It’s been a while since I updated my blog, reason for that is that I’ve been taking it easy while I stayed with my friend Corinne.
I’m in Melbourne now, and it seems to be a much larger town than I had the impression Sydney had.
Reason for this is most likely the Time these two very different towns had while they grew.
The gold rush caused Melbourne to grow exponentially, and it spread out itself. Sydney seems to have grown over time, expanding towards the small towns that sprung up along the bay and the river. Whereas Melbourne is situated on a bay that’s much much wider. People didn’t form new towns, they just expanded Melbourne itself, and that was made possible by the new transit systems the rich town had at the time.l
My friend lives in the eastern suburbs, a place called Borona. Her house is next to a native reserve which expands towards the south. There are many birds and animals close by. Even cuckaburra’s that favor her garden, though they were pretty absent while I’ve been here.
S. far I’ve been in town with her brother Steven and his visiting friend Ash, just roaming the area around Elizabeth street. We went in a huge scifi/fantasy place, there I finally found a book to take along. And we went to the pancake parlour. I’m there at this moment as well, having a breakfast.
After breakfast, a nice simple pancake dish, I went into the mall. The place is dominated by a huge building. It seems to be something of a monument, high, and situated right under a high dome.
The shops were still mostly closed, even at ten o’clock, so I went to see what they were showing in the cinema. I bought a ticket for Puss in Boots and had to pay extra for a 3D goggles which apparently were pretty expensive cause the price was about twice that of a movie in the Netherlands.
The movie had already started, well, the commercials were, and even though I was about 5 minutes later, it still lasted for a good 20 minutes more before the movie really started. The ticket I bought was a center aisle, smack in the middle seat. However, as I got into the room I noticed 4 other people coming to see the movie, two of which were in the seat I had bought. There were about 500 seats, and they had to go sit on the seat I had bought. Didn’t they buy their own seat numbers?
I decided not to make a fuss and went to sit a few seat away from the center in the same row and almost regretted my decision as the girl of the couple in my seat was talking and talking and doing things with her bright telephone. Fortunately they silenced as the movie actually started.
Puss in boots is a fun movie, nothing special, but definitely fun if you like cats. Lots of cliche fairytale stories and a few skewed as to my memory of the fairytales I heard as a kid.
After the movie I went in search for some christmas presents for my friend Corinne. I promised her something and went to get some money. For this I wanted to use my corporate American Express card. As it turned out, the card didn’t work anywhere. I must have tried at least four major banks and a few smaller ones, until one of the directed me to Collins street, where I could get help with the AmEx card. I walked into Collins street and didn’t see anything that could help me until I remembered that there was also a lt. (little) Collins street. So I took a road leading north from there and ended up at the real Collins street. Such a waste of time and effort as they both are not level streets, there is a definite upward slope leading towards the west.
At Collins street I first tried my card again at one of the largest Australian banks. Obviously is failed and told me I was denied access. So I went into the bank and asked if they could let me charge money from my AmEx the old fashioned way. They didn’t accept American Express and I sighed and went off, not wasting time anymore until I walked back into Collins street and noticed an AmEx office next to it. I would have passed it first if I had entered Collins street the regular way.
They told me they could not help me as it was a corporate card. I protested, after all it was an AmEx card and whom to go to with that besides them. I could not imagine what place would be more suitable to help me but them. So they took pity on me (they shouldn’t, I can take care of myself, but they should realize their responsibility as AmEx agency). One of their employees walked with me to the bank I had just failed to get money and let me try it again. She told me I had to press “credit card” on the menu, but again it told me it was denied access. SO she took me back to the agency and called the head office. Apparently I had tried too many times and she admonished me for it (duh).
She charged my card the old fashioned way, pressing the cards number into a paper slip. I got the money I needed, and went away a bit disgruntled at the uselessness of my credit card (fortunately I had a second card in reserve).
Corinne texted me that she was having lunch in the cafe next to her work so I went back there and had a salad while talking to her and two of her colleagues. I also gave her the xmas gift I promised, a little early, but she needed it sooner than later.
I went back in search for a present to put under the tree for her brother and son. This I found in a shop called Minotaur where they have an awesome collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy and other type of books, items, collectables. I bought another book, I go through books quickly when I have no other preoccupations and I bought some nice presents. Funnily enough I could not pay with my other credit card. I had decided not to use AmEx for a while as I didn’t want any more troubles, but I ended up paying with it anyway.
The store however did not wrap presents, so I had to find a way to get them wrapped somehow. I knew no store would wrap it, but maybe if I found wrapping paper…
I went into another mall and finally found wrapping paper for sale. I bought a roll and a little something for Corinne to put under the tree as well. I had to buy sticky tape along with the roll, but decided not to buy scissors.
With a public seat that had grooves I cut off pieces of paper with my eyebrow pliers and wrapped the presents the military way.
Trying to find a spot to sit and read my book was a bit difficult. I wanted a cool spot, but xmas in Melbourne is not cool in any way. It was a warm day, and even though I had dressed the weather this time I did not really find a spot to match my taste.
I had about an hour left till I would meet back with Corinne for the drive back home, and I tried about three places to sit. The second spot was reasonably ok. It was by the side of the busy Elizabeth street where an empty bench in the relative shade of a tree gave me the cool I needed, but not the quiet as it was next to a parking spot and the cars came awfully close to my knee as they parked next to it.
I went back about 15 minutes before my appointment with Corinne and waited for her a little while on a small platform near the plaza in front of her work.
The evening was ok. Steven was off to his son and Daniel had taken possession of his computer, playing games he usually was unable to play. He did so till late and I had to tell him to go to bed when it was half past midnight. At which point he hastily left and I slept a little restless. The next day I would leave, returning to Sydney as I had to be there on Sunday to fly back to Europe.