Trip Start May 02, 2007
71Trip End Ongoing
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It's now been twenty-six days since we arrived here
We've grown to dislike St. Kilda. It's a backpacker's haven, teeming with young rowdy twenty-somethings full of booze and testosterone. In other words, we would have loved it about eight years ago! The flat we are living in right now is part of a block of other furnished suites, rented out mostly to backpackers. At least once a day it feels like we are living in the 'hood as our neighbours blast hip-hop at ear-popping levels. There are actually hookers working the streets near our place too. Now, it's not exactly Whalley, if that's what you're thinking, but it just didn't turn out to be the ideal place to live for a thirty-something married couple. We just want some peace and quiet and close access to a beach. Is that too much to ask for? We actually briefly went apartment hunting, but after going to our first open house and having to admit that we don't have jobs, and feeling like complete knobs, we decided it would be best to wait until we're employed. So, once that income starts rolling in we will find our own flat. This time we are looking in Elwood, one neighborhood over, and still on the beach
So besides job-hunting, what have we actually done since we've been here, you ask? Well, as I said, not a whole lot. But there have been a couple of things we've tried to check out. We had to drive to the airport to pick up the package my parents sent us so, to make good use of the rented car, we made a little side-trip to a town called Woodend. According to Yvonne, it looks like an American mid-west town. It has one main drag lined with real-estate agencies, restaurants and bakeries. We didn't stick around long and made off for an attraction called the Hanging Rock. Only, we never made it there. The road to it was closed, so we followed the signs for the detour. They took us to another road that led to the Hanging Rock. The only problem was, this road was closed too. So we tried to get around but couldn't find another road into it. We cut our losses, turned around and headed back for Melbourne. On the plus side, we did see the rock from a distance. It was a nice rock, as far as rocks are concerned.
Yvonne found a Lululemon store (we were shocked to find out there are also three in Sydney and over fifty worldwide - when did that happen?) and went nuts stocking up on clearance items for her thrice weekly beach yoga classes at 6 AM (believe me, that is the first time I've ever used "thrice")
About the only other thing worth mentioning that we did was go to the 28th annual St. Kilda Festival, which was held this past Sunday. 300,000 people flocked to our neighbourhood and filled up the car-free streets. 50 bands from all the genres played on numerous stages around the festival grounds. Sitting on the dead, dry, yellow grass in front of an outdoor stage brought back fond memories of the Lollapaloozas, Arts County Fairs, and Another Roadside Atrractions past. There were swing, tap, and salsa dancing demos you could join in on, kite-surfing and wakeboarding demos, and a pro beach volleyball tournament. We hungered for the sugar-donuts and ice cream on sale around, but when we saw a small cup of "gelato" going for $8 we lost our appetites. The uber-cool (Yvonne's term, which I like) were out in full force. It would be our estimate that 99% were the uber-cool crowd, trying to out-cool each other. And not just young people; moms, dads, and grandparents were making us feel like absolute nerds. Melbourne is just that kind of city. We lasted about three hours in the craziness before we retreated to the cool, quiet comforts of our pad. When did we get so old?
As a last note, Wednesday February 13, 2008 is a historical day for Australia. The government is giving a formal apology to the aboriginal people of Australia, admitting to all the wrongs they've done them over the past many decades, especially to the "stolen generations", the thousands of aboriginal children who were taken away from their families and put into foster homes and social care. It has been all over the news for the past while and is a major topic of discussion right now; aboriginals are flocking to Canberra, the nation's capital, to see the official apology in person. Hopefully this is the first step in erasing the huge black mark in Australia's history and dealing with the modern problems of today.