Mar 23

I arrived at Melbourne on Sunday. I’m staying at the Rydges Bell City hotel, which is quite nice, definitely a step up from the Medina hotel I stayed in in Sydney. Not that the Medina hotel was any bad, but still.

On the day of arrival, I checked out the Preston suburb a bit. I found a KFC and popped in. They didn’t have any food made of beef, so I ordered a burger that looked ok’ish, and ended up getting a chicken burger with chips. Then I remembered that KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which somewhat explains the no-beef thing. This was my first time in a KFC by the way, and as a beef lover I don’t think I’m going back any time soon.

Not that chicken is bad, quite the contrary. Rice and chicken is teh good, while chicken doesn’t go together too well with hamburgers. It was certainly edible, but still meh.

I bought a weekly MetCard ticket for Zone 1, which allows me to travel between the nearest train stop and the city centre. The trains are quite all right, but a little slow because there are so many stops in between.

I still haven’t completely accustomed to looking right first when crossing the street, but fortunately there haven’t been any close calls. The nearest grocery store from my hotel is about one kilometer away. I have to cross several streets on my way there and back, so I get a lot of practice. And of course, there are plenty of streets to cross while in the city centre.

Melbourne seems somewhat “calmer” and less busy than Sydney, in a way that it doesn’t give out quite as hectic a feeling. Then again, it might just be me. The great thing about both cities is that the calm streets/areas are never too far away. In Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a haven of tranquility just a few blocks away, and there are plenty of parks in Melbourne as well.

There certainly are a plethora of shopping opportunities in Melbourne. You can’t be so rich as to not go broke if you just start impulse shopping everything. But I’ve not found sport shorts for exercising as of yet. There’s supposed to be a big sports store at the basement level of the Melbourne Centre shopping mall. Maybe I’ll go there tomorrow or the day after.

There’s a pool at the hotel resort, which I’m planning to check out tomorrow. If the weather is sunny, I’ll probably hang around the poolside as well for some time, given that my sunburns from Bondi beach have sufficiently healed.

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