In Melbourne, it’s a well-accepted truth that the weather is unpredictable. I’ve heard the phrase “if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes” time and time again (and I haven’t even been here a month yet). The meteorologists claim it keeps them in jobs, the older people complain about it and everyone comes prepared. Always. Seriously, these Melbournians could all be boy scouts.
I, however, am an American. Nay, I am a North Carolinian. We may have 30s one day and 60s the next, but whatever weather is happening THAT day, will continue happening that day. If it’s raining, pull out your wellies because there will be flooding by day’s end. If it’s sunny, throw on some sunblock and grab your sunnies (hehe) because it’s gonna be a great day. And so on, and so forth.
I have adapted to many things in this city, but I have yet to get a handle on the weather. In the past two days I’ve been rained on TWICE. One was slightly predictable, but today’s was out of NOWHERE.
Yesterday I made my maiden daytime voyage into the beautiful city center for the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Since the main plot of this post is the weather, let me start by saying that when I first arrived in the CBD, it was a balmy high 70’s with overcast skies. Photographic Proof:
Sandee (my adventurous companion for the day of tastings and drinks) and I had found an area on Southbank (across the Yarra river from the famous Flinder’s station, Fed Square, etc) that had a group of about 8 restaurants serving $15 tasting plates. Once you purchased one tasting plate, you got a free pass into the free (yes, free) wine tasting along the Yarra river (must have been 12-14 wineries represented).
Well, let’s just say we gained “free” entry into the wine tasting three times over as we managed to hit three different restaurants, enjoying a sampling of appetizers at each venue. Spoiler alert—they were all DELICIOUS.
Since arriving in Australia, I really haven’t eaten out too much. Partly because I’m still living off my own savings, as my stipend and teaching pay have yet to kick in, and partly because it’s almost overwhelming how many dining options they have here. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I do feel like yesterday I was finally able to check a few things off my culinary exploration list (and by check off I just mean I got to experience them finally, not that I won’t try them again because oh MAN will I be trying all those foods again). I had oyster, shrimp, crab, kangaroo!!!, tacos (pork, fish, chicken, beef, veg), some delicious caramel brownie, zucchini fritters, steak tartar, and likely other delicacies I’ve already forgotten. All this description without even mentioning the wine, apologies. The wine was delicious. Obviously I was more partial to some (*Cough*cabernets*cough*), but I was always taught to try everything once (thanks Mom and Dad!).I took pictures of all the ones I liked because with 12-14 vendors each carrying 4-6 wines, it’s easy to become confused.
By now (a few hours after arrival) the clouds had mysteriously disappeared, leaving the sun free to light up the city with it’s beautiful (yet potently strong) rays. Obviously I took full advantage of the city sky line and lighting by snapping a few quick photos.
All in all it was a grand adventure in the city-one that we topped off with a quick visit to the Royal Casino.
Having only been to one casino before (in Saint Louis, Missouri), this one was quite impressive to me. I don’t have much ground for comparison, but the size alone was shocking, never mind their ceiling décor.
We signed up for their free loyalty program, and quickly spent our promotional $10 credit (plus a little).
By the time we decided it was time to head home, a torrential downpour awaited us outside.
As I was wholly unprepared for this dramatic turn of events, Sandee lent me her umbrella for my trek to the tram (as she opted for a cab ride home). Well, it was useful and then not. As soon as I popped it open, the wind flipped it inside out and I was so quickly soaked that I folded the umbrella back up and walked to the tram The Casino was at a different part of the city so it took some friendly Aussie’s advice to get me back to my tram home. Every now and then I tried to pop the umbrella open, but the effort it took to hold it sideways (yes the rain was coming for me sideways), was more trouble than it was worth. I made it home safe, sound and soaked. What a night.
This morning I wanted to venture to the market and try out my brand new bike basket. Yes friends, I have a basket on my bike. I paid a pretty penny (well, not a penny, aussie’s don’t have money less than 5cents, odd right??) for a nice bike rack and easily detachable basket so I don’t always have to look ridiculous, but this basket is crucial to my poor back’s survival as a loaded down backpack ride 3 times a week was NOT working.
As I rode to the store I actually noted how pretty the skies were. I would definitely venture around my neighborhood to take some pictures of the houses and trees with this beautiful blue sky later today. I meandered through the mall and gathered my groceries only to return (not even 30 minutes later) to my poor water-logged bike. Well played, weather. Well played. I set a blistering pace back home, but arrived, once again, safe sound and soaked. I don’t like this trend I’ve started…
So I didn’t like the weather…what did I do? I waited ten minutes. Sure enough those clouds disappeared, taking the cold rain with them, and left me with a beautiful afternoon of photography.
Moral of the story? Weather= 2 Mary= 0. Don’t get too comfortable Mr. Weather…I am planning a comeback.