Friday, April 01, 2005

Australia - Day 14 (AFL - Aussie Rules Rules!)

Wow. I just came back from the MCG and watched the Carlton Blues defeat the Essendon Bombers. It was a thrilling game and the crowd was absolutely ELECTRIC. I still haven't watched a NFL game live yet, but I haven't seen anything as lively as footy. Fans for both teams were at the game and they were thunderous every time a goal was scored. Even though I didn't know any of the players, I was getting pretty pumped up over it. The hitting was crazy and the action was unbelievably fast. If you ever get a chance to see a game live, do it.

Afterwards, as I was walking back to they YHA, I got the munchies and decided to stop off in Chinatown. I was craving for congee and I actually found a place with pork and 1000-year-old preserved duck egg. It totally hit the spot! I will sleep well tonight... :)

From down under,
1:00 AM Melbourne Time

Australia - Day 14

Hello from Melbourne...

Canberra wasn't as boring as I expected... Well, there still wasn't much to do, but if you like museums, galleries and war history, you can definitely keep yourself busy. According to Jacqueline's uni friends, I've seen more of the country capital than they have. :) Still, there are some pretty interesting places there--Parliament House (which cost $1.1 billion); the Australia Institute of Sport (demonstrating why Australians always kick Canadian ass at the Olympics); and the Australian War Memorial (which has really great war displays--I've never seen so much).

Anyway, what definitely made Canberra memorable/enjoyable was Jacqueline and her flatmates--Shirin, Jess, Kel & Veronica. They were tons of fun and defintely made me feel at home. It was nice to eat some (Persian) home cookin' and not have to eat more fast food--food down here is pretty expensive. Jacquie's other classmates were great too--Fred, who picked us up from the airport even though he was spending time with him mom, and Tom, who offered a bunch of tips about his home city Melbourne... Oh yah, I got a chance to eat some kangaroo steak. It was really good--just like beef and not as 'gamey' as I would have thought.

I arrived in Melbourne yesterday morning and I went straight on a tour--I didn't even get a chance to check-in to the hostel. We went to see some more koalas, kangaroos (not the one that I ate) and emus at a wildlife sanctuary. But the highlight of the tour was seeing the penguin parade at Philip Island. Every night, penguins return to shore and burrow into their homes on land. It was amazing to see them waddle their way into the bushes. We got to see them up close on a viewing platform, but unfortunately I don't have any photos 'cause cameras aren't allowed. Apparently the use of flash can blind the penguins and cause them to get lost.

Anyway, although I am loving it down here, I do miss home a bit. It's kinda weird not knowing too much what's going on back home. Reading other people's blogs, sometimes I feel like I'm missing out a bit on the happenings. :( Well, when I look up into the sun and the amazing weather, it does help the sadness... :D

Alrite, enough internet for now. I should go grab a bite soon 'cause I'm gonna try to catch a 'footy' game (a.k.a. Aussie Rules Football!) at the famed Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG). :)

From down under,
5:25 PM Melbourne Time