Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Rainy Day In Melbourne

We've been here a week now and hadn't seen any significant precipitation, which I'd call awfully lucky for a vacation.  But today our luck finally ran out, and the rain moved in:

Tammy and I managed to get a tennis game in this morning, before it got wet, and Vicki and I even got to the nearby Subway for lunch just ahead of the first deluge. Since then, though, we've been socked in by the rain.  It was home cooking (steak, rice & corn) for dinner and now we've settled in for some Aussie TV viewing, as it's just too intimidating to head out in the downpour that's been happening for hours now.

In the absence of anything very interesting by way of a travel update for the day, here are a few tidbits that I've been looking for the chance to introduce:
  • "No worries" appears to be the most common go-to phrase around here, as it gets used in place of "You're welcome," "That's OK," and even "See you later," sometimes.
  • Everything's incredibly expensive here, sometimes costing as much as twice what we're used to paying back home.  However, the high cost of living can sometimes be at least a little misleading, as posted prices in AUS always include any taxes and tips that might apply.  So a plate of fish & chips for $22.50 seems outrageous, but to compare apples to apples you'd have to consider it as being more like $17.50 before adding 13% HST and 15% tip in Ontario.
  • Melbourne's impressive in many ways, including how energetic and vibrant it is.  You see a huge number of cyclists here, as well as people walking and running.  We'd only been here about a day before I remarked to Vicki that there were hardly any obese people to be seen, in sharp contrast to what you see today in any major American city, for example.  There's a real emphasis on physical activity here, making it easy for Tammy and I to undertake our goal of working out once a day during our visit.
  • Vicki's been keeping a journal of our trip, which she started in the Detroit airport before we got on our first flight.  I'm terribly impressed by this, as I know writing doesn't come naturally to her as it does for some of us.  I really hope she decides to type up her notes when we get home, so that she can share them with others.
  • I've loved getting to know Tammy again, after years of not seeing her very often.  This is the largest amount of quality time she and I have had in probably a decade or more, and I wouldn't have missed this experience for anything.

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