Melbourne, Australia
37° 48' S 144° 57' E
Sep 11, 2006 02:43
Distance 714km

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ANOTHER 48 hours

continuing with our theme....

canberra is a bizarro wasteland of suburbs - and that's just downtown. so imagine what there is to do in highlands ranch on the weekend, and you know why we drove to melbourne, 7 hours away. it's only been a week here, but already I was getting a crop of suburbia hives so not complaining at all.

P got a speeding ticket 2 hours in - serious bummer! especially with him having no aus drivers licence yet, no passport (is at the indian embassy waiting for a visa), no proof of his aus address and just a generally suspicious nature (are you a terrorist...or greek?). in the states, these are all grounds to get thrown in the slammer - which is where I thought this was headed. or even worse -  that the cop would insist that I take over driving....

(side note on that - I've been practicing that driving thing around canberra. and....well....ummmm.....you know they drive on the (err...) wrong side of the road here. and maybe you remember I can sometimes be a little freakish and scatter brained (...helLO ... I said SOMEtimes). well...let's just say this driving thing has been a little rough - everything is reversed. the windsheild wiper isn't actually the blinker, even though it's on the SAME DAMN side as where I remember it. and when you accidentally hit the wiper instead of the blinker, it makes this horrible scraping sound (not that quiet little 'dink-o, dink-o'), so you (I) jump twice - first from realizing you messed up, again. and then from the horrible scraping sound. again. and the stick shift is a whole new circus - been ages since I drove one, let alone left-handed & backwards (is that reverse or 5th gear?). and the whole time I'm thinking "dont forget you drive on the left here. don't forget, you drive on the...." - not exactly a calm and zen-like driving mind. now, suddenly, I'm aware of traffic lights and signs and now they're EVERYWHERE and I can read them all (take me back to thai script, please!). and I'd turn down the music if it wasn't so GOOD.....and, and, .... ARGH!   it's been rough. but I'm geting better. and I've only bumped into the curb once. and haven't bumped into any cars at ALL....)

so I was feeling freakish and panicked about the cop forcing me to drive the rest of the weekend. but, lucky girl, I'm in australia - a magical place where you CAN go around with no licence, and no passport, looking like a terrorist (P, I mean. of COURSE not me) and speeding everywhere, and in the end only pay $50US. 20 mins later we were back on the road. with P driving. hooray!

melbournes plan was to meet up with some of P's friends  (peter, clair, gavin, anthony), most of them from the early days in south africa where P is from. also hit some art galleries (mmmm...art), got to play around on gavin's 24" imac (mmmm.....beautifully designed white computers), rode in his mini-cooper (as if it could get any better!) and generally gawked at the fantastic living these peeps have.

peter, clair and gavin live in  prahran, a sweet downtown hood full of old buildings (nice after all the new-ness of sydney and canberra), home stores (only modern design, thanks very much), non-chain clothing shops (tho sadly nothing I can afford), galleries (mmmm....more art), restaurants (romanian, thai, indian, italian in one block), new cars, tiny dogs wearing outfits, grafitti and clubs. so far life in aus has felt like a slice of my old life, only without cute shoes. or the budget to buy 'em. or the space to carry 'em around in.  which is both wonderful and excruciating all at the same time.

saturday night brought on too many hours of silliness. you know the night you have good intentions to get to a club, but the bar you start at keeps serving drinks (some do that you know) and the crowd you're with keeps being fun, and next thing you know....what time is it? and actually, you don't even think to ask what time it is cause you really don't care. and you end up buying more beers (got free heinekin hats!), to drink at someone's house (in this case, clair and peter's), and someone has picked up a 'male model' who maybe someone else knows but no one is really sure, who passes out 2 hours in, and really he doesn't even look like a male model but who cares. and then you get out the camera so the silliness can be documented  and luckily there's lots of it and even some that (thankfully) doesn't get documented. and finally you can't take it anymore and it's time to go home and the birds are chirping.... I LOVE those kind of nights! 

needless to say was a great weekend, and I'm SO not living like a backpacker. lucky for us, we're back to melb again next weekend.  but for now, it's back to canberra for P's last week of work. and my last week of not unpacking.

 

Photos / videos of "ANOTHER 48 hours":

typical countryside eeek - reminds me of the midwest! took a detour through heaven but then..... (snapped these before P came back to the car and said 'not a good idea to take pics'.... whoops) full moon! dashboard camera art more...(not speeding now)   gavin's mini-cooper scoring the free hats (peter n me)  petros n clair    male model pre-pass-out     us plus kylie  male model post-pass-out (note the hand still clutching cell phone. nice form.)