|The Foxaroo has touched down back in Sydney
||[May. 15th, 2009|02:22 pm]
Little bit fatigued at the moment, so I’m composing this slowly and carefully in efforts to avoid leaving out any highlights.
I touched down back in Sydney at 10:10am this morning after a highly enjoyable sojourn in Melbourne. After I finish this LiveJournal entry I'll take a quick nap then I'll need to head to the supermarket because I emptied my refrigerator before leaving on Tuesday.
I had absolutely nothing go wrong with my journey, and that's most extraordinary given my uncanny track record for proving Murphy's laws true. My flight to Melbourne on Tuesday morning was spoiled only by some severe insomnia the previous night, which inflicted on me a mild headache and some difficulty speaking coherently. Virgin Blue's airline crew were most friendly and obliging, and I had been able to secure a window seat for myself. This being my first ever trip in an aircraft I hadn't been able to predict whether I'd be petrified in my seat, or mildly worried. As it turns out I was too fascinated by the flight to be afraid in any way. I was most astonished at this; it's difficult for me to be fascinated by anything at my age. In particular I was most surprised by the deceptive nature of the way the ground below appears to move so slowly. When the crew announced that we had just passed Canberra I thought we were still on the outskirts of Sydney! At Melbourne's airport I disembarked and collected my luggage after only a short wait. I've always wondered about these luggage conveyors and now I've used one in person, but I remain awkward about the honesty principle in such systems. Amidst a crowd how do you prevent someone stealing your luggage? The only deterrent is the one that I've applied unintentionally; my travelcase is too heavy for anyone to run away with.
Although I'd planned to take the bus and train from the airport to the city I was not in a sufficiently energetic state and opted instead to shell out AUD$60.00 for a taxi. I did the same on the way home for a different reason; I needed to be at the airport by 7:45am. My flight home was less entertaining as all the window seats were locked out when I attempted to book one.
Despite staying in a budget motel, it was no less comfortable than my own home. Only on Wednesday night was there a problem; somewhere on my floor there was a family showing no respect for the other guests and throughout the night they were jumping up and down, and producing an occasional slamming noise from something like a cupboard door or toilet seat. This racket persisted on and off seemingly at all hours, but I was too tired to get out of bed and investigate. Thankfully this disturbance occurred only that one night.
As planned, I've met up with an artist who has made some improvements to my character design for Michael Sauerpüss. No, this isn't the reason that I've not yet resumed the comic - that's simply been a lack of spare time, however it will mean an improvement on the way that I've been drawing him thus far.
I also visited the Melbourne branch of my company and was able to put names to faces for about 30-40 people that I've dealt with there by E-mail and telephone. The Melbourne office is easily twice as large as the Sydney office and if a vacancy appears there that matches my skill set I'll be keen to look into moving home.
In the remainder of my time I was snap-happy with my camera, and I intend to upload another video compilation to YouTube for you all to see. I've taken as many vids as possible, given the limitations of time, no car, a spine that becomes sore after prolonged walking, and my own unfamiliarity with the city.
On Melbourne in general, there's certainly a different feel to the city. It has a more European aspect to the older buildings, while at the same time showing indications of greater wealth than Sydney in some of the infrastructure. They look to have a better set of roads, trains and of course trams (which in Sydney are limited to one short stretch of track from Central Station to Darlinghurst). Nevertheless of what I saw I'd describe Melbourne as a rather dirty city. Graffiti abounds far worse than Sydney, and there's less evidence of efforts to keep the streets and railway stations clean. In Melbourne there's also evidence that the city has retained a lingering presence from Australia's industrial era, as there were suburbs with very visible presence of light industry (car repairs, food processing plants, cement works and so forth). In some places the air was quite tainted, something I've not experienced since I ceased living in Newcastle at a time when that city was heavily industrial. Sydney's city council also appear to have taken a successful approach to make the city more vibrant, with the colours chosen for the key areas of the inner-city, while Melbourne looks rather drab IMHO. In summary I would say that Melbourne is probably an easier city to live in, while Sydney is far more tourist-friendly.
I can't upload the city odours, but you'll be able to watch and hear some other features of the city when I've completed the video compilation. Stick around Foxaroo followers!