Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wandering in Melbourne


Shopping and restaurants! The former has held no appeal for me and the latter fills my mind with dread. Ah! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The moment I try anything that I have not tried before, my digestive system rebels! No matter what the plumbing accessories manufacturers say, it is difficult for me to think time well-spent if all I see is a wash-basin – appropriately adorned with what used to be in my stomach – on a trip to a new place. Nor do I think I would be a welcome companion if my stomach acts like a high-yield gas well with outlets at both ends. Thankfully, Melbourne is supposed to have a restaurant for every palate and, thus, I can relax and look forward to actually seeing other things than my bathroom fittings.
A veritable feast of art, culture and architecture awaits the visitor to Melbourne. The Melbourne Museum, the Johnston collection, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian centre of contemporary art are just a few of them. One can imagine an art and culture lover to lose himself in the creative expressions on display. It is a shade more difficult for me to imagine myself as that art and culture lover! With practically no eye for visual creativity, all that I get when I visit museums is a crick in the neck. Then, when I see someone else’s photographs and descriptions of the same place, I go, “Ah! You mean it is that same place I visited?” It is thus that, whenever, I visit museums I feel like I am preparing for an examination – from someone or the other who is bound to ask me, “You went there and did not see THAT?” in contemptuous tones.
If I give the impression that the moment someone tells me, “It is your time to visit Melbourne, NOW”, I make a list of all the things that I cannot or will not do in Melbourne, I really cannot blame you. The idea, however, was to get that out of the way before I get to talk of all the things that I would do there.
One of the most attractive options for me is that Hot Air Balloon ride at dawn. I have always loved watching a city from above while landing at a destination and, from a  Hot Air Balloon, I can take it all in more leisurely and with a wider angle of vision than is provided by those oh-so-small aircraft windows. Not to mention the novelty of the ride, itself, as well as the vision of a dawn sky. (What do you mean that I am so full of hot air that the balloon ride is superfluous? I don’t get that at all!). Of course, having seen the city in its entirety from the sky, I can dispense with city tourism and get down to what I like doing best!
Cruises! God! There are so many mouth-watering prospects for cruises in the place. I am particularly taken by the River Gardens cruise that promises you picturesque gardens and parklands. What can be better than floating on water and feasting your eyes on picturesque greenery? The South Island fort cruise is another enthralling prospect promising stunning seascapes, a trek and delving into underground passages. Mmm! A delicious prospect! Further away, there is the option of the Yarra River cruise.
The mention of Australia instantly evokes memories of fantastic beaches. What a plethora of beaches there are to explore in Melbourne – each with its own unique beauty and offerings. The spectacular sunsets of St. Kilda beach, the sensational Melbourne skyline from Brighton Beach, kite-surfing and beach volleyball at Middle park – the options seem endless! Not to mention the possibility of trying my hand at snorkeling and wind-surfing. The fact that my only idea of swimming is going straight down would be a great help in snorkeling but for the fact that I do want to come up alive as well. Anyway, one has to see what can be done when a man is unable to imitate a fish – except in the stink! (What was that? My only idea of beach-views is what I derived from watching Pamela Anderson in Baywatch?? I will have you know that I was watching the beaches in Baywatch – not that I claim to have studiously averted my eyes when Pam swam into my vision!)
If that were not a surfeit of options, there is parasailing, rock-climbing, abseiling and sky-diving too. Ah! Well! Even if I am refused the option to take up deep sea diving because I do not know swimming, I cannot be refused the option to sky dive because I do not know flying!! The only limit on what I can do is what my thin wallet will allow me to do.
The prospects at Melbourne seem so endless that the only fear is that I shall spend the stay there in the dread of hearing the words, ‘It is your time to leave Melbourne, NOW!’

48 comments:

  1. I agree at times shopping and restaurants are big pain.Cruises seems a lovely outing.
    Nice post. Good wishes.

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    1. Thanks Amit! For me shopping is a pain every time :)

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  2. The Real Guy deal!... I second thefact too.. Shopping is a BIG time pain in the mule..:)
    Great entry too Sureshji!

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  3. yeah picturesque beauty and adventure sports and much more on the platter ..Wish u good luck for the contest. Well written post

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  4. Short and Crisp!!!
    What is abseiling??
    All the best Suresh!!

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    1. Hey DS! back in action?

