We arrived on Friday night after our 25 hour flight (that's including layovers) to a rather cloudy but brightly lit, Melbourne. First impressions from the sky is that it's a very well laid out city, not a rabbit warren of weird streets and alleys like London or Edinburgh to a small extent. The streets use orange lights on the main roads, but the older white lights on the side streets, which I prefer. It's like having moonlight in your room every night.
Driving to the house we passed some interesting buildings, like a massive sex toy store which I'm told there are lots of, a large glittering rolled up newspaper outside The Age newspaper, several business signs were pretend hot air balloons. Palm trees, wires overhead and the psych-out of lightning which were really sparks from the trams.
Our first meal when we got to the new house was Pizza Hut. The house is huge, but as it's a rental there are many "Do Not" things, which include blue tack. That's dumb. No posters in the kid's rooms, have to ask permission to hang any pictures. Sigh. It's sparsely decorated and we'll need several thing yet before it feels more homely. Spent most of the night with the eerie feeling of still being on the plane whenever I walked. Air legs. like sea legs, but from a plane instead and it was a pretty turbulent flight on the second leg of the journey as there were a lot of storms over the Phillipines. I had only had about 3 hours sleep on Wednesday night, and did not sleep at all for the flight. I also had eaten very little as the food was pretty awful. Halfway through the first leg of the flight, my lips got that annoying dry, tingling sensation of dehydration that if you lick will make it worse. I had packed some hand lotion and spent the flight applying tons to my face and hands. Was so thirsty, begged for water constantly, They must have thought I was a camel.
First day here I was up bright at my usual 7am and took that as a good sign. Had a small breakfast, and headed out to the tram, then to the train into the Central Business District (CBD). Wandered about looking like a tourist with my chin in the air as I stared up the height of the buildings. I love that a lot of the old Victorian architecture and plasterwork are evident. Although strange to see a statue of a stately gent alongside an Aboriginal spear. We had lunch at a sushi restaurant with the conveyor belt delivery system. Shorty had never seen it before as Yo Sushi bagged out of Edinburgh, and she found it a great experience. In fact, the plenitude of Japanese restaurants is amazing - I'm in foodie heaven. And yet no bento stores?? Why?!
Sunday we meandered around the biggest mall I've ever seen where Husband bought a new suit and coat for work, the kids got new toys and I got a small bottle of Coco Chanel to hold me over until our belongings arrive in another 2 months. Seriously - huge mall. Not Mall of America huge, but bigger than anything in Scotland.
Hubs had today off work and we took the public transport into Melbs and visited the Aquarium and then meandered about the riverside (Pictures up at Flickr) and then through Chinatown, which was mostly restaurants and not much shopping stuff, but we are sick of shopping. I did pick up a book of Australian birds because the fact the only bird I recognise is the mangy pigeon and UK Blackbird, every other type is a mystery. The songs are all different and it's a bit of sensory overload with all the different sounds. Between the trams, tin roof being pounded with rain, bird songs, wind humming through the overhead lines, the fact that crosswalks don't beep or buzz but click instead and even though we have a green man there's still traffic coming at you because they have right of way too - yeah how dumb is that? My head gets a bit woozy and we need to take a break. Visually it's also a bit interesting as many of the trees make me think of Dr. Seuss books, daffodils are blooming again, the green of a green light is more lime than Kelly green (unless they're newer LED ones) and have I mentioned the parrots? There are parrots out there. Small green and red ones. The food halls are infested with wee sparrows - so cute and yet, they fly within inches of your head and I keep wondering how often they poop on people.
It's been a wild three days.
One last thing - the people are awesome. So friendly. Just fabulous - this is why I wanted to come here.
Next time I'll talk about Australian Rules Football and ask Why does Aussie TV have infomercials during the Today show??