January 26th marks the foundation of Australia by Captain Arthur Phillip of the British Navy. It’s a time “where the people of Australia come together to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian.” (Source: Australia Day)
To celebrate, we headed southwest out to Geelong, 73 kilometers from Melbourne. Everybody seemed to have the same idea, since the freeway had long lines of cars and when we were nearing the Geelong exit, we slowed to a crawl. My first Australian traffic jam!
Coming from Manila, where almost everything is cheap, prices of goods, services and admission tickets can be terribly shocking once you convert it to peso. Of course, they always say don’t convert else you won’t buy anything. Then again, there are plenty of inexpensive options around, specially here in [tag]Melbourne[/tag].
There are plenty of free activities around the city, from watching a trapeze company performing in the street to watching a concert at the Federation square. To help you get around, there’s the free City Cirle Tram and the free Tourist Shuttle bus, which takes you to (or within walking distance to) all of the major tourists attractions in the city.
Another year is coming to a close less than two hours from now. Yet I’m here at my sister’s house in my jammies with only the sound of the ticking clock for company. There’s a TV less than 10 feet away from me and I can’t even bring myself to reach for the remote and open it.
December 31st here in Melbourne is certainly different from New Year’s Eve in Manila. For one thing, I can’t smell any smoke from firecrackers set off by the neighbor’s. It’s really quiet here. Too quiet.