Hit the ground running.

Day 2 – 20th April, 2011

One of the biggest concerns when moving to a new city and starting a fresh is the never ending concern, money!

What will you do for money? How will you support yourself? How will you survive. Ok so maybe a tad dramatic… but it is a big part of our lives and we do need to think about it!

autumn in victoria

I really had no idea what I would do here in Melbourne. Living with a friend and seeing where I go from there. Hoping to get  more into the writing arena. but really need to start with cold, hard cash!

So to my surprise and delight, I was asked to help on my very first mornign with some cleaning for my friends friend. So we hit up 2 houses, I vacuumed, dusted and walked away with cash in my hot little hand. So good. Had been in Melbourne just 15 hours and I was already working.

I'm a Leo

To a lot of people who know me, this could be of a concern, working for a workaholic isnt always the best option. But i’m so happy with it. It’s fun, I get to be with my friend, it’s exercise and it’s cash!! Easy and reminds me of my Canada days as a housekeeper hahha so funny!!

So we’ve got the cash, we’ve got the friends and life is on the move.

Loving living with my Gal Pal Adair and excited for adventures to come.

I’ve spent the afternoon scouring brochures of what to do in Melbourne!! I need tips so send them on through please.

What happens in Canada, stays in Canada

My friends and I had a saying when we were doing our season at Big White, Canada……. “What happens in Canada, stays in Canada”

I found this keyring in a shop in Vancouver, the day before I left to head back to Australia. I bought one for my best gal pal from the mountain and gave it to ger when we were back in Oz.

I still have this keyring in my drawer and whenever I see it, It makes me laugh. That’s what Travel memories are for! To make you smile long after the event.

I stayed so true to this statement, that when I was talking about Canada to my friends this week, I realised they barely knew a thing……. and that’s how it shall stay!

Royal Bombay Yacht Club

A 12 hour flight, a bustling airport, a sea of dilapidated temporary houses, an overwhelming stench and a blur of a car trip begin my second visit to Mumbai, India. This would sound like hell to most travellers but to me, it’s like coming home. Mumbai has a feeling, a vibe, an attraction which is indescribable and a familiarity that is as good as a warm hug from mum. My return to India through this Airport and to this city was very welcome.

 

I would only be in Mumbai for one night as I would then continue on to Delhi the following day. To assist me in my brief stay a dear friend had arranged for me to stay as a guest at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

 

Arriving at night I was unable to see the standard of my accommodation or the location but it was described in detail to me by my wonderful driver on the drive over. The friendliness and openness of the Indian people never ceases to amaze me. Upon first inspection the building seemed old and fairly run down and as it was night I had no idea of what the local surrounds looked like.

 

I was told immediately upon arrival that my friend Mr Vinoo was waiting for me and we would have dinner together. It was now 9pm. In India, this is an early dinner. As much as I love the Indian hospitality, after a long flight, all I wanted to do was sleep.

 

My Badipapa (Indian Grandfather), as I would now call him, had arranged my transportation, stay and return visit to the airport. I really do know how lucky I am to have such great connections in other countries as well as such kind and generous friends. An American woman on the plane had invited me to stay with her in her house in Mumbai if I didn’t have somewhere to stay but after informing her about my accommodation at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and my friend, she recognised quickly that I was certainly not in need of help.

 

Seeing my dear friend was wonderful and the meal absolutely delightful, but I was exhausted and simply needed rest.

 

I was woken at 6am by my startling alarm and I was all but ready to pull the covers over my head and beg for more rest until my eyes were drawn to the window. There sat the most perfect circle of golden light I have ever seen. The sun was just rising over Mumbai and I think  I had the most incredible view of the whole city to watch this day begin. My stunning heritage framed windows allowed for the many colours of the skies early morning light to be framed perfectly and to reveal that just in front of my window lay the famous landmark, the Gateway to India.

 

 

 

The beautiful Royal Bombay Yacht Club is a heritage building which sits facing the Gateway to India with the Taj Mahal Hotel towering beside it. Behind these great structures still and calm in the early morning was the great Harbour of Mumbai. The The Bombay Yacht Club was founded in 1846 and was established after regattas were held there since 1830.

