I walked into a yoga studio with aerial silks hanging from the ceiling, a high bamboo roof and windows opening into a garden and was offered tea and mints. I walked into a ballet studio and laughed and joked with the other students like I’d been there before as we worked through tricky combinations. Walking through Melbourne’s CBD I asked and was asked for directions, surprisingly I was able to give them. I shared a smirk and a shrug with a stranger over the tourists in full hiking gear strolling through the main shopping street.
Melbourne has been kind to me. It took a few days to reorient to being down here by myself. I’m realizing all the things I miss about home, what things are really worth while and what are merely convenience. Of course I’m looking forward to being back, or wishing some of you could be here with me to see and experience these things. But overall Australia is being good to me. The Aussies like a good laugh and an easy time. Even their winter is mild, much like an Oregon spring, but with less rain. Though it is rather windy.
Thursday I saw a Koala (note, not Koala bear, Koala’s aren’t bears). It was both adorable and frightening.
I also got to see Fairy Penguins, but we weren’t allowed to photograph them incase someone forgot to turn off their flash which would startle the poor buggers and make them regurgitate their food before they got home to share it with their mate & chick.
Friday I wandered around and took a ride up to the top of the Eureka tower. On floor 88 you can look out over the whole of Melbourne. It was wicked cool, but the photographer in me was cursing the thick tinted glass and even the little light that was in the room reflected horribly (even with a lens pressed up against the glass which can often cut out any reflections).
As I left, the sun had long past set and I still had time to burn before my next plan (album launch for one of my favorite artists, more in a separate post). I wandered up to the south bank of the Yarra river and noticed a street performer just setting up. I stopped, hoping others would do the same and he would start. He was part gymnast part circus performer, complete with homemade props and fire. I sat and watched and was entertained. This was his livelihood and his way of life. It was great to get to watch. After, as I tipped him, he noticed that I’d been the first to stop (I think I’m rather easy to remember in my neon leopard print scarf). He thanked me and gave me a hug. This is the thing, the I see you, you see me. Earlier in the day I had stopped to watch a busking violinist, she was good, and I think, from what I heard, improving. I kept hearing threads of different songs, but never the actual songs, just allusions to them. I leaned against a pillar and listened for a while as everyone else walked by, and so I dug a few coins from my pocket and as I dropped them in her case, there was a moment of eye contact. I see you, you see me. Melbourne’s been good. I’m off on another adventure today and tomorrow (Sunday for us down under) I’m meeting up with a friend from London and we’re driving down the Great Ocean Road!