Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Loco-Motion

Though plenty of folks, especially here in Borneo, rave endlessly over the spectacular wonders Down Under, I've always found myself a tad underwhelmed. Had my trip there way, way back during my university break years and to me, it's just another extensive Pacific Island - not all that different from the one I'm currently on - with just a little more development, far more Caucasians and lots of scorching desert.

Close enough it should come as no surprise that we have lots of amicable two-way travel between Borneo and Australia; with more than a few proper migrations!

After what amounted to a tedious three month stint over there, I never actually thought of repeating the visit. Hit most of the big cities there from Melbourne to Sydney, checked out the sights from the Great Ocean Road to the Blue Mountains, caught the penguins and the koalas. Didn't really see much point of making a return... till Sassy Sue and the kids finally made their move over there to what's apparently being termed the world's most liveable city.

I beg to differ of course.

Though this hot Aussie bloke could certainly convince me otherwise!

But it's hard to say no to family so I planned the trip to coincide with niece and nephew's Easter break.

Like every doddering elderly person, I gotta say this. It really is amazing how quickly kids grow up. Almost in the blink of an eye, Chatty Carmen has turned into a veritable young lady; though not in ribbons and lace as one would expect. Far more sober than I would have imagined, Carmen's more likely to be found in utilitarian sweatshirts and jeans than flouncy skirts and dresses. However her budding creative side has found life and expression in her artwork which I adore.

Which Carmen loves as well - despite repeatedly denouncing her supposedly astringent art teacher.

Several years junior, Rambling Raoul remains pretty much the same. Such a sweetheart that I'm sure he's the delight of all his classmates and teachers. Though I do wish he would attend to his school lessons just a little more - but then that's the kiasu Asian in all of us.

Dragged them all down to the city for a quick walk down Swanston eventhough I was feeling quite woozy from my usual wretched after-plane effects. Soldiered on I did!

Don't think I can say I've fallen madly in love with Melbourne like so many have but I did find myself reluctantly charmed by the Melbourne style architecture favoured by the inner city suburbs with the delicate lace ironwork applied to the balconies and balustrades. Obviously I was far too involved before with staring at my tourist map to look up at the pretty terrace houses all over Melbourne.

Then again they probably did undergo some gentrification.

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