Goodbye Australia

Ciao amici,

My time in Australia has almost come to an end, and this post will report a few additional impressions about the place, mostly random ones with random pictures.

One of the first remarks I had is how Australian people seemingly love to drive barefoot. I’m sure there’ll be a few who don’t agree (Linda?), but from Queensland to Western Australia I’ve witnessed it quite a few times.

The Christmas decorations which adorn shops and streets were already in place since the beginning of November (I’ve seen them firstly in Perth). Beside the usual debate on the real purposes of putting them on when we’re still two months away, it was so strange to see them during full spring swing, while walking in shorts and thongs! To me, Christmas has always been White: the snowy, fireplace night filmed in countless movies. Here, the birth of Jesus is a barbecue on the beach with sunglasses and possibly a surf board.

Speaking of sun, Australia was also the first country I visited in the Southern Emisphere, so our still star was actually pointing North instead of South. Also, because we’re so much closer to the Equator, the sun at noon is way higher on the horizon. The result is a different orientation as you walk, as you look at things at different times of the day and as where the sunrise / sunset light come from. For a former scout like me, this is a total reversal of all I’ve always believed in! Ok, maybe I pushed a bit too much on that one.

We spent one of my last Melbourne days at St. Kilda, the southern neighborhood on the ocean. We sat for a while at a cake shop, just across the street from this funnily named shop, which I guess sold stationary.

We then went for a walk on the beach, and at some point we stumbled across this metallic statue of the world that was the perfect set for a “I’m Traveling So I Feel On Top Of The World” shot.

After the epic image, you’ll probably find more interesting and closer to reality the procedure to get there, with the essential help of my friend Tom.

The seaside walk also provided material for the “Different Nature Of The Post” category: a dead blowfish on the shore. It was actually quite ugly and big (maybe as long as my foot), and I wondered how bigger it gets when using the balloon superpower! Highly poisonous, we thought it was better to let it rest there. Ah, if my friend Hokuto was there! Maybe he’d have known how to cook it - the blowfish is a Japanese specialty.

So yeah, my Australian days have come to an end. I can no doubt say that I left the best for last, as Melbourne is really a spectacular place to live in, probably more than to be a tourist. Overall though, I came here definitely unprepared. I hadn’t quite grasped how big this country is: traveling around using public transport (train, bus, plane) is just terribly limiting as it isn’t capillary at all, and accommodation costs are quite high. The ultimate solution is to buy a van where you can also sleep in, thus solving the two problems at the same time. Then you fill it with friends, which reduces the fuel costs, put a couple of surf boards on the roof and you’re set for months of unlimited fun in an amazing country that you’ll be never done exploring. And I have all intentions to do this, somewhen in the future.

Goodbye Australia, it was nice to meet you. Next time we’ll become friends.

Last modified: 2 December 2010