We woke up this morning to find out that our rental car was towed. What a way to start the day. We had to return the rental car by 10am this morning and it was sitting in a towing car park across town. We called the police and reported the missing vehicle and then the cops confirmed what company had our car. It was a very stressful and expensive mistake we made. Apparently we weren’t allowed to park on the street during 7am-9am. If we have gotten up earlier, or even read the sign correctly then we would have been fine. We had to take a tram to the city and 2 different buses to a suburb of Melbourne to find our car. I can now look back on this event and laugh, but for the time being I was scared and stressed. It cost us a few hundred dollars to get our car back, plus another one hundred dollar fine. This country is expensive! We finally returned the vehicle and got some lunch. After a very stressful morning we shopped and explored Melbourne.
“It’s a small world after all” is probably one of the most legitimate phrases on earth. Today in a city of 4 million people we met the same lady twice on the same train in the same area. We saw her in the morning, and then we ran into her again in the evening on our way back to our hotel. What are the chances of bumping into the same person twice in one day in a huge city like Melbourne? She explained to us how her daughter met her husband the same way we met each other. Her daughter and her husband were in a foreign country from there own and ran into each other two times. I guess you never know when you meet that right someone. It comes when you least expect it.
For dinner tonight we ate at this restaurant that had cushions as seats and beads around the area. The atmosphere felt like India or Egypt. After dinner we sat on the cushioned chairs and smoked hookah in the restaurant. Then we walked to the pier and saw some wild penguins.
Someday I want to live in this city. So far out of all the major cities I have ever been to I like this one the most. The city somehow still maintains to be clean and fresh even though it’s a population of 6 million. The transportation system is easy and fast. There is everything for a woman like me in this city; from pristine white beaches to the high class city life. The location and weather also play a huge role in why I fell in love with this city.
We spent 5 days total in Sydney, Australia. For a few days we stayed with one of our friends family. They were very excited to have us as guests and I was amazed on how nice they were. We have never met them before and they still let us stay at there home for free. The Australians have great hospitality skills and they care for you even though you are a stranger. We toured a few museums the first day and got close up to sharks in the Sydney aquarium. We also had the chance to see a movie in the “worlds largest IMAX theatre.”
The second day we relaxed on the famous beach, Bondi. This is one of the most famous beaches in the world and they have their own television series called “Bondi Rescue.” Before arriving, I watched a few episodes to get an idea of the beach culture. Some of the episodes are hilarious, it’s a bit addicting and I know that I’m going to keep on watching them since I have been to the place myself. When we first got there the “boys in blue” (lifeguards) were doing a rescue. Part of the beach was closed off and the ambulance just arrived. It was a busy Saturday afternoon with about 20,000 people laying down soaking up the sun. There were cameramen everywhere filming. We camped right next to the lifeguard tower and I’m pretty sure my friends and I were being filmed. I might be on television lathering myself up in sunscreen or laying on my towel with my ipod in my ears.
The third day we relaxed at the house with the Aussie family and went to a few markets. The fourth day we explored the Sydney Harbor. I toured inside the opera house and learned the history of the building. It took them 16 years to build the opera house with a budget of over a hundred million dollars. It first started out as a worldwide competition for architects to design the best opera house. An American man from Denmark was one of the judges for the competition. The Opera house didn’t even make it to the final round of judging. But, this American man found this drawing in the rubbish bin and knew right when he saw it that “it was the one.” The arches represent sails or shark fins. The windows are equally aligned with the sea to make the inside look bigger. The man who designed this wonderful structure still to this day hasn’t seen his masterpiece finished in real life. He died a few years back but didn’t regret not visiting his final project. He didn’t need to see it because he knew what it looked like in his mind. Now millions of people from around the world visit this place every year.
We stayed in the harbor for the rest of the day listening to didgeridoos, music, people watching, and a little bit of shopping. We saw 5 weddings that day, apparently the harbor is a popular place to get married. The city of Sydney and pretty much all of Australia is making a huge deal about Oprah coming to do a show at the Opera house. Its all over the news and it’s the talk of the town. She brought her audience from the states and is doing her own special tour of Australia before her show. I have been at the same places at the same time as her, yet I still haven’t seen her. She was in Melbourne a day before we arrived and she was at the Opera house 5 minutes before we got there. I really don’t care if I see her or anything but I just think its funny how Australia is following her every move and making her visit such a big deal. They even went so far that they hung a huge “O” that lights up at night from the Harbor Bridge.
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