I'm now in Sydney for the third and final leg of my trip to the other side of the world. I haven't had much free time (that I haven't filled with seeing the sights, that is), so I'll just cover my first leg in Melbourne in this post.
I left on Wednesday evening, May 4 in NY, and arrived in Melbourne after an over 24-hour travel time on Friday morning, May 6. Overall, it wasn't a bad time--had the seat next to me empty for both my flight to LA and then to Melbourne. I managed to sleep quite a bit, and also read and watched a few movies.
I was picked up at the airport by my friend and former colleague Antonella (an Australian who married an American, Chris. Antonella worked at Little, Brown in the production department) and her two young kids Ali and Thomas. We stopped at a cafe in the airport for coffee and a bite to eat.
|Ali (with a straw mustache)
|my veggie roll
|my first cup of coffee in Melbourne. I needed it after my 24-hour journey!
|my first meat pie in Melbourne
|magpie (saw many of these on my run)
|saw lots of these signs, too. Didn't see any snakes, though! Thank goodness.
|Ali and Thomas, looking quite serious for children who have just had their faces painted!
|these are actually BATS hanging in the trees in the park. (grey-headed flying foxes to be precise)
|driving (on the wrong side of the car) on the Great Ocean Road.
|Antonella in the back seat with two sleeping children.
We ended up in a town called Lorne, where we stepped on the beach, played in a playground, and stopped in shops, including three bookstores.
|Hey, look! FADE TO BLUE by Sean Beaudoin! In a bookstore in Lorne.
We ended the night with a huge fish n chips feast--an imported, but popular Australian cuisine. We had flake, which apparently is shark.
|fish and chips. and a snack called "dim sim".
|Karen, Susannah, Eva, me
After lunch, Karen and I walked to Lygon Street (down back alleys and through a park) where we had coffee and dessert.
|nutella and strawberry pizza with ice cream on top!
Overall, I'm enjoying the trip immensely, meeting great people, seeing beautiful sights. It took me about three days to get over jetlag, and I'm still not used to being so far ahead in terms of the time difference (14 hours! I'm writing this around 5:30 pm on Monday evening, and it's around 3:30 am Monday morning in NY. I'm writing this from the future!).
-don't try to get into the front passenger seat of a car on the right side. I did that twice.
-raisins are called sultanas here. Raisins do exist here, but they are a bit bigger/plumper than ours.
-if an Australian ask if you're from Canada, that means they like you. Or, they've learned that Canadians get offended if thought to be American.
-Australians call treating for drinks, meals, etc. "shouting"--if you're out drinking with a group of six, you can expect to have six drinks, because each person will be expected to shout a round.
-Australians drink a lot.
-candy is called "lollies"--as in, "Can I have another lolly?" asked Thomas. "Can I have a lolly if I finish my dinner?" asked Ali. :)
-The $2 coin is small and fat, the $1 is larger and thinner. (it's the opposite in New Zealand, which was confusing)
-The temperature here is about the same as it is currently in NYC, but as it's late Fall here, the days are very short.
Next up...Auckland! To be continued...