Saturday, December 09, 2006

Destination: Mystery! (Part 3)

Day 5

Caught a train to Em's and spent the afternoon chatting with her, and having a lively debate on politics and world affairs with her grandmother. Enjoyed a few forkfuls of mixed vegetable fried rice for dinner, my most substantial eating for a week (I'd forgotten how awesome food could taste!).

Day 6
Walked uphill into the CBD to meet Jen and AM for lunch, at a lovely little eatery called "Wheat" (the irony of this, given my gluten-free past, was not lost on me as I struggled through part of a tasty chicken salad). Tick catching up with my 3 Melbourne friends, my trip was now complete!

Had a brief chat with Em on the phone, distracting her from all the work she was stuck late at work trying to get done, then spent the evening in front of not much on TV and some more fried rice.

Day 7

Wandered the Crown Casino Complex and Federation Square, taking a sunnier set of photos to complement the overcast ones from earlier in the week, while trying to work out at least one touristy thing to do. An hour of walking later, I stepped into the Immigration Museum, which was just round the corner from my hotel, and spent an enlightening 3 hours looking at everything on offer.

On my way back to the hotel, a young guy asked me for directions to Lonsdale St, and I confidently pointed him in the right direction (confirming, when back in my room, that my confidence was warranted). Almost a local in one week!

My final night in Melbourne was made perfect by an actual restaurant meal with Em and, as I saw her off at the train station, my thoughts turned to my imminent return home.

Day 8
Woke up at 5.30 having had 3 hours sleep and, after killing some time trying to stomach my breakfast, headed into a windy, cold Melbourne morning. The beginning of my trek home! My plane was delayed by half an hour, which was exactly what I didn't need, but I had the whole back row of the plane to myself and a little shut-eye let me enjoy the view as we closed in on Canberra. 13 degrees in Melbourne became 31 in Canberra, but the most important thing as my Dad dropped me off home was that I survived (and even enjoyed!) a week away for only the second time in the past 3 years.

Will I be rushing headlong into a new life as an intra/international jetsetter? Well, no, because it was frankly exhausting to fight my poor health the whole week, and it'll take me some time to store up enough energy to launch myself at my next challenge.

The more important question, though, is: Did I enjoy my holiday? To that I can say a resounding Yes. Thanks largely to the efforts of awesome friends like Em and Jen, who spent time with me despite their own busy schedules, I feel that I squeezed every last moment of fun out of my Melbourne week.

Bertie, what was the point of that story? ... I like stories :)