Friday May 6
** NOTE: click the pictures to make them bigger!
Today I indulged in the most delicious breakfast I have ever eaten: poached eggs on multigrain toast with tomato, spinach, Swiss cheese and mushrooms with Australian coffee (more like an espresso), all under an umbrella of tree branches with humongous leaves the size of your head. The shop was called “Incr 7”, located on Inkermen Street, building #7. A 5 minute walk from my hostel.
At noon, a small group of us met up for a tour around the heart of St. Kilda, lead by event guru Molly. It reminded me of Toronto somewhat, with some splashes of Italian-like buildings. On one corner there would be a beautiful old church, and right beside it an extremely modern building. The contrasting structures made the city so unique. As we strolled down admiring the architecture, the beautiful music by buskers playing the accordion entertained the group. Molly decided to take our small group into the alleys, which was filled with a kind of art I highly admire – street art. Apparently a few years ago street art was highly illegal, and if one was caught with one spray can they would be charged $1000.00, with two spray cans $2,000, etc. However this has clearly changed, and the alley-way walls are completed covered in graffiti art. It was unbelievably beautiful, I could get lost in the maze of the alleys for days appreciating the remarkable work.
Within all the alleys were mini shops, bars, and food joints. Molly took us to a roof top bar, where we had to climb seven flights of stairs to get to (so by the time you get up you are REALLY thirsty!). We got some drinks and chilled out on the fake-grass covered seats overlooking the city. Afterwards we stopped by a cheap baguette store where you can get a sandwich for $3.50 (super cheap here)!
Right after my tour I met up with my friend Kerri at Flinders Station. Kerri is au pairing here in Melbourne and we had made plans to meet today and have dinner at her host family’s house. Kerri and I, may I add, have only met two times before hand, as she is a friend of my boyfriends. Even so, she took a train from her home to meet me, and greeted me with love in her bright red coat with one of her family’s children, Harper, in a stroller. Training it back to her place, she gave me a tour of the absolutely gorgeous house. Kerri was so welcoming; I was able to freshen up and take a shower and borrow some of her clothes for dinner. The rest of the family came home, and while Kerri cooked the children dinner I was able to play with 3-year-old Harper on the trampoline. After the kids ate, Kerri, myself, and her host mom and dad, Mimi and John, had our own dinner that John had previously cooked. Mimi and John were so incredibly friendly. John and I connected over his gardening of plants and herbs (which I helped him cut for the soup he made for dinner), and Mimi and I connected over her lovely choices of art in her home. While sipping white New Zealand wine, we also talked about our love of Summer Heights High, and Mr. G, a.k.a Chris Lilley. They even informed me that he is often in downtown Melbourne hanging out, and they wouldn’t be surprised if I bumped into him! I then confessed to them my plan of not only meeting Chris, but abducting him and smothering him into Canada (kiddingggg). Mimi also informed me that when she was still in journalism that she had once conducted an interview with my all-time favourite actor, heartthrob Heath Ledger. I almost fell out of my chair I was so jealous.
After dinner and babbling on about Ricky Gervais and Aussie/Canadian slag, Kerri showed me the way back to my hostel around 11pm via tram. I feel so privileged to have been greeted by such a lovely family in their beautiful home. As I crawl into my bed all cozy and extremely content, I can only dream of what tomorrow will bring!