Wow, to start, let me apologise for the long delay in blog posting! As you'll see, it's been a busy few days, tons has happened...
So, End of Day 7. After posting my last... post... I proceeded back to the IMAX to watch TRON: Legacy. In a word: Wow. I wanted to take a picture of the screen because it was so big, but I was standing at the back of the theatre and couldn't get it into my camera screen. It was about a hundred feet high. I'm amazed they managed to keep it in High Def 3D when it was that big, but it looked amazing. Well worth the 18 bucks to get in. The movie itself had a slightly weak plot line, but it was well acted, Olivia Wilde was hot, and the special effects were awesome.
After the movie, I took a loooooong but enjoyable walk down to Albert Park where I met John and Murray and watched Murrays Basketball game, before heading home and falling straight asleep at about 11.
Next morning, Murrays older brother Jean-Pierre had arrived from Brisbane to see his Mom. I took a picture, will caption the new ones as soon as possible. Probably after I finish writing this actually. Nice guy, glad to have met all the family now.
So now, after saying farewell, I proceeded to the train station to catch a train to see my parents friend Helen. Of course, just my luck that they were doing signal works on the tracks, so no trains. The replacement bus didn't show up for half an hour, so already running late, I arrived at the nearby train station to Helen's. And of course there were no taxis at the stand. Some nice people at a nearby bar helped me call one, and then finally I arrived. My parents have a habit of not forewarning me about situations... first Canada and the certain people not talking to others (really put my foot in it then...) and now failing to warn me I was heading into a Sabbath lunch. Actually, I'm not sure if they knew... I'll assume they didn't.
It was... interesting.
I had questions thrown at me from all sides, which was fine. I was very nervous about doing something that would insult their customs though. Thankfully (I hope!) I did nothing wrong. Did you know that after eating meat, it's Jewish custom not to have milk in your tea? Luckily it wasn't very strong tea... Nice to learn something new though.
After dinner, I had a phone call from Murray to tell me I had left my portable battery charger behind, so the next morning I had another long walk back to Johns house to pick it up. It wasn't a long visit, but it knocked some time from my Melbourne visit that day.
So, on the train to inner Melbourne, about 40 odd University students came on board, and I started chatting to them. They were on some sort of Scavenger hunt, and of course one of the items was to find a stranger to swap shirts with and they got bonus points if they could keep the shirt.
I wasn't about to say no to several pretty girls.
So, I waved farewell to my shirt (See pictures), but got a Uni group one in return. Never really expected the shirts to make it back home to be honest. At least I had some fun!
Aft6er arriving in Melbourne, first task was to time how long it took me to walk to the hostel from the bus stop (24 minutes). Lovely place, really nice hostel. Power sockets and a light beside each bed, a cabinet to lock your things into by the beds, would really recommend it to anyone traveling through Melbourne. It's called the Space Hotel.
Aaaand onto Day 10. Arrived at the bus stop early (Had to get up at 6AM >.<) and loaded up, met some cool German travellers on the bus and we had a good chat about Australia and travelling and places to visit. Talking to travellers has gotten me some great advice as to hostels to stay and places to visit. Picking up on that grapevine is a useful tool.
As we were getting on board, one girl had a bunch of extra luggage with her, including a bike and a little table. She was moving house, and taking some of her stuff with her it seemed. The bus driver was being a real ass about it and saying she had to pay an extra $80 or she had to get off the bus (he was quite prepared to leave her stranded in a foreign city with all her stuff). She had already paid the excess charge for her previous journey (Adelaide -> Melbourne) and only had $50 left. I jumped in and said I would pay the extra 30 bucks... I mean, who wants to be left stuck on the platform? It would really suck if it was me, so I was happy to help out.
Her name was Sarah (pronounced Sara though) and we had a good chat when we reached Albury (Her mom is ferocious and got on the phone to the bus people, freaked at them, and we both got our money back anyway). She said I should put here that I saved her from 4 heavily armed men. I'm a drama queen, but not that much! Anyway, there's a picture of the people I met on the bus in my piccies.
The bus driver gave us plenty of scares. Not the brightest bulb on the christmas tree that one. He stalled the bus 3 times in a row trying to set off from a hill (I would have understood once if it was a manual bus. It was an Automatic. What the heck?) and then when a light came on to the dashboard, described an exclamation mark to the head office over the radio as 'A straight kind question mark, you know, like an i upside down'. Also, his ability to keep the bus within the lane was... iffy at best. Bit like a rollercoaster ride, sometimes you really thought you were going to die.
Arrived in Canberra half an hour late, and sure enough, Mike picked me up on a Tandem. Lovely city really, and nice to meet everyone here. You should see the birds, they're huge! They look like a cross between a pigeon on steroids and a toucan. Insane.
Anyway, it's now Day 11 for me, so I'm off into the city (I've been lent a bike) to have a look around Canberra. First stop is the Indian High Commission, to sort out my India visa.
Hope everyone is well.