Adventures in Oz
First I have to admit to a small victory in convincing Lisa to let me sleep in a couple days (she was quite the task master!) and we explored Melbourne more lackadaisically which was fine by me. We also played Ali’s “Wii” – the new video game where you hold this sensor and move around like you’re actually playing the game. We played tennis, golf, bowling and boxing. And you play your own character which you make from all these features, body parts and modifications to look as close to you as possible (however hands are always these big balls which cracked me up for no apparent reason). My character had brown hair, swept bangs, big eyes and freckles (of course) :) I’m not sure if it really looked like me but some of them really did look like the people they represented. Ali’s mom, for example, was a spitting image! Except for the ball hands of course.
One of the highlights of the last few days in Melbourne were going to the top of The Rialto after exploring the University of Melbourne to see the city from many, many stories up. The city had a bit of a haze over it, being nasty-hot and breezeless, but it was beautiful and we could see all these sites we’d seen over the last week like the historic St. Kilda Pier and fish and chips shop turned ritzy café at the end of it. The photo is a composite panorama from Lisa's cool photo software from pictures she took. Cool, eh?
At the University we explored an air-conditioned art gallery that had a rather diverse display of art, from old Russian movie posters and Eastern European warning signs (like, danger, this machine could cut your hand off – with fine deco art to accompany the warning) to stained glass (with one figure looking eerily like Gillian Anderson) to turn of the century portraits. (picture of girl studying at the university)
And for extra fun, here’s a pic of the scary entrance to Luna Park – a Coney Island type park built by none other than an American ex-pat who loved Coney and was inspired to build a Coney Island type park in Australia. Sadly, no Nathan’s hotdogs were to be found around Luna but I’m sure there were fish and chips somewhere nearby.
Another fun thing we did was go to moonlight (or was it midnight?) cinema in the botanical gardens in the middle of the city (pic of lisa, me and wayne enjoying cool wine on a hot evening). We had a yummy picnic of cheeses, breads, dips, sausages, fruit and wine. Definitely the best spread at the gardens! We brought chairs, blankets, a bean bag and settled in as it got dark and the bats emerged, flying around above and very likely keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Then the movie, Happy Feet, started. I had seen it before (and little did I know was going to see it again on the plane from Taipei to San Fran) but it was just as amusing as I remembered and outside on a big inflatable screen is definitely the best way to see a movie!
We also went to Queen Victoria Market and walked the stands. Looking at Australiana, cheap clothes, fruit, meat, live birds. It was disgusting hot but I got to eat yummy food and enjoy the company of Wendy Lisa and Ali. In addition, Lisa and I (on one of our sleep-in days) got to spend some time at Wendy’s pet shop where I played with puppy, squeaked the squeaky toys just to piss Wendy off (that was great fun!) and tried a legendary meat pie from the neighboring shop.
More Aussie (Ozzie?) joy in the next post as well...