I've been in Melbourne for two weeks now. I had to change rooms in my hostel and this was not pretty. My new room was a dark dungeon with no windows and I shared it with vampires. My new roomates slept all day and went out all night. When they returned they were not quiet. I felt really claustrophobic in the back of the room, on the top bunk, blocked by a partition in the room. It is safe to say that I did not sleep well that first night. I got up the next morning bright and early to see if I could switch to a room with a window at least. This proved to be no easy task. The guy at the front desk was smug and very unfriendly. He told me no rooms were available and I'd have to wait until people checked out before he would even consider giving me another room. He wouldn't even tell me if people were scheduled to move out of such a room. Jerk. So I pestered him relentlessly every half hour for two and half hours. Finally he caved and gave me a choice of about a dozen rooms. I finally picked my room and went to check into it. Alas! It was the most perfect room anyone could have! The only bed available was a double bed and the room contained a giant window! The room was nice and bright and I had a giant bed. I met my roomates later that night and so far they have been one of the best roomates I've had. They actually have jobs so they are long term residents of the Greenhouse Backpackers so they actually go to sleep at a decent hour. If they do go out, I do not hear them come back in at all.
I had two jobs when I came back to Melbourne which I was kind of excited about. I only had 3 weeks to work so I had to have these two jobs set up before I came back from Tasmania. However, they both turned out not to work. The first job I got was working functions and events at a posh hotel near the beach. However, I stayed at the accommodation there one night and didn't like the scene and did not have transportation after work to my new accommodation so I had to turn it down. The second job I thought that I really needed so I went to the training day. It was a fundraising job for the Fred Hollows Foundation. This foundation raises money for unfortunate aboriginals in Australia as well as funds and training for cataract surgery in third world countries. However, I needed to be an exuberant and outgoing person in order to convince people to donate $25 a month for a two year period. I'm not that outgoing and didn't feel like I would be able to convice people to do such an outstanding deed. So I regrettably quit that job too. I was a little upset with having no job for a 3 week period with nothing to do, when the Canadian government stepped up to the plate and gave me money! Good old income tax saved the day just in the nick of time. But I have a job for next week only handing out fliers. It'll give me something to do since I have run out of things to do in Melbourne.
So far I've gone to the Victoria Market almost every day that it has been open. This is such an amazing place. There are stalls upon stalls of fruit and vegetables, a deli selling meats and cheeses and breads, clothing and souvenirs gallore! Everytime I go there I see more and more.
I have also gone to a Footy Game with a group from the hostel. This game is called Aussie Rules Football. It is a mixture of football and rugby but can't really be defined unless you are actually witnessing it in person. I've gone to a game twice now and I am going to go to a third one this coming weekend. It's so much fun!
Also with a group from the hostel, I went on an organized walking tour of the city. I could only go half way with them since I needed to meet an old friend that I had met in Adelaide for coffee. But I saw such amazing architecture. I saw the worlds first heritage restored toilets. Yah, gross hey. Who would restore old toilets? Only Australians. I also went into the hidden dome of Melbourne which used to be an old bank. It is laced with real gold on it's interior but the whole dome is covered over by another building. Amazing. We went along some of the cities famous back alleys and laneways and discovered interesting graffiti that is actually encouraged here in Melbourne, only on these streets and is considered art. We stopped at a pub in one of these hidden laneways for lunch and it contained a giant buddha and chinese lanterns. Very interesting. I could only go this far because my time was up. But I went walking the rest of the tour the next day and discovered the Melbourne Museum and St. Patrick's Cathedral, a huge gothic church that is so magnificent!
I've managed to keep myself busy in Melbourne for two weeks and I hope that I can sustain this for another week. Then I am headed off to Sydney to pick Aaron up from the airport where we engage in our journey up the East coast of Australia before I head home with him.