Monday, July 1, 2013

Men's short shorts, ugly buildings, and drunks

They make taking a trip into dowtown Melbourne quite easy, lots of public transportation and crowds of Rugby fans sloshing their way into the city. As you arrive into the city, and more specifically the transport central of Federation Square, you come into that square army colored building on the bottom there, named the 5th ugliest building in the world by Virtual Tourist. Nothing says "Welcome to Melbourne!" like that.

I took a day trip into the city on one of the sunny days (most days have been about 12-15 degrees Celsius, or 50-60 Fahrenheit). I think heading into cities is a lot of fun, they are full of energy and life and sights, but they can also be exhausting. I wandered around downtown on a Saturday afternoon, and noticed that everyone, and I mean everyone, was wearing red. Come to find out there was a huge Rugby match on that afternoon, the Lions (yellow) versus the Wallabies (red) - and the streets and pubs were overflowing, kind of like a Sunday afternoon during football season. It was fun to walk around and listen to all the singing of team songs, seeing men in short Rugby shorts, and people in good spirits.

The opposing teams sitting side by side in a pub

The abundant Wallabies fans

The Lions - getting interviewed, they were outnumbered. (With the famous Arts Centre Spire in the back)
As I continued walking around town I noticed how multicultural the city seemed to be; the city isn't full of Crocodile-Dundee-like men and Aboriginals, but rather people of all mixes. While walking, I eventually ran into Melbourne's very own China town. The Chinese restaurants sold a lot of fish and sushi was everywhere (even though that's Japanese...) seeing as we're in a coastal town. Just up the way was Greek corner, full of yummy bakery shops and Greek food. Apparently Melbourne has the largest Greek population of any city in the world, outside of Greece.

Now I referenced earlier in my blog the interesting animal encounters I may have in Australia, which I rambled on about here. Well now that I've had kangaroo steaks, which were mighty tasty, lean, and earthy, I want to touch back on a few others. Most importantly of which is dog poo. There are 90 tons of dog poo left on the streets of Melbourne each day. Now as I've walked around a few of the suburbs and the main city, I have miraculously not seen much - imagine my delight! Now that I know the soles of my shoes are safe, I set my mind to greater things. Next being, Batmania. Now this part is true, Batman is around. I saw the road to his house, and surprisingly, he lives in suburbia. Come to think of it, the ugly building from the above picture looks an awfully like the bat cave.... now I wonder.

Another thing is how expensive alcohol is here, the exchange rate is more or less 1:1. For example, a bottle of Jack Daniels on special is AUD $44. A 24 pack of Heineken is AUD $56 on special. A 24 pack of local Victoria Bitter beer is AUD$ 40 on special. Apparently there are some microbrews around, so I'm keeping my eyes open. With such high taxes on alcohol, it's a wonder how Aussies have a reputation for drinking so much. Well maybe it has something to do with the fact that full-time minimum wage is $16.37 per hour . Time to start looking for a job!

So far, I'm loving Melbourne!


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