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Flinder's across the Yarra
I was in Melbourne last week. It was a short trip, but oh, what a good time I had.

I was supposed to travel with Sunny but he was sick so I had to go alone. But I met up with Yupin who took an earlier flight. Halfway through the flight, I wished I had taken the earlier flight too. Sunny booked us for the night flight but one does not get much rest. They served us supper at 12 midnight ( Malaysian time ) so one only got to sleep at around 1AM. But at 3AM, they switched on all the lights and gave us a hot towel each. The lady sitting next to me who's going home to Tasmania after a 2-week holiday in Vietnam said, "They woke us up at 3AM to give us a hot towel??" Well, they actually gave us more than a hot towel. A muffin and a Danish. A VERY cold and hard muffin and an equally cold and hard Dansih, to be exact. I think if we threw those muffins and Danish at each other on the plane, there would have been quite a lot of serious injuries. I wondered how difficult was it to throw them into the microwave for a few seconds. Maybe microwaves are not allowed on board. Maybe they think terrorists will stuff people into microwaves and hence ban them. Speaking of terrorists, they give us stainless steel fork and spoons but plastic knives. Haven't they heard that forks can kill too? I somehow do not see the logic. Try holding a plastic knife on one hand and a metal fork on another. Somehow, one can't equally balance the pressure to be used on different kinds of cutlery.

When I arrived at Melbourne airport, I hopped onto a Skybus, which was totally convenient, not to mention cheap compared to a cab. They even provided free hotel transfers once we got into town. Yupin was already waiting for me at the apartment. I freshened up and we walked to the Australian Ballet. "Would you like to watch company class? They are about to begin in 15 minutes time," the assistant to the Artistic Director asked us. WOULD WE????!!!! Of course we would!

Hence, Yupin and I sat in for the amazingly scrumptious class full of world class dancers with fantastic technique. After a good fill, we set out to check out some stores, getting our essential supply of ballet CDs and stuff from Bloch's. We also popped over to Word, a Christian bookstore near Flinder's and I bought the Ultimate Elvis Gospel for hubby. He's been looking for it for a long time.

My main reason for visiting Melbourne this time was to watch the ballet performances. The Nutcracker, a Peter Wright of the Birmingham Royal Ballet production was fantastic. It displayed a new perspective with little Clara dancing a lot more than any other production. The set changes were magical. They also had 'remote' rat running around in the 1st scene. Then, on Sunday, I went for the Australian Ballet School Graduation performances. It was interesting to watch these up and coming new dancers. There was a particularly good Chinese boy in the graduating group. He was just so nice to look at, turning well, jumping well and was very strong in his pas de deux wrok too. Yes, I'll be on the lookout for this young man's career.

Tiara's Duplex
On Saturday, we went to Vic Mart and I spent a huge chunk of money.Tiara then took me out to 'spend my money' at DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) in Essendon. It was a huge place. There were quite a lot of good bargains there but I had to buy smart. I can't possibly carry too many things returning to Malaysia. My happiest buy on that day were the lavender seedlings. I had been wanting them for so long. Thanks, Tiara, for taking me out and I had a great time catching up with you.

Somewhere at Lygon
I went to Richmond Assembly for the 10AM service on Sunday. To my delight, Rev Jimmy Mutebi was ministering that weekend. After service, the 'gang' ( includes Tiara, Shannon, Becky and Justin) took me out to lunch at Lygon Street. We even had ice-cream after that. They refused to take my share of the bill, "You are our guest. No need" Yes, I was taken care of very well. Tiara paid for my breakfast on Saturday AND Sunday. And Shannon made sure I had a Sunday Metcard to travel around with.

Thank you, guys. You have been so kind.          60135-1063332-thumbnail.jpg
Waiting for our lunch

At the vineyard
On Monday,Lynna took me around and did all those touristy stuff. We went to the winery, had pink champagne for lunch, then we went to Mount Dandenong and had tea at Miss Marple's.60135-1063337-thumbnail.jpg
Miss Marple's
On the way there, we stopped at a plant nursery and about basil (my 2nd stowawy plant) She also took me to get Emu Oil (yup oil of that huge flightless bird) which was supposed to be good for aches and pain. I have been trying it out for the past few days and so far, I have not seen improvement. Then that night I ate........crocodile meat! How does it taste like? It looks like fish but the texture is gamey. Taste? To be very honest, I wasn't concentrating on the taste. More like, 'Oh God! I am eating crocodile meat!' and hence I gagged a little. It was fantastic to catch up with the Lams. They were our neighbours before migrating to Mebourne and I have always tried to find time to catch up with them when I get there. Lynna picked up the tab for champagne lunch and I insisted on buying tea. But halfway through tea, Lynna said, "Oh I forgot to tell you, this place is very retro. They do not take cards." Shucks, I was afraid I will not have enough cash so she paid for that too. Thanks, Lynna and Lam for a lovely day. Not to mention catching up with Aaron who's grown into such a fine young man. Even Lam's mum remembered me visiting the last time.

The trip back was equal where food is concerned. Horrible dinner of what was supposed to be Chicken A La King. And it would have been injuries galore if all were to begin throwing their cold Spinach Danish -eeewww! There were quite a few babies and toddlers on board both on my way there and back and my heart goes out to the parents and the babies. It was most tiring for them.

When I got back, Andrew told me that Wookie is sick. He was vomitting again. Apparently he stopped eating on Friday and began vomitting on Saturday. But now he's alright again.60135-1063339-thumbnail.jpg
Wooks happy again

When I was in Melbourne, I slept through most nights but on the night before I was due home, I began waking up in the middle of the night again. Shucks! So now that I am back, things are in full swing, classes to teach, meals to cook, house to clean, dog to attend to, things to do for the Slave Princess, people to see.........................the list is endless. I need another holiday!

What I enjoyed most about the trip were the performances and the time spent catching up with friends. Yes, it was a good trip. Thank you, Sunny for such a lovely gift.

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