2006-10-20 Melbourne


Without wishing to sound critical, I have the opinion that Melbourne is the Toronto of Australia. A city of about 3 million on a large lakish body of water, flat, sprawling, served by streetcars. A city of neighbourhoods that is also home to the country’s banks and media institutions. You may also have guessed that I liked it there. Stayed in a nice hostel that was a big converted house in the St. Kilda’s neighbourhood. Wandered, explored, marvelled at the train stations (okay, it can get nerdy) and went to galleries and cafes. The added bonus was that it was cold! It felt a bit like Christmas was coming even though the climate of the antipodes should suggest the opposite to me. Everyone was wearing trousers and jackets. They came across as stylish (they probably were), but it was a change from the sunnies, togs, and thongs of the Gold Coast.


2007-11-08 Burleigh Heads


My parents flew Down Under to visit for three weeks. I navigated the tourist traps and kitchy malls of the Gold Coast on the bus only to discover that the quickest way to get to their hotel was to walk through the labyrinthine suburbs. For the past two months I would regularly get lost in the suburbs on runs (for hours, it was really quite amazing who difficult it was to find a way out) but now I am an expert. I had a hard time “fnding” my parents because their phone in the room didn’t ring and they didn’t wake up when I knocked on the door. Eventually we managed to link up and go for a pretty nice dinner in their hotel. It was the best option since it was absolutely teeming rain outside.


2007-11-09 Surfers Paradise


The rain didn’t stop but it lightened a bit for our trip to see Surfers Paradise. I warned them my parents that it was a bit like Las Vegas/Niagara Falls, but when we stepped off the bus, my mother said “I didn’t imagine this”. Despite the wind and the rain, the beach still impressed and we ducked in and out of arcades to stay dry. We also wound up spending an hour in the casino just waiting for the bus. I played a couple pokie machines. I don’t get the appeal of the game, especially since I always lose.


2007-11-11 Airlie Beach


My parents and I flew up to Mackay and then rented a car for the drive to Airlie Beach for the night. Stayed in the most fifties motel imaginable. Had, however, a good meal at a local sporting club featuring a couple of guys on acoustic guitars just playing for kicks.