 

I could not believe my eyes and I simply stood at the window and watched the sun shed it’s light over this beautiful city. The photos speak louder then words, though they too are not necessary as the images in my mind are as clear and vivid as if it were only yesterday.

 

 

Though you must be a member or the guest of one of the members to stay at the Hotel, you can visit and admire the history of this wonderful landmark. The Harbour is lively and busy during the day with local markets, the famous Taj Mahal hotel and the tourist favourite, Gateway to India. The Bombay Yacht Club offers fantastic meals and a stunning view for a beautiful night out with a difference.

 

This has to be one of the most interesting and culturally rich hotels I have ever stayed in. I know how lucky I am to have been introduced to such a gem of India’s history. It’s a must see when visiting Mumbai.

For more information on this amazing establishment:

http://royalbombayyachtclub.com/

(This trip was taken on 25th January 2006)

5 Favourite International Phrases

Learning new words and phrases in another language is such a novelty. It is even more interesting for Australians living on a giant english speaking Island who would use subtitles in live conversations if they could.

 

I always try to learn Hello and Thank you when I am new to a country. I find that people open up so much more and are so appreciative that you made even the slightest effort.

 

So here are 5 of myfavourites that I have picked up along the way. Please feel free to use them at your leisure. (Sorry, they are spelt phonetically to a degree.)

 

1. DAS IST MEINE HAMBURGER
Germany       

Das ist meine....... Beer?

                                                                                                                                                                     We learnt this in year 7 German class from a hilarious text book and now whenever I meet someone from Germany I feel it my duty to say it.  It means THIS IS MY HAMBURGER. It is particularly funny when used out of context!

 

2. ESTOY PEDA, BESAMEPeda!!!
Mexico

A hilarious car ride in Mexico City with some random new friends and an impromptu language lesson has firmly imprinted this saying in my mind. My english speaking friend actually taught me this one, only to ask me what it meant a few days later when I repeated it to her.
It means – I’M DRUNK, KISS ME. You will have Mexicans rolling on the ground laughing when you murmur these words.

 

3. NO ME MOLESTES!
Spain

In 2006, I was a fresh faced traveller on my first trip to Spain staying in my first ever hostel. A lovely lady from Argentina and a girl learning Spanish from England decided to help me in my naivety and protect me from some of the more passionate Spanish men. They said ” You are blonde with blue eyes and you must learn this phrase- NO ME MOLESTES” What does it mean?
DO NOT TOUCH ME  or GET AWAY FROM ME!! I loved it!

This phrase came in particularly handy at the La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain. At this festival there is a goal of ripping off as many people’s t-shirts as possible, so when my friend was wrestling with a feisty young man I simply said “No me molestes” and he said…. Lo siento…Sorry and left! VIVA ESPANIA!

 

4. JELDI CHELLO
India

I was in India in 2005 with my father for a business trip and on a rare day off we went out into the desserts of Rajasthan to see some incredible Forts and temples. For some unknown reason Dad and his friend wanted to stop on the side of the road to look at some shiny metal nestled in some of the rocks. It was 45 degrees celsius and we were in the middle of no-where…. so I asked our guide how do you say HURRY UP! Waiting by the roadside, but blessed with an awesome view

JELDI CHELO.
I now love using this when around my Indian friends as they just love to see the young blonde girl shouting at everyone to hurry up… and in Hindi none the less.

 

5.  I’M DRY AS A DEAD DINGO’S DONGER
Australia

I know this is one from my homeland but it is too good to pass up and the look you get when you say it to a foreigner is just priceless. It’s not a phrase I would use in my daily repertoire but it is a well know old Aussie saying. My Dad, being an expat from the UK, just loved it when he first heard it when they arrived here back in the 80’s and he loves to use it occasionally in front of visitors.

Simply means I’M THIRSTY. But the imagery associated with it is probably the true magic in the saying.

