Every time I travel I discover how many people there are that are unaware of deodorants. I can now understand why some people choose to never leave their neighborhood.
So, Melbourne is a charming little city. It has a lot of coffee shops, quaint alleys with cafes, lots of music… as other people have said, it’s very European. I met up with a guy named Kim yesterday as he couchsurfed with someone who I’d just met in Nashville before leaving, and he was able to explain all about Australian government and their constitutional law (as that is what he’s studying). Generally, he said, Australians are more trusting of their government and depend on them to fix their problems. He also explained their health care system to me, which was helpful, as it seems our country is headed in the same direction.
While they have socialized health care, they are allowed to get private insurance on top of it. If you need non-elective surgery, you get treated right away with Medicare; if you need elective surgery, such as hip replacement, then you could be waiting for 6 months unless you also have private insurance.
Part of me wishes I had another day here, but I’m not about to cough up $75 to change the flight date.
My couchsurfing host here is less than interested in me, and that’s okay, I guess. It’s amazing how much I’ve thrived off of other people so far on this trip and didn’t even realize it. I’m couchsurfing not because of the free place to stay, but because of the symbiotic relationship that forms from it. I’d love to meet up with Sunara in South Africa someday, go to a pub with Melissa in France, saunter around Amsterdam with Maria.
The night in the hostel really wasn’t that bad, and I wouldn’t have minded staying there if I’d had a companion. I slept in a mixed dorm with 7 other people, my bed literally next to a window level with the busy city street. Oddly enough, I slept sounder than I have so far on this trip. Everyone was quiet and courteous, and were probably all agitated with me when I had to pack up my stuff to check out the following morning.
St. Kilda is a joke. In my research, it sounded like a thriving hipster area with a beach, but the beach was the lamest I’ve seen in my 23 years. It was abandoned, dirty, next to a marina, and you could see oil refineries (or something similar) in the distance. It was so heartbreaking I didn’t believe that it was actually St. Kilda until I saw a sign reading, “NO LITTERING ON ST. KILDA BEACH”.
My roommate at the couchsurfing house is an interesting 30-something Irish guy who’s into photography. Upon hearing I work on sets for a living, he asked me if I’d be interested in holding lights for him on a small photo shoot today. I politely explained I only had one more day here and didn’t want to spend it being a grip.
So, right now it’s looking like I will press on to New Zealand. I still may hit up Sydney again for my last 10 days of the trip.
So frustrating. Switchfoot is going to be doing the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane tour between the 20th-24th. bahh! I could stay, pay $60 to get to Sydney, eat the $220 ticket to NZ, hang out in Sydney for 2 weeks, get a 75% refund for the Milford Track ($150), spend another $200 to get back to NZ… but I don’t think it’s worth it. Or is it?………