Monday, 2 February 2009

Melting Melbourne

I'm terribly sorry about my performance as a blogger the last few days. My last entry was poor at best, so so soryy, but it wasn't my fault. It was 'The Heat'. I give it a name because I never felt heat like it.

I arrived in Melbourne last Wednesday to the first day of a 4 day over 40 degree heat wave, the hottest to hit the city since, like, I dunno, ever. I don't know, dear reader, if you've ever been outside in 45 degree dry heat before, but I hadn't. When the wind blew, rather that a relief, it felt like hot sandpaper on my skin and my eye balls were going to evaporate. So in short, not nice and it rendered me incapable of doing anything vaguely worhwhile. Not even in the evennings could I adventure around the city as it was still 35 plus (nighttime was not a pleasurable experience). So for my first couple of days here, I merely rose in the morning read my book inside the hostel, when for a swim then in the evening either watched the tennis (Australian Open) or went to the cinema (so it wasn't all bad). I saw Benjamin Button- over rated, if it beats any of the other films esp Milk to the Oscar, I will be most displeased- and the Class, a documentary style film about a teacher in a rough school in Paris. It was so realistic there were times I wanted to shout at the screen to tell those bloody kids to shut-up. Why anyone is a teacher i don't know (hi mum).

Anyway, finally on Sunday, the weather broke- a chilly 30 degrees and I was able to go outside for more than a 5 minute period without melting. A nice chap called James that I briefly met in Madrid last year had remembered I was coming to Melbourne and had invited me to lunch with some of his friends. However, he had forgotten it was Chinese New Year and we ate in Chinatown (as he is Chinese, I felt his absent mindedness rather hap-hazard) and during our meal we got punced upon by a dragon- man than on tryingto leave, we were trapped inthe establishment by what seemed like a thousand fire crackers going off at the restaurant door.
We made it out relatively unscathed, although rather deaf. James proved to be a very nice chap (to be honest I barely remebered meeting him in Spain, how bad of me), but for some reason I was struck by a sudden case of nerves during the meal and talked even more crap than usual so don't think I made a terribly good impression. Oh well.

Yesterday, I had an unexpected good time shopping for clothes for going hiking in Tasmania. Did I mention I'm doing a 7 day trek? I am a fool. However, as I have barely any appropriate clothing, I made a list and went to it. I thought it would be a horrid experience trawling throught hiking shops, but maybe its because I've banned myself from 'pleaaure shopping' (I re-evaluated my budget and realised I'm drastically over spending so I now have a daily allowance that I can ony break for essentials), but it was terribly good fun and I got lots of very pretty walking clothes. I never would have known there was such variety in walking gear! However, it was quite pricey, so I have decided that I will trek lots in New Zealand to justify the spend.

Right, I'm typed out out and don't have much else to report. My new hostel is very nice- activity evenings etc, but I'm not really clicking with anyone like I did in Sydney. I think its the prospect of having an entire week with constant company in Tasmania quite soon that is making me enjoy some quality alone time. That and there does seem to be a high proportion of rather odd (but harmless- I hope) people here. There is one lady, she must be at least 60 (and time has not been kind) who keeps trying to tell anyone who will listen that her husband is Chinese and she makes paper lanturns for the Chinese museum and another African sounding chap that keeps accusing people of being on drugs and narrating the events occuring in a room when he enters. However, at present I don't share a dorm with any of these oddities so I just smile at their antics and dive out of the kitchen on their approach.

I need to be careful around odd people as they seem to gravitate toward me like bees to honey. I'm not sure why, prehaps it's because I'm too polite to ignore them or maybe, as the mad German from Sydney said, I have a good aura. That must be it.

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