 

Enjoy these phrases next time you visit these countries or meet someone of that country. I hope you at least get a laugh…. preferably not a slap in the face 😉

Taiwan offer Free Tourist Tours for Transiting Travellers

Stop over’s and transit time in Airports can often be one of the major pitfalls of International travel.

 

Picture this: You have just been on an 11 hour flight and you now have to wait 6 hours in a sterile, cold, unfriendly and busy International Airport Terminal. You are then faced with another 12 hours or so of flying time before you touch down wearily at your destination. Transit is not all that terrible when you are on your way to a country and your fun filled holiday, but it’s a whole other story on the way back. You are dreaming of your own bed but the wait continues to drag on, will you ever see your beloved pillow again?

 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is combating this problem with the Transit Tourist program. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau offers FREE half day tours from the Airport on either the cultural route or the City route. This allows travellers to get out for 4-5 hours and enjoy the sites of Taiwan. This is especially good in an airport such as Taiwan Toayuan as it really is a big, sterile, quiet and lonely airport.

 

I was lucky enough to arrive at 6.30am on February 12th 2007, so with what felt like a hangover and 12 hours until my flight left, I was not looking forward to the day. Luckily I bumped into some other weary travellers and we all headed to the tourism desk which we had been notified about on the plane. There were 6 of us there and we quickly formed a bond and chose to do a cultural tour of the city in the morning, this meant that we could get back to the Airport by lunchtime and then travel all together by shuttle to the central Taipei. This way we got the best of both tours.

 

I was so thankful to have something to do for the day and to have met such a unique and interesting bunch of people to spend the time with. A Greek/ Aussie guy named Zoran, A Canadian girl living in Oz named Sarah (Nugs), A Japanese/ Australian whose name evades me and Tony and Nick from Newcastle. We clicked right away and spent the journey to the temple and ancient city chatting about our trips to date.

 

The cultural tour was definitely worth braving the wet and foggy morning for. The ancient city was fascinating with intricately designed buildings containing little businesses that had been running for many years. We really got a great peek into the Taiwanese culture. The guide was brilliant as well. He was knowledgeable, animated and very open to questions. We had 3 hours to stroll around the old city, temple, morning market and small art museum. I was so fascinated by the culture and really was disappointed now that I only had a short day here. Taiwan is onto something with there little taste tester tourist trips. Marketing 101 – free samples!

 

After shopping, seeing the sWhen they say Fresh, they mean Fresh!ights and being stunned by some of the Taiwanese customs- including having a live fish on hooks at your stall to show just how fresh your produce is, we boarded the bus and headed back to the airport. Our now tight knit group then jumped on the city shuttle to head to the famous Taipei 101! How lucky are we to have such a fun filled day with only 10 hours to spare!

 

We arrived at the incredible Taipei 101 and decided lunch was probably the best option first and as the tallest tower in the world also doubles as a shopping centre, we were able to find a rather large food court to satisfy our appetites. Choosing lunch was interesting….. and finding almost an entire chicken in Sarahs soup was an experience, but overall the food was delicious and the choice unfathomable. Great Asian flavours and at wonderfully low prices. Tallest Tower in the World

 

We decided to walk through the many levels of shops that we could never afford to purchase things from and amused ourselves with the many gadgets and products on offer. It was then time for the tallest tower in the world, Taipei 101! Once you reach the top you are greeted with both indoor and outdoor viewing decks which offer amazing views over what appears to be the entire island that is the tiny Taiwan. There was also a museum inside containing strange and unusual coloured lights – we didn’t know the purpose of it but it was fun to explore. Photos were in abundance and many oohs and ahs were spoken. It’s definitely a sight to be seen and one to cross off the old traveller list.

 

We got back to the airport around 8pm as we were all rather tired from our Big Day Out. Happy to realise once we had checked in that we had most certainly made the right decision in having a day out as the Airport was so quiet , sterile and un-welcoming.

 

Of all the airports to have to spend the day in- Taiwan’s International Airport is the best. What a great idea to help tourists on their long journeys and to entice them back to this beautiful and interesting country. If you have the option, choose Taiwan as your international stop-over, all you need is a day to have a fantastic taste of Taiwan!

