Sunday, March 6, 2011

My second first 48 hours in Melbourne

I didn't go to St. Kilda, Albert Park, the Peel, the Prince of Wales, or any of my other favorite places from my first time in town. But still, somehow, after another 48 hours in Melbourne, I think I loved the city even more.

On the second day, God created the sky to separate water from water. I went for a run around the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is a few blocks from my apartment in South Yarra, a semi-posh area that's thisclose to giving St. Kilda a run for its money as my favorite Melbourne suburb. I'd spent the Friday night before with a friend I'd made here last October. We went down the road to Pinocchio Pizza for a take-out pie with cheese, hot salami (or, as they call it in the U.S., pepperoni), chicken and pineapple, picked up a six-pack of Corona, and headed back to my rental, where I watched Forrest Gump for the first time, and he discovered (much to his surprise, which was much to my surprise) that The Golden Girls, which he'd recently seen for the first time on Australian TV, is my all-time favorite show. He likes it, too, which makes me like him even more. Good thing I brought my Golden Girls DVD collection over with me.

But that Forrest Gump! Terrible movie (did Tom Hanks really win a second-in-a-row Oscar for this?), awesome night.

Due to a bad flight over (no turbulence, but no good in-flight entertainment or sleeping positions conducive to a quality shut-eye either), I'm possibly more exhausted than I've ever been in my life. I couldn't go to a friend's house for dinner as planned on Saturday night because I literally was incapable of moving my body more than a few degrees in any direction.

Still, I haven't slept for more than a few hours at a time, and I'm not sure how I managed to complete that 60-minute jog around the "Tan." (I'm looking forward to lasting longer when I go for Sunday's run.) Jetlag is such a bitch. I don't think it was this bad last time, but I eventually got over it then, and I suppose I will again.

I'd forgotten how terrible the jetlag can be, but I didn't forget about Woolworths. I can't believe how excited a supermarket can make me. After all, there's no dance floor, no beer on tap, no hot guys, no Kylie Minogue blasting from the speaker system. It might be that I've been spoiled by the Buenos Aires shopping experience -- and not in the good way. You can buy a TV at Coto, one of the major supermercado chains there, but you can't get decent frozen vegetables or baked goods, and the only microwavable meals on sale always seem to be frozen chicken nuggets, beef patties, fish sticks, breaded crap (otherwise known as milanesa) and pizza (which, granted, is much better than what they serve in the average pizzeria). At least Coto, and pretty much every grocery store in BA, regardless of size, offers an excellent selection of cookies.

Unfortunately, the fruit salad on sale at Woolworths looks only slightly better than what's sliced up and served in the U.S. Yes, BA's ensalada de fruta will be sorely missed.

But as I've said before, man cannot live on fruit salad alone anyway, and I swear I still can spend hours just wandering the aisles at Woolworths trying to decide what to buy. On Saturday, I settled for a package of oatmeal raisin cookies, a double-pack of mango yogurt, three individual bags of vegetable medley, two microwavable Indian-style dinners (lamb rogan josh with rice and massaman beef curry with rice), orange juice and a full roasted chicken. That's probably enough food to get me to Wednesday, but I'm already planning my return trip to Woolworths after my Sunday jog around the "Tan" to see what else I can put on my first-week menu besides St. Kilda, the Peel and the Prince of Wales.

Ah, Melbourne! It's good to be back.
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