# 49 Teaching at Taizhou Teachers College-Holiday in Oz- Mellow Melbourne


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April 17th 2007
Published: August 10th 2007
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As well as lolling about on the Gold Coast I managed to squeeze a week away in Melbourne. I have been to Melbourne a number of times, so the purpose of my visit was not to “sight-see” so much as to catch up with long term friends, particularly Jan and John Martyn and Jenny and Bruce Martyn, whom I’ve stayed with a number of times. Jan and Jenny were my “tentmates” during a 9 week odyssey through Europe in 1977! We were on an infamous Contiki camping holiday and I have made a number of life-long friends from this trip.

It was a trip of a life-time. So many hilarious stories and vivid pictures come to mind. Drinking pastisse in a bar in Montmartre in Paris; dress up parties in Italy and Germany; eating snails for the first time in Spain (not France!); singing ridiculous songs until we had no voices; my first view of Firenze (Florence); dancing to Bony M and JJ Cale (what a contrast!) in a disco on Mikonos in the Greek Islands; one of my travel buddies bargaining to sell both his wife and myself to a stall holder in the great "Souk" (Market) in Istanbul;
Yarra RiverYarra RiverYarra River

View of the central business district skyline on a beautiful Summer's evening.
hearing someone cry out in anguish while camping in Germany “Elvis is dead!” the list goes on. It is absolutely amazing to me that it was 30 years ago! So this blog is dedicated to my Contiki Travel Buddies, may we keep in contact for yet another 30 years!




Additional photos below
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Summer Evening at the Myer Music BowlSummer Evening at the Myer Music Bowl
Summer Evening at the Myer Music Bowl

My friend John took me to a wonderful concert of classical music staged at the Myer Music Bowl. It was part of a summer series of such concerts featuring the Melbourne Symphonic Orchestra and a number of well known vocalists.
Open Air ConcertOpen Air Concert
Open Air Concert

Part of the 30,000 strong crowd enjoying a bit of culture on a balmy summer evening. Old and young came with their picnic baskets, bottles of wine and shared a free night of entertainment. These concerts marked the celebration of 100years of this orchestra.
Sustainable LivingSustainable Living
Sustainable Living

While in Melbourne there was a small "expo" based on "Sustainable Living". In other words how humans can live responsibly and in harmony with respect to each other and the environment. These entertainers were among the favourite attractions. Great rhythms!
DrumsDrums
Drums

The percussion was stunning. I love world music!
DancersDancers
Dancers

What is world music without dancers- especially doing African dance! I would have loved to join them, but I think John would have been mortified!
John at the BarbieJohn at the Barbie
John at the Barbie

Here's John cooking up a storm at the Contiki Reunion BBQ. There're about a dozen of us still meet a couple of times a year (for me about every 2 years) to catch up and reminisce. There's always some new stories to tell!
Contiki BBQContiki BBQ
Contiki BBQ

I really revelled in eating outdoors and thoroughly indulged myself in all the fresh tasty salads. Many of my students think cold vegetable salads are very strange fare indeed!
Contiki Crew 2007Contiki Crew 2007
Contiki Crew 2007

Jan (front far left) was yet again hostess with the mostest for another of our get togethers.
3Cs3Cs
3Cs

Christine, Cheryl and Colleen smile for the camera. We were very pleased to catch up with Christine- her first reunion in the 30 years since we travelled together!
Hilary & PeteHilary & Pete
Hilary & Pete

Hilary was also on my Contiki trip but was not able to make the BBQ, so Jan kindly offered to drive me "down the coast" to have lunch with her and her partner Pete. Hilary is an accomplished artist and is always trying new things to stretch the boundaries of her talents. She and Pete are always very entertaining company. A great afternoon had by all!
Vic MarketVic Market
Vic Market

One of my favourite pastimes while in Melbourne is always to visit the Old Victoria Market ( affectionately known as the Vic Market). It's a great place to buy anything from fresh food to clothes and souvenirs.One poor man was selling up shop. He sold umbrellas, but because of the ongoing drought in Australia- he had to close down his business. A shame. This is also where I bought a lot of Aussie souvenirs to take back to China. Hilarious, as of course, most of them are made in China in the first place. In actual fact the gentleman from whom I bought most of my gear was originally from Nanjing!He was very excited to hear I was teaching English in Taizhou! Unfortunately he did not want his photo taken.
Exotic FoodsExotic Foods
Exotic Foods

Many of my Aussie friends were intrigued(?) by some of the exotic delicacies that I was experiencing in China (see earlier blog #2 Fun With Food), so now it's the turn of my Chinese friends! Yes, some people do eat kangaroo, emu and crocodile! Here's the proof!
Fresh Produce at Oz PricesFresh Produce at Oz Prices
Fresh Produce at Oz Prices

In contrast these fresh fruits and vegetables are not unlike what we have available in China- except the prices. The "vine-ripened" tomatoes in the foreground are the equivalent of 30RMB/kg ie 15RMB yi jin (1/2kg)!
Gourmet CheesesGourmet Cheeses
Gourmet Cheeses

Many of my students and Chinese friends are mystified about the near obsession of foreigners to seek out sources of decent cheese! Many of them have only tried plastic processed cheese, so I can see why they don't understand what all the fuss is about! This is what you call real cheese! Yum!


2nd May 2007

So... I'm still learning more about your dark past!!
Hey Miss Suzie - it was lovely to catch up with you on your visit home to the Gold Coast! You are trully the "Ultimate Adventurer"!!

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