death by paper cut

{February 5, 2006}   hello from down under

i’ve taken a hiatus from blogging to settle in.

tomorrow will be my 6th day here. because i’ve been touring melbourne with a friend who arrived on my 3rd day, i’m virturally on a holiday myself. its mostly coincidental that i have a visitor so soon after my arrival, i doubt its because my friends miss me so much (please correct me here if i’m wrong).

pictures will be posted on my flickr site in due time. so you’ll have to bear with my sketchy description of what’s been happening so far.

of all the things i forgot to bring, it had to be the power supply cable for my laptop. i was in cold turkey and suffering from withdrawal symptoms. how can any urbanite survive without access to the internet? the allure was made even more accute by the wireless lan that was already in place at my apartment. the cold turkey was reliefed by being knee and elbow deep in stocking up groceries, toiletries and miscellaneous appliances like the much needed standing fan and table lamp, as well as washing the toilet and vacuuming the room.

thank God it could be arranged for my visiting friend could bring over the replacement cable which my geek bought back home. for some strange reason, i get timed out from receiving wireless connection every5 minutes or so, no matter, better than nothing, i’m still high on the relief that i possess the replacement power supply cable.

my apartment is as amazing as i’ve been raving about. it even surpassed my expectations. it is situated between the university and the city – 2 places which i would be traversing often, and just across the road from queen victoria market.

i occupy the room on the 2nd level of the mansionette apartment and enjoy the use of the ensuit toilet. both the room and the toilet are huge! most other students put up with hostel size rooms even in rented apartments outside campus.

touring with my visiting friend and meeting up with friends who have settled in melbourne has made my transition into aussieland effortless.

there are the usual touristy places to visit, but we’ve also witness the more interesting and authentic occurances in melbourne.

last friday, after shopping in the city and dinner at lygon, we chanced upon an informal breakdance competition outside the state library. its what some kids at the singapore esplanade are attempting very hard to achieve. the guys we saw were awesome. i took some video clips with my canon so email me if you’d like to watch some snippets. there was no loud jarring music, no drinking, no broken bottles, no littering, minimal smoking. the guy coordinating the event was easily recognised – he controlled the volume of the music and was pacing the competition. he looked thai but spoke with an ingrained aussie accent.

the first round was free for all in that while the music played on, anyone who wanted to strut their stuff could jump in the loosely formed circle of audience. the second round was pair versus pair. the participants were made up of a wide diversity of ethnicities of equal representation – from chinese, indians & blacks to whites, all united with the common passion and skill for breakdance.

yesterday – the 2nd day of my friend’s holiday – was spent picnicking and walking the royal botanical gardens. you wouldn’t break sweat in this dry and cool climate. it was very pleasant seeing huddles of friends and families enjoying quality time. we also saw at least 3 weddings at the gardens, mostly no frills and very intimate according to singaporean standards. one such wedding took place within a single pavilion. it was even smaller then that one you would find at the singapore botanical gardens. there was a pastor conducting the vows, the couple, and the guests who numbered under than 20.

we set up the picnic rug and proceeded to set the spread of ingredients for our gourmet sandwiches – something i’ve never done in singapore since its considering a filipino maid past time and the weather is just impossible back home. we read books while waiting for the play that was going to take place at the royal botanical gardens.

the play was 12th night. since i chanced upon the book in a 2nd hand bookshop the previous day, i figured that i may as well read it and get familiar with the shakespearean syntax. just before the play began, the jester of the play walked around the crowd sprawled comfortably on the lawn to get friendly with them. he asked me what i was reading. sheepishy, i revealed the cover. “oh! you’re going to test us?” the jester jested in mock alarm.

my friend and i were the only asians attending the play. i felt quite smug that we were doing something off the beaten track. wrapped up in blankets, and a hot drink in hand, lying on the grass, we looked like a bunch of cultured homeless bums.

today – the 3rd day of my friend’s holiday – we visited st kilda beach after attending church and having lunch. acland street is a stretch of novelty stores, restaurants, cafes, take-out and cake shops located just behind the beach. we had really good take out seafood and indulgent cakes after.

the rarer occurrence we saw at st kilda was the gay pride parade. “what does the rainbow ribbon mean?” my friend inquired. i thought she would have inferred something for herself.


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