Update from Melbourne

Wow, what a crazy ride the last few months have been. I’ve been out of touch with most of you. Friends and family, I could have been doing better.

Anyway, the move to Melbourne happened. I was not ready for anything. Perfect place to start right?

The first day here could not have been more interesting. On my flight in I was looking over the city thinking ok that looks cool that must be where we are going to land. Then then we kept flying. For another 10 minutes. OMGoodness gracious me. This place is larger and weirder than all of the places I have lived before.

Melbourne, Australia

Well now, lets begin the adventure. Stepping off the plane. Its much like any airport that I have been to before. Except it kept going. And going. 10 minutes of walking later we came to the baggage carousel room. Only for the New Zealand flights. Looking around you could understand that this place was like a factory. Simply know that most bags would have to be checked over somehow on both ends you realised that there was so much security and you could see why.

After waiting about 30 minutes to get my bag I walked over to get my biometrics photo taken because of the fact that I have a New Zealand passport. This photo attaches you to your passport. From now on we are taking photos of you all the time. We will just remind you of that by putting cameras everywhere. In all the public transport, in the parks. Its all for your security right?

No its wholesale surveillance, but lets not go there… yet.

Standing in the line again. Who knows what for this time. There are officially dressed people saying to have our documents ready. Passport, the receipt we got from the photo booth, and deceleration of documents and baggage.

I had followed my father’s advice and declared something though. I had bottles and pills for my contact lenses, and a few other bits and pieces that I knew could be considered dangerous, but super unlikely. I was told that declaring something would speed up the process.

Now, I was standing in front of the first human that I had spoken to in Australia. Question time, will Mark be let in? Here we go…

“Oh looks like you missed a box here. Why didnt you tick that? Can you please complete your document Sir, Then I will proceded” said the customs official.

What was the questions you ask? Well, read on.“Have you been in any forestry area in the last few weeks? Oh you mean like New Zealand everywhere? Yes I have been in New Zealand.”

Above story only happened in my mind. No I ticked that box. People like me are probably how the virus Ebola will probably spread around the world.

“Oh and you declare that you have medications. Do you have any prescription medications?” Well its good that before I left New Zealand that I discarded my remaining 5000 IU vitamin D tables. Hehe.

“No I do not” I said, convincingly enough apparently. “Well, that all seems fine to me. Please sign it in front of me. I will witness it.”

So standing there, I signed the arrival documents to Australia. Such an amazing feeling.

“Welcome to Australia, you can exit through those doors ahead of you.”

I picked up my bag. At this point of the story I want to have actually had a pair of aviators and slow motion video cameras. I would put a song over it like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin playing. Fuck it felt cool. <- (Stuff like that is why you should not quote me) 🙂

Boom you’re outside. A wall of people. Two of three hundred. All looking the same way, at the same door. Packed into the arrival corridor, not room. This place must have been 50 meters across and there were several hundred people in the room all looking at you. At this point I was going to say to them that I told some of my jokes to the customs officials. They didn’t laugh because I bombed. (See I started the paragraph with boom. I blew through the doors right?)

From there I stumbled around to get my Airbus ticket ready. A Bus for $18, from the airport to Southern Cross Train station, melbourne CBD. Including, connecting travel to your end destination.

Now you’re in the heart of it. I got off that bus which was full of advertising for different tourist activities. Ugh…

Southern Cross Station

“One of the five stations on the City Loop, commuters can enjoy the convenience of a Woolworths Express, over 40 retail stores and cafes, with direct access to Etihad Stadium, Melbourne’s Docklands precinct, the CBD and Spencer Outlet Centre.

Located at the western end of the City, it is the terminus of the state’s V/Line regional railway network, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and NSW TrainLink XPT services to Sydney. Plus has coach services to Melbourne Airport and Avalon Airport, as well as regional Victorian and interstate destinations.” From http://www.southerncrossstation.net.au/

Southern Cross is the station to stop for access to everything transport related. Trains (including interstate), Busses and Trams.

Well I’ve got my bag lets find a toilet and freshen up a bit.

*Ping*

What was that? Oh crap my strap is breaking. Quick reactions now. Spin around and catch your bag before it hits the ground. Well, not quite but I caught it nonetheless. Turns out the straps of my bag couldn’t deal with the way (and weight) I was carrying it. Sigh. Well now I have something to sew up at some stage. I knew I had that sewing kit for a reason.

Now, how do I catch that connecting bus? I should get a coffee, I need to wake up. Its only what 7am?

I walked around southern cross station for about 20 minutes. In the end, I decided to go back to the bus stop and ask someone wearing a sky bus uniform. Turns out I should have turned left and walked 10 meters instead of turning right. Sigh. I got the transfer bus to my backpackers and I was now at home for a while.

I got dropped off at my backpackers. After that, well, that is a story for another time.

Its been an interesting time over here. Still looking for work and long term accommodation. I’m looking at moving into the Nunnery Backpackers.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please send me a nice email markchristison@gmail.com. Its the easiest way to keep in touch with me.

Gidday (can I use that to sign off, well, I am),

Mark Christison

P.S. Off to a bbq in the park this afternoon. Thats why I had to cut it short.

P. P. S. If you haven’t done it go and listen to “How many more times”. Have a great day. Get out there and kick ass.

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