Monday, October 13, 2008


So here I am on the other side of the planet. The cars drive on the left side of the road. Everybody is extremely outgoing and friendly. The toilets actually flush the same way as in the U.S.

The Victorian coast seems to have a surplus of beauty and not really enough residents or tourists to appreciate it all. The shoreline alternates between gorgeous desert-red beaches and dramatic 200 foot cliffs. The chain of small beach towns seem to be quite community oriented despite a So. Cal. type real estate market. The prime beach front areas are typically devoted to public park space. Late at night in Lorne you can climb the fence and frolic in the trampoline park (or in the skate park if that’s your thing). The springs are super tight and with up to 8 rectangular launch pads lined up in a row you can really feel like a kangaroo traversing the lot. If you manage to break your leg you don’t even have to sue anybody since everyone has free health care.

Speaking of kangaroos though, I have seen a few, though they looked pretty sleepy since they’re nocturnal. The wallabies (at least the ones I’ve seen) have been a bit livelier and they look just like kangas only a bit smaller. I still wouldn’t want to be caught in the ring with one. Koalas are pretty sleepy as well but also itchy and into defecating. I’ve added about 60 birds to my life list so far including most of the stereotypical Aussies: just listen for laughter coming from the nearest gum tree to see a kookaburra; cockatoos, flaunting their sulphur mohawks wander around in some places as oblivious to people as pigeons; and many parrots are tame enough to be hand fed crackers. No emus yet.

Tonight I’m staying in only my second paid accommodation, a backpacker hostel in Melbourne. About three months ago the Aussie dollar was worth 98 US cents. According to a local radio host it is currently worth “3 buttons, but could drop down to a button and a half.” This is great news as I can scrap a few of my nicer shirts and annoying button-fly jeans in case money gets tight.

My number one Aussie friend, ‘Susan,’ has done an awesome job as tour guide/host, finding me and cousin and travel companion, ‘Brenda,’ free places to stay with her parents and friends, and driving us all over map. Unfortunately she had to go back to work today so our days of freeloading are at an end. Though the most innocuous events and people seem able to put ‘Brenda’ on emotional tilt, I’m happy to say she is doing quite well and thoroughly enjoying herself. She has only lost a few things and can carry all of her possessions for at least a block and a half without collapsing.

That’s it for now. I have got to go queue up for the free pasta dinner. Thanks for reading my long-overdue, first, and hopefully not last blog entry. Good on ya.


Scott said...

So I tried to post this yesterday at around 6 pm eastern aus time, but because the internet is so unbearably slow here I couldn't manage to click 'save' and then 'publish' in the right order with the correct amount of patience.

For similar reasons I can't make the layout look better or integrate the pictures into the text.

Oh well. It's a first effort.

Bob said...

wow! 2 new blogs in 24 hours! and a black winged redbird! Keep posting and let me know when you do, if it won't do that automatically.


pammyj said...

Love the pictures and keeping up this way. Keep the postings coming. Your blogging mom

Tyler said...

sounds excellent. tell brenda to keep her chin up. have you done any camping yet? hope the weather stays as dry as it looks.