 

You can take advantage of the Free Half-Day Tour for Transit Passengers offered by the Tourism Bureau. The Presidential Office Building, the Taipei 101 Mall, and several other places of interest are included in the tour. You may register at the Arrival Lobby Tourist Service Center.

 

Terminal I: Morning tour: bus leaves at 7:45 a.m. and returns to the airport before 1 p.m.* Afternoon tour: bus leaves at 1:45 p.m. and returns to the airport before 6:30 p.m.*

 

Terminal II: Morning tour: bus leaves at 7:30 a.m. and returns to the airport before 1 p.m.* Afternoon tour: bus leaves at 1:30 p.m. and returns to the airport before 6:30 p.m.* *Actual return time to terminal may vary according to traffic conditions.

 

For information at the airport go to: http://www.taoyuanairport.gov.tw/english/about/item_e_e.jsp?itemid=6

 

For information on Travel in Taiwan visit the Tourism Bureau website: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0000236

 

Exploring the Ancient City

Melburnian for a weekend

I like Melbourne. Yes I said it! I like Melbourne.

 

But please don’t tell anyone! I have kept up the pretense of disliking it for so long that it would be such a loss of face at this point in my life!

 

My Melbourne mate Ben actually sent me this article just after I left: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/tale-of-two-cities-vain-sydney-trumpets-its-supremacy-to-itself-20091025-hem6.html

 

Hilarious! About the great divide between Sydney and Melbourne and the ongoing rivalry. I think the best thing about the article was in fact the comments below. The residents of these two cities JUMP on the defensive when this topic is mentioned…. It’s rather amusing when you wish to ruffle some feathers.

 

I went to Melbourne to visit a number of friends, predominantly 2 of my best friends Sam and Adair who I met in Mexico. We basically lived in each other’s pockets for 4 months and then didn’t get to see each other for 4 months. A reunion was in order.

 

As mentioned in my earlier blog ( https://lovellyinc.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/airport-travel-with-a-broken-back-verdict-not-bad/) I was apprehensive about travelling with my broken back.  However, the alarm was for no reason and after touching down safely I was only filled with joy and excitement.

 

My lovely friend Ben picked me up from the Airport which was great to be able to catch up with another friend before setting off to see my gorgeous Adair’s house. It was incredible when I met her family as we had heard so much about each other that we really felt as if we knew one another well. Very strange feeling, but very comforting.

 

A quick change and then off to FITZROY GARDENS for a night of frivolity with the Melbournites that are Adairs circle of friends. We drank and ate in the park until the early evening then strolled to Brunswick Street for more…. frivolity. A quick duck into the incredible LITTLE CREATURES Bar, which actually more resembles a barn, where we witnessed an amazing fire dancing show and sampled their signature beer. Then it was off to PERSAVERENCE which was a mere hop, skip and a jump down the road. We danced, I sat ( back needed a rest by this time) and then we overpaid for our drinks – $12.50 for a vodka red bull is a joke regardless of the venue! Cab home and flop into bed. It was a big day out!

 

Adair was working Sunday so it was just a lazy day of looking at photos from Mexico, playing with the new baby kittens, and watching odd movies with Adair’s brother. An afternoon stroll took us through St Kilda to Carlisle street which is bustling with little boutique stores and trendy cafes.

 

We ducked into one cafe and decided to have an afternoon snack. It was 3pm on Sunday, I guess time was getting on, but really you would think a cafe would have a good stock of ingredients for their menu items…. well no, not always the case. All three of us asked for something on the menu, and all three of us were politely asked to choose an alternative as they had run out of that for the day. So, although we didn’t get what we asked for, we got what we were given… service in Melbourne is world-class I tells ya!

 

We continued our stroll to the Melbourne highlight of Luna Park and the lovely beach down at St Kilda. I was excited to see it as the TV series from a few years ago The Secret life of Us was filmed here. One of my faves I must admit. It’s a trendy, calm, relaxed place with some great venues. The sun was shining and the blue skies were all around- the perfect afternoon to grab an ice cream and sit on the beach. All visitors to Melbourne must go to TRAMPOLINE ice cream! Spiced chocolate, Caramel Pear and Violet rumbly just to name a few!

