Week 1 of trekking around

Here’s to another long overdue post! Frankly, I have just been too lazy to compile all of my photos and pick and choose the ones to post here for another blog post but I will do it, for you guys! (Honestly, I don’t even know how many people actually read my blog T_T) So, instead of blogging about my daily life here, I will cut it down to short and sweet weekly ventures and write about the utmost important subjects! Pardon me if I don’t blog often because school won’t start for another week and so I’m just running around getting used to the city and whatnot. But once school starts, I’ll either blog a lot or very little. Nonetheless, this is going to be a long one so let’s begin shall we?

Last time, I left off at the end of day 1 after a long flight followed by a sweet, deep sleep into day 2. Day 2 started with a frantic text message that got me rushing for the tram to go to a church. Although I was still a bit shaky from the tiring flight, I met 2 awesome siblings who took us to this huge church that pretty much held its service inside a theatre. The service was not too long but the music was amazing!

Afterwards, our new friends took us walking around downtown and into sketchy alleyways that are perfect for foodie adventures. We decided to eat at a place called Jungle Juice and I ordered a $12 chilli and a passion fruit soda can. I have to say although I found a “hair” in the chilli, otherwise the place was a tiny cozy and quaint restaurant with super neat menus made out of old children’s books.

I must say that the city itself is very beautiful and European looking in its architecture and building materials. From cathedrals to old clock towers, everything looked ancient or at least in some way, had history. Now, as much as I am a fan of old architectural designs, I love modern architecture as well and Melbourne seems to deliver both very well. It sometimes feel like there was a clash between the old and the new and architects went super creative in designing some of the buildings. Here are some photographic evidence to show.

Flinders street station shown below in the luminescent lighting!

One thing that really surprised me was the discrepancy between things found in Australia versus things found in North America. Talking to the natives made me realize there were actually a lot of things we say differently and things we look at differently, it was quite hilarious. For example, sweaters were called jumpers, take outs were known as take aways, petrol versus gas, car park and parking lot, arvo and afternoon (what?), lolly versus candies, CHIPS instead of french fries (?!?!), and one of the biggest shockers were flip flops being called THONGS. The last one confused me a whole lot when the girl on the plane said that it was cold in Melbourne and she had only wore thongs. And I do not remember having a Lindt chocolate cafe in Canada nor the states. 😦

We then walked around the business district (GPO as seen in one of the pictures above), briefly through Chinatown, past the state library, and shopping malls after shopping malls. I found time another day to tour around my campus to get acquainted. Boy, was I amazed at its beauty. I’ll let the photos do the talking. 🙂

I was on campus for reasons such as to open a bank account at the campus bank and to ask the exchange office some questions. The lady at the exchange office was super friendly and talkative and gave me some pointers on transit. While walking through campus, I felt like I was at Hogwarts or something, the buildings were so lovely and sophisticated! I’m actually going back again on campus tomorrow to check out some other buildings and find the sports complex. It’s actually quite a large campus and I kind of already got lost a couple of times so I don’t want that to happen when school starts!

Next day, one of the new friends took me to around the St, Kilda area where there’s a beach, blue seas, and an immense amount of gently swaying palm trees. It was so odd for me to see palm trees everywhere but I guess because Australia’s kind of tropical? Anyways, weird. But they were nevertheless mesmerizing.

It’s far too cold to do anything beachy so we just walked alongside the shore and onto the pier where it led us farther out to the sea. Apparently if you take a boat on the other side to Phillip Island, you can see loads of penguins!

And here’s a panorama view of the whole thing (you can click to view larger):

To be more environmental friendly, Melbourne also has their version of the BIXI (I do not know what it’s called yet) but the troublesome thing is you have to be wearing a helmet to use those things and if you get caught, you’d get fined big time!

Moving along the week led me to meet some new people, our super hyperactive friends from Singapore! They were really friendly and helped plan day trips around the city for us. They took us to Federation Square (which was a must see), DFO (an outlet for your shopping needs), a Malaysian restaurant, the Queen Victoria Market (which I live 5 mins away from), and the Melbourne Museum! Federation square was a long awaited monumental area to visit for me and of course, it did not disappoint. Some actually say that it’s the ugliest part of the city because everything’s so grey but I’d like to think otherwise.

We walked there during the evening time and it was especially pretty with all of the lit-up lights and people just chilling on the steps people watching. Nonetheless Fed square during the day is equally as amazing.

Walking past Fed square led us to overlooking the Yarra River. It was also extremely dashing during the night with the bustling people and lights.

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That Eiffel Tower looking figure at the left is an art gallery. That’s another thing that caught me by the eye is the amount of artistry Melbourne beholds, it’s absolutely wonderful! From street arts to interestingly designed buildings to beautiful bridges and random objects of art on streets, they all remind me of a lot of stuff back home.

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The Seafarers Bridge over the Yarra River near the convention centre shown below.


After a long day of shopping at the outlets where the stuff was actually affordable, I decided to call it quits because frankly, I was dead tired and my legs were dragging. Here are some photos from those food alleyways!

Week 1 also consisted of some delicious food from all kinds of countries and although expensive, they were definitely worth it (except the ramen, that was not okay). To be continued…

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