      Abseiling is descending down a rock-face like a bucket in a well :)

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  5. I love Sydney more than Melbourne. What do you say ?

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    1. Ah! I do not have such choices! I have to write about Melbourne :)

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  6. Hi Suresh

    One thing I really liked about your post is that its not too long...Most posts I read so far are really long and not very attention-holding. This one was just the right size and ' look forward to actually seeing other things than my bathroom fittings.' was hilarious ha ha....Good Luck :)

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    1. Thanks Jaish! Well! I am too lazy to be waxing eloquent on anything :)

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  7. Typical of you to have got the things you didn't want to do before going on to the things you did want to. And the bathroom fittings description had me in splits! When in new places, I prefer going with simple dishes too -- especially since many firangs don't know what vegetarian really means to us Indians :)

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    1. Actually, Zephyr, in a lot of places once I have got what I do not want to do out of the way, I am left with nothing to do - except, maybe, admire the bathroom fittings :)

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  8. You don't shop when you are a tourist, Suresh. You are hunting/looking for souvenirs as part of your travel experience. :-P So perish those feelings of dread as "it's your time to first visit and then leave Melbourne" with all the experiences that you are looking forward to.

    Good luck for the contest. :-)

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    1. I am handicapped, Sudha! The moment I see a shop it feels like shopping to me :) Except, of course, when the shop stocks books!

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    2. Well then, Melbourne is the perfect place for you to shop for books then. :-) There are supposed to be 70 bookshops in just the CBD area of the city.

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    3. There we go! More reason to kick and scream when the time runs out :)

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  9. When in Melbourne, beware if the redbacks! Call me for assistance at my private number. Seriously Suresh, I am hoping they send someone like you over there. That seems to be my only chance to visit that city. :)

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    1. Mmm! If a vicarious visit is what you want, then Sudha is probably the better bet :)

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  10. I hope you get to Melbourne & give us more ticklers from there-good luck.

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  11. What a wonderful post induced with your typical humour and wit plus all the things that you'd want to do (and not do)! I so agree with the restaurant bit, it is really hard to find something good that can suit our desi tastes in foreign lands. I am a bit like that too.

    Best of Luck, CS! :)

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    1. Thanks Arti! I have been looking forward to your warm words, these days :)

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  12. Good to know, you plan to come alive or how we gonna manage without a prolific blogger as you :)

    All he best~

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    1. "Very Well, indeed!" is probably what most people would answer to that question :)

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  13. An interesting way of writing about Melbourne with inbuilt humour seamlessly tickling the readers. You made me read till the end with interest.

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  14. Lovely one, Suresh. Like uma, jaish, DS - I also liked the brevity of your post. And of course nice way to start with self deprecating humor.

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  15. LOL..
    "The only limit on what I can do is what my thin wallet will allow me to do."--this says it all!There's no need to fear...:)) haha
    Fascinating post!!

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  16. After reading this, my list of Things to Do in Melbourne now includes all the things that you want to do and don't want to do! Which makes mine a very, very long list! I think I will need more than just a single trip :)
    Good luck with the contest, Suresh! Looks like a winning entry to me!

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  17. Cuisines, HoT Air Balloons, beaches, clean,serene atmosphere! Wow, How I wish to be in Melbourne.

    Nicely written. Good Luck :-)

    Ashwini

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  18. Love the way you write Suresh,especially the flow of your writeups are awesome.Check my post too..
    http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=172850

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  19. Balloon rides tempt me too. :)
    Good luck for the contest!

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  20. You've taken the unconventional route of getting rid of conventional itinerary... and opting for an intuitive exploration of a city. Nice, I love that!

    However, do you really want to know the truth of the conventional tourist? This sort of tourist normally goes without a plan and actually ends up without a single great memory! :) No, I'm sure you're much better than the conventional tourist... but I mentioned, just in case.

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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    1. I sure hope so, Arvind! All tourism is about coming back with memories of great experiences!

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  21. Even I find the idea of flying over a city in a hot air balloon very fascinating. Though I feel swimming is very much fun and I love it. I think you should learn swimming as it is not all tough.

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    1. That is what I think too every time till I enter the water :)

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  22. You manage to make food and the acts that eventually follow so gory and yucky! :)
    Am in Melbourne right now as I type this :) And am really looking forward to exploring more! So far loving it!

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    1. Enjoy! And do not let my descriptions turn you off the food :)

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