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Heading down under to Melbourne and reuniting with our mate Broomy!

12 °C

When we started planning this trip one of the first things we said was that we would head to Melbourne. Knowing that Broomy (Dan Broomfield for those of you who don't know him) would still be working there, made it even more of a dead sure destination as we had not seen him since he left the UK 18 months ago!.

Flying from Singapore to Melbourne can be a little expensive but I managed to find two flights with Jetstar and Air Asia which meant it would cost £140 each which is pretty damn good (saving us over 100 quid each!).


However what it meant was that we needed to transit at Kuala Lumpur before taking the Air Asia flight. So in my mind it was a simple process of collecting bags and then re-checking in at the same airport. This prior thought was flawed as the flight we would need to take to Melbourne was flying from a different airport which AirAsia solely occupy meaning we needed to transfer from the International Airport to catch it. Obviously I was a little annoyed with myself for forgetting this important fact, especially when we had flown from this airport before. (Dont worry , I didn't go full HULK) but it was not all lost because we had plenty of time between flights and it was simply just a case of catching a bus or taxi.

This is where KL international airport is complete crap and didn't do me any favours because tqhe taxi's at departure level are all luxury ones so they charge way over what was recommended from the helpdesk. So we headed for the bus stop down at the lower levels but that was pretty useless as there was just guys you had to ask who ran the buses and they said when it would turn up but that wasn't a guarantee so we opted for the other taxi rank on the lower levels. We started to queue and fortunately the lady organising the taxi's offered us to go ahead of the line if we were happy to pay 55 ringgit to the taxi driver. This was only 10 more than what I was expecting so I said "hell yes" and chucked our bags in and we made it with plenty of time to spare. Lesson learnt.....I hope.

The flight to Oz was easy enough and being overnight both Sarah and I slept for most of it. As we started to descend the scenary of Victoria began to show it self and it was cool to see more colours as the autumn season working its way across the state. Looking at the centre of Melbourne from a distance it sticks up like a sore thumb above a vast flat land that harbours the suburbs, this was going to be our base for the next 6 months and we were dead excited about it!

We had arranged with Broomy to meet him at the airport as he had graciously offered to pick us up but it dawned on me I had no way of contacting him which didn't help when we were held on the plane after landing for almost an hour due to congestion at the gates. We bought some Vodka on the way out knowing that booze was expensive and queued for immigration. We had heard that the laws of Australia had made immigration a bit of a bitch especially if you have come in as a traveller because of the quarentine that is required. So we came prepared wearing our boots and made sure we had sent all wooden souvenirs home.

It turned out that the immigration and quarantine part of our arrival was the shortest part and we walked out to the halls to find Broomy waiting like a taxi driver with a sign. But this was like no other sign in that it was made from a pizza box and had the words.....


We were well chuffed with the effort and after explaining and apologising for the delay we caught up on the way to the car and it was like we hadn't been on the other side of the world from each other for all those months.


Driving into the city was great and Broomy told us about some of the things he would like to show us whilst we were here and also how central his flat was. We were very lucky to have this contact as it made the transition so much easier.


Being a weekday Broomy had to head into the office but not before taking us to a cool cafe called St Ali for breakfast. He told us that Melbourne tends to have these little gems of cafes or bars tucked away in areas or on roads you wouldn't expect to find them and a lot of the time the business comes from word of mouth. So if you haven't got some in-the-know friends you might end up missing some of these pleasures.

The breakfast was immense! and the quirkiness of the place we really enjoyed. Outside there was some good graffiti which Melbounre is famous for.


The cafe had these little signs which made us giggle.


Before Broomy left us at his flat I pulled out some mail that I had kept since he left the UK which had come to our old flat that we had shared. It had travelled with me all through Asia..needless to say it went down well.


As Broomy tied up some loose ends at work, Sarah and I went to work ourselves getting prepared for working life in Melbourne by setting up a bank account, getting tax file numbers sorted and getting mobile phones. It was very productive morning and we got to see a little bit of the Southbank area by the river and the central business district or CBD. It was like walking out into the kind of autumn weather we have in September only its May! Seeing golden leaves on trees we got pretty excited and even had a play...it was a little chilly though, especially coming from 30 degrees in Asia.



Later that day we continued catching up with Broomy and met his housemate Paul known as Pauly from NZ and we chowed down with some Kangeroo on the Bar-B... I could get use to this.


The next 4 days in the day time Sarah and I got C.Vs in order and started applying to jobs and recruitment agencies as we felt we had to hit the ground running. It meant that in the evenings we felt fine with enjoying ourselves.

One of the nights we went to go see the third and final instalment of The Hangover and it was very funny, after the cinema we went for a walk around the Crown casino which is an adult playground that hugs the riverbank and is owned by one of Australia's millionaires. It mixes high end shopping with entertainment and food as well as a hotel and we took on one of the black jack and roulette tables, but unfortunately the house won.

Outside the Casino there are 8 towers along the riverfront that release huge fireballs every hour, with some of the fireballs going up 7ms! The sound and the heat that comes off of them is intense and its quite a spectacle to see. What even more immense is how much it must cost to put this on every day! Literally burning cash!


Another one of our nights out was to go visit the trendy area of Brunswick street and have drinks at a bar called Naked for Satan, whichnhad interesting decor. We met up with one Sarah's friends from work in the UK who was living in Melbourne now too and coincidentally some of Broomy's mates were at the same bar and so we all chatted together over a few drinks.


Sarah's friend Ria invited us to join her at a house party later that night which was a good laugh despite having one of Melbourne's stormiest nights in history where lighting and torrential rain made the journey to the house a little bit tricky. Turns out we had arrived during the wettest June in Melbourne in the last 150 years!

The party was in full swing and we all were chatting away when we heard the fire alarm going off due to smokers on the porch leaving the door open. It went on and on and several people tried to shut it up. There is a joke that goes something like How many people does it take to change a light bulb, and this was kind of like that but with a smoke alarm as one girl was lifted up to try and push the off switch. But maybe due to being a bit drunk her common sense was off somewhere else and she started using the brush end of the broom which did absolutely nothing except pick up the excess dust on the ceiling. Cue someone shouting 'use the other end you dumb bitch!', it was hilarious.


After that episode it was party time...


and some of us partied a little harder than others......guess who.....


The next morning we found out Sarah had paid the penalty for having a good time and hugged the toilet during the night. Our plan for the day was to go to the South Melbourne Market and take a look around and we decided on route that a Sunday roast would cure any ailments from the night before.


The market was cool with so much yummy food everywhere. We made the most of the free samples including some amazing cheeses and looked forward to coming back to get some for ourselves. It wasnt just food there and I managed to find a new men's wallet to replace my Velcro 15 year old wallet and I managed to get a pretty good bargain.


Dan introduced us to sampling oysters for 2 bucks and Sarah bought brownie that she had been looking forward to all day only to be disappointed when it was like a stale brick! She wasn't happy but a twirl chocolate bar soon put a smile back on her face :)


The meal that Sarah cooked later that night was sublime and definitely cured any hangovers, she even handmade the yorkshire puds!!


One for the family album :)


We had done so much in the first few days we took much needed rest, but we still had plenty to look forward to including tickets to auditions for Australia's got talent which Broomy had miraculously managed to get at the last minute. More on that to come.


Stay tuned for more tales


Posted by doyledan 03:32 Archived in Australia

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Hope you guys are still having fun.... x

by Jude

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