Monopoly money, alien sun and dangerous roads

Date
May 18, 2010
Location
Australia, Victoria, Melbourne
Category
Adventures
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And then there was Melbourne. Immigration into Australia was highly disappointing! Although obtaining the Immigration questionnaire and seeing it up close was pretty fun, I didn't have to go through anything else. I ticked only 'yes' to the question on medication, 'no' to all others; the Customs officer asked me what it was for, I said 'Asthma' and he said: 'Welcome to Australia.' I got a stamp saying 'Nothing to declare' and I was free to leave the airport. Ridiculous... After everything I've seen on Border Security, I at least need to have my bag torn open. Oh well.

I went for the lazy option and took a cab to my hotel. Yeah, I know, not really a die hard-option but, I was tired, agitated and tired. I was tired twice! After tipping the cab driver -$0.60 (yeah, a negative amount, I only had two $50 bills and he was cool enough to let it slide) I got out and checked in to the hotel. By now it was about 22:00h Australian EST, which means it was dark, which didn't at all help to get me more active. (This happens when you're awake for more than 24 hours. Also, I hadn't slept much on the nights of Friday to Saturday nor, Saturday to Sunday) It was shower time, followed by bed. Well, after watching some Footy on the TV... I have to blend in, don't it? It was either that or South Park.

In short, day 1 and day 2 was pretty much just sitting still and waiting. Today is day 3, the first full day in Australia.

Thus far I've managed to fill it with a quick walk down to the city center and buying some stuff that I might want to use. Although I sort of started walking in the complete opposite direction at first because... well, the sun is in the wrong spot! Silly southern hemisphere. I also keep looking in the wrong direction when I cross the street, pretty dangerous.

So, what are these things I might want to use? Things like razor blades, shaving cream and stuff like that. I didn't exactly forgot to bring those, I just didn't bring them because it's easy enough to buy. And the can of deodorant that I did intend to bring with me that got confiscated at check-in in Amsterdam. So I had to go out to get that anyway.

Next on my list was an Australian SIM card and with a little pushing and giving people a difficult time, I managed to obtain one. Now I can call to anywhere in the word from $1c/min! The magic word is of course "from"; calling to the Netherlands is $9c/min. I guess it's not too bad. The difficult time was mostly caused by the fact that I don't have an Australian passport. For some reason the activation website knew that and said I couldn't continue. Customer service was more then helpful in this matter and, also pretty good articulation (that's polite speak for: she didn't sound that Australian). I'm now calling with Lebara, if anyone cares.

Reckon the next step is to open an Australian bank account. Should be more convenient in paying for things. Back home I was making an effort in ridding my life from cash payments and here, all I do is fling with cash. I'll also have a look around for a new place to stay; I only booked the hotel I'm staying at now to have a place to get some rest after the long journey over here, never intended to stay there for very long. It's not exactly a backpacking-budget-friendly hotel at $145/night. Thought it's a very nice hotel.

I would've uploaded some pictures, maybe a video or two but, this PC, while it's much better accommodated than the one at Changi Airport, still doesn't have any USB ports. By now I have lots of video, together with what I shot in Amsterdam on day -1 (the Friday before I left) and day zero (the Saturday before I left), I have about 1.5 hours of raw material. I'll have to edit that into something that's half decent to watch.

Now, it's time for that longer walk around Melbourne. Staring at things, taking pictures of other things, stopping in the middle of intersections and unfolding several maps... you know, tourist things. After I get a drink though, all this typing is making me thirsty. I think it's because when I type, I actually move my tongue around in my closed mouth, to the words I'm typing.

Your Australian WTF of the day is this: Lynx by Unilever. I guess big cats are cooler than big sharp chopping instruments?

Photos, videos and other media

  • The Happy Pie Face Shop!
  • This sign is present on every intersection. Strange...
  • Really? I feel so dirty, just looking at it.
  • Yes, as a matter of fact, I brought lots of wood and food items.
  • A shopping center, built around an old tower. Pretty.

Location

This is my location at the time of this entry.
Check out where I am now.

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