 

Sunday evening was a nice meal at home with my gorgeous friend Sam who I had spent so much time with in Mexico. The three amigas reunited! We told stories and reminisced for hours. A curry, some wine, good company and a lovely Spring evening. What more can a Sydney girl want from the Melbourne hospitality!

 

Monday was to be a busy day of sightseeing- MELBOURNE STYLE! But as I slept in til 10.30am ( apparently I looked angelic and peaceful in my slumber and was left to rest) it was a slower start to the day. We managed to cram in a lot though.

 

– Lunch with Ben near Elizabeth street… I don’t remember the name or exact location….I’m new to this city!

– Collected my Mexican friend JCarlos from the hostel on Flinders Street and proceeded to Flinders Street Station ( stopping briefly at my Little cupcake for a delicious little treat) and then on to watch a short street performance.

– Met Adair’s friend Steph and shopped in the lovely little lanes

– Rooftop – A very hip bar on a 7th floor roof terrace for Sangria and to meet another friend Vas who I lived with in London. Alarming how many people were drinking at 4pm on a Monday. Doesn’t anybody work anymore?

– Off home, with a slight detour to a political rally about the boat people and Tamil, whilst managing to collect yet another friend to add to our party.

– Home to Adair’s to make a 6 litre bucket of Sangria and homemade pizzas before retiring to the balcony to watch the sunset and enjoy each others company. 6 random people on a balcony on a Monday- I was in heaven.

 

A 5am start was required the next day and an after thought about the Sangria perhaps not being the best idea before an early morning jet setting adventure. We made it though! Got to the Airport in plenty of time but left feelingvery sad as I left new friends and my new love… Melbourne.

 

Melbourne. I hate it but I love it.

 

Thanks for showing me such a great time and I’ll see you again soon!

 Adair and I, together again. BUENAS AMIGAS

March in Mexico – General Highlights

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS OF MONTERREY

  • Catamaran party – Ummm so cool! See the pics! 60 people on a boat on a  lake surrounded by mountins, drinking, dj, sunset – oh and it was $27 Aussie HAHAHA muy barato! So cheap!

 

  • Jackie James, Adair’s best Aussie mate, coming to visit in Monterrey- loca chica! Crazy times were had – including a night at a concert, meeting some new Mexican friends and drinking until sunrise before heading to IHOP for breakfast!

 

  • Beth, my American friend from Texas who I met at Australian Unigames, coming to stay with me for 5 days and me feeling obliged to show her ALL that Mexico has to offer- and we did!! Thanks for helping me see my city babe!

 

  • Our friend being pulled over by the police for his headlights being dodgy, him having an attitude problem, his car getting towed and then my friend from class rocking up randomly cos he saw a blonde girl on the side of the highway- go figure!

 

  • Hanging out with my New Mexican friend in his brothers recording studio- and perhaps helping the band to promote themselves.
  • …..  yes there is a theme here, most things happen at parties!

 

  • Being asked if we were Canadian or American by 2 sweet girls having a bet at the movies

 

  • Walking home from the cinema and seeing a sleeping man on the street, dogs barking and being shouted at from cars- REMINDER We live in Mexico!

 

  • nearly forgot….. BACKSTREET BOYS!!! I went to see my childhood hearthrobs- who I am again in love with as they crooned away to all my old faves- well actually I would have liked a few more but hey- Nick is crazy, AJ got fat and bald, Brian is now like a country singer and Howie got hot! go figure!

 

  • BEACH PARTY -my Aussie boys, drew, Paul and Simon, yet again decided to throw an EPIC PARTY!! Firebreathers, red and green lights over the entire apartment complex, a dj, mini pools all over the terrace, THE HOT DOG MAN (see pics below) and probably well over 400 people- more I’m guessing,. And the most disgraceful mess in the morning WOO WOO! Good work boys!

 

  • Watching my friends in their band, Mexicans, RADIO ANDRES! So great. And they came and performed in my school. I really like their music and want to help them with PR….. haha always working.