if any of the other kids were coming in at all. A few did here and there, but naturally most didn't because it was just way too early.
So about 30 minutes later we all gathered down stairs in the lobby and back to the kingfisher room for our daily meeting to discuss what we were going to be doing for the day. Turns out we were heading to the Rod Laver Arena, this is where the Australia Open occurs. I thought it was pretty cool... Dr. Seidman passed out our tram tickets which
A rather confusing and directionally confusing sign :)
were valid through the 14th and we all walked down the street to the closest tram stop. After about 15 minutes of riding, we came to our stop. The Arena was massive, and the grounds surrounding were beautiful, full of statues, grassland and vivid colors. We then met out tour guide; a short blonde aussie girl with a great accent of course! So took us down the long corridors to different parts of the building, different meeting rooms and warm up courts and the locker rooms. Sadly the most interesting thing to me was in the locker room when I saw the "urinal wall" as I call it. A slow flow of water runs down the wall and there is a metal grate on the floor above the drains. I am actually still confused on where to stand when i use it...the grates? The step down on the floor? But then i'd be a good 2 feet from the wall. I just don't get it! What's most disturbing is that there is no privacy wall or whatever the "regular" bathrooms have. No one wants backsplash from someone else... *cringe* It also confused me as to why they had a needle
The infamous urinal wall....*shakes head*
disposal box.. I hope it's for diabetics? Anyways....other than that, the locker rooms were really nice, of course the better the players, the larger the locker and better the room they had. The room smelled of fresh pine...or cedar..or som kind of wood, i really didn't know what the lockers and benches were made of. haha but it was nice!
The courts were well kept and had sponsors names as well and the city title branded all over the court and seats. All the students acted like complete tourists (minus the fanny pack--lena) and took pictures and were making poses around the court. We then made way to an indoor area where concerts and other events are held, and actually ColdPlay was just there about a week ago or so? I think that's what the lady had said.
As we slowly made out way to the exit, and back to where we started we were all starting to feel the jet lag again...we slugged our way into the courtyard where they had probably a good 50 statues of people who had made it into their tennis hall of fame, and the 1st person in was indeed, Rod Laver.
I hope thats for diabetics...
It was fun to see all the statues of peoples heads. I then managed to get everyone together for a group photo, after having my camera dubbed "the nice one" that has to get all the pictures. Thanks mom!
Later that day I was back at the hotel where I met some very nice front desk people, Ashan and Vanessa. Very cool people, Vanessa a 20 year old natural born aussie who hates Sydney; and Ashan a 25 year old male from India who has spent the last 6 years in Melbourne and has taken on such a strong accent for just 6 years. These two are extremely helpful to me come questions regarding what to do in the city and all that. (well, it is their job...). They reccomended a couple of places to go and one of which was the market again. It sounded good, just because I knew where it was, and it was close. So, me and a couple of others made our way down Therry street, across Elizabeth to the Market. The food market had filled the air with fresh fruit aromas and fish over by the meat areas. I shockingly saw a couple
of camels laying in the middle of the lot and a few rides set up for little children. I'm not sure if this is a weekly thing or not, but I just made sure not to get in spitting range of those camels. I walked down the long isles looking around at all the boomerangs, clothing, didgeridoos, and food. It's awesome, I could walk around that market all day.
I returned back to the hotel and just chilled for the night, I made a few phone calls to friends and family, just to touch base and let them know I was still live and well!
Man it's hard to recap everything that I've done....so much has happened in such little time, I feel like i'm leaving out so much stuff!
There are more photos below