This trip is turning out to be quite an adventure. Or misadventure, depending on how you look at it.
First the broken door slide thing on the Qatar flight and the need to offload 18 people with the bribe of a business class upgrade. Did that. Got to spend a night in a comfy hotel, have 2 showers and change clothes.
Got to spend a day in Melbourne. I really didn’t want to do much. Not really. I didn’t want to go shopping cause I knew I’d want to spend money I need for Greece. But a guy I met from the same flight had 2 cab charges and wasn’t going to use them. That meant that I could go into the city to do something, anything, and get back to the airport for free.
So, why not?
I’d never been to Federation Square before and heard it was pretty amazing. It was being built when I first left Melbourne to live in Tasmania.
So I took the taxi and visited the famous Federation Square. On a day that reminded me of Holland: overcast and grey.
Everyone was complaining about the cold.
hmph. Not nearly as cold as Hobart was the day before!
Its right opposite the gorgeous old Flinders Street Station building.
The contrast of old and new is pretty startling. Federation Square is all modern buildings with sitting areas outside, cafes and restaurants everywhere, galleries and all kinds of entertainment. Including a large outdoor stage and a huge monitor. The whole setup reminded me of all those futuristic films and 1984.
Big Brother is watching you.
The one thing I thought I’d really like to do while here – to see the Australian Impressionist exhibition – was closed.
Just my luck. But the buildings are impressive. In their high tech way.
In all that ultra-modern glass and metal I found something I could relate to:
Since there was nothing I really wanted to do at Federation Square and I’d seen what there was to see of the place, I decided that maybe I would succumb to shopping after all.
I walked up Swanston Street, the same street I walked up and down so often when I was a student at the Victorian College of Arts. It was the same but so different. So much busier. The small side alleys are no longer just small alleys, there are shops everywhere, and more people that I remember before in Melbourne.
Surprise: the “all you can eat vegetarian meals” served by guys in orange robes is still there up the rickety steps! Perfect food for students which I availed myself to a few times while at art school.
And I discovered something about myself. I can no longer handle big busy cities. I had stimulation overload. Too much to see, too much noise, too many people.
I wondered into some shops and suddenly started to feel that low blood sugar thing where I just had to eat something (chocolate!) fast or risk ripping someone’s head off. I grabbed a coffee and had half a chocolate brownie, then walked back to Flinders Street to get a taxi back to the hotel.
I’m over big cities.
So here I am now, back at the airport for the 2nd time in 24 hours, getting ready to board a plane for leg 2 of a journey that went from 3 legs to 4.
And guess what? The plane started boarding, I got in line and the line stopped. We waited and waited. Then we were told there was a small problem with a seat (?) they were fixing and boarding would resume shortly.
Thirty minutes later we’re told the flight will be delayed for an hour due to the problem being in the hold and they had to remove part of the floor.
And the passengers who had boarded already got off.
Not a good sign.
We’d sat down where we were in line, but we got up at that and decided to move around some while we still could. Another half hour delay and a change of gate.
Now we’re up to 2.5hrs delay and still waiting.
I wonder what will happen if they get us to Perth and we miss yet another flight to Doha?
Will this trip be extended by another night in another city?
I sure hope not. I want to get to Athens so I can get to Paros where I’ll finally be able to relax!
ps. I found this hadn’t published for some strange reason. Trying again now. Better late than never!