Monday, March 24, 2008

Melbourne Trip - Day Five

16 March 2008

Today we set out earlier than usual since we had planned on going to several places which we have to cover by 6.00pm, as all the places that we wanted to go closes at 6.00pm.

I have always said that the `Mat Salleh' knows how to relax as almost everything, be it places of interest or shops, closes at 5.00pm or 6.00pm, except for the bars and entertainment outlets, when everyone is forced to stay indoors and spend quality time at home with their families. Unlike here in Malaysia, most places of interest or shopping complexes closes at 10.00pm. So, you can actually do more in a day, go to many more places in a day, or make more money too in a day! *grin*

Whenever we go for our travels, we are always in a rush to cover as many destinations as possible before they close. On the other hand, when tourists come to Malaysia, they can go to all the places of interest while the sun is still shinning bright, and do the shopping at night. The day is filled up to the limit. You get your money's worth coming to Malaysia.

When we went to Sydney 4 years ago, I find that we always ended up not knowing what to do after 5.00pm, and we would usually end up just staying in the room watching TV. We would usually go out during the day, but, should Aiman, he was only four then, feels tired (he had just recovered from a fever) and wanted to go back to the hotel even though it would only be 2.00pm, we would end up up not going anywhere after that because by the time Aiman wakes up from his nap, feeling refreshed and active, it would have been passed 5.00pm. What a waste to a day, since we came from so far away! But, Aiman's health comes first and we do not want to tire him out too much, especially since he had just recovered from a fever.

I think Malaysians are such a hard wokring lot. Either that, or they just don't know how to relax, or they want to make as much money as possible because when they open shop for longer hours, they get more traffic to the shops, which equals more money! LOL! *wink*.

Anyway, sorry for digressing *grin*, on Sunday, 16th March, we started out by taking the train to Queen Victoria Market since I read that on Sundays, the market which normally sells a huge variety of fresh produce on any other day, makes way for traders selling variety and speciality goods.

However, since we were there very early in the morning, some of the stalls were just about to be set up. Here we found a lot of T-shirts going for very cheap, and even cheaper if we buy them in bulk. I was very tempted since there were quite a number of very nice designs. However, I managed to refrained myself from buying any as I was starting to run out of cash, since most of the stalls only trade in cash.

Also, since my hubby had already bought me and my son, and himself a T-shirt when he went on the boys day out, I thought I shouldn't buy anymore. However, I wished that I had bought the sweater though, since it was one of the very few products that were selling there that were actually a product made in Australia. The others were mostly made in China. Oh well! No use regreting, right? *sigh*

However, I did buy something, and my hubby find it very surprising that I actually bought it since he knows that I am not much into buying those kind of things whenever we go on our travels. Heheh...I bought a leather handbag! *grin* How come? Because my turqouise handbag which I have had for the past 2 years is starting to give way. So, when I saw the turqouise leather handbag going for quite a reasonable price, I grabbed it! LOL!

While there, we stopped by a candy making shop and we were in awe looking at how the candies were made, not to mention that the guys making the candies were cute too! LOL! *wink* This is one shop that allowed us to take photos, which I did. I also bought a packet of mixed flavoured candies, which ended up being meshed together due to the heat. Oh well, everything is going into the tummy anyway. *grin*

We didn't stay that long at the market as we still had 3 more places to go to. We spent less than two hours there before taking the tram to the Art Center Sunday Market, on St. Kilda Road.

It boast on it's website that the Art Centre Sunday Market brings together over 150 stalls of the finest arts and crafts from around Victoria. However, I can't say that there were 150 stalls while we were there. It looks more like 80 stalls. But, then again, maybe because we did not walk the whole length of the Art Center.

However, we did enjoy looking at all the wonderful artwork hand created by the traders. They were beautiful pieces, but priced very much on the high side. I even saw a set of pincushion cupcakes which I really liked, but they were going for AUD15.00 each piece of cupcake!

I also fell in love with the many hand dyed wool and mohare yarns sold there, but, since I do not knit, I wouldn't know what I would do with them had I bought them. I do crochet, but I think crochet wouldn't bring out the best of the hand dyed yarns. But, they were so yummy! LOL!

One of the interesting 'entertainment' that can be found at the Art Center Sunday Market is this guy who painted himself white all over, including his face and hair, wearing only a pair of pants and putting on a pair of pointed ears to make himself look like a satyr, playing the flute.

He would only play when someone puts money into a hat. If no one puts any money, he would freeze in position. I was amazed at how long he can stay `frozen' because not everyone that passes by would put in money to see him play, and he would remain static in a certain position. It could sometimes be as long as 10 - 15 minutes before anyone would put in anything.

However, he will go on playing the flute for as long as money was put in. The length that people would go to for the sake of art and entertainment and to make money. Very creative too, I must say.

We left the Art Center Sunday Market without buying anything except for a bag of popcorn for Aiman. *grin*

Next stop - The Esplanade Market and Luna Park at St. Kilda.

The Esplanade Market also boast of having 200 stalls selling all things arts and craft, but I noticed that there were hardly even 100 stalls being set up when we got there. It could be because of the heat wave, because we got there at about 12.00 noon, and there weren't that many people either and when we wanted to leave at 3.30pm, most of the stalls were all packed up. They had advertised that they were open from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

I noticed that most people came for the beach, which was lovely, though we only saw it from afar. It was too far to make the walk to the beach, and the heat wave didn't help the situation.

Most of the stalls were selling similar items that can be found at the Art Center Sunday Market. I thought of buying a couple of artwork to take home but the heat simply made it uncomfortable to leisurely walk the length of the esplanade to admire the works. Also, Aiman was too eager to get to Luna Park, a theme park similar to Genting Highlands Theme Park, though much much smaller in size, and kept walking too fast for my leisurely pace. LOL!

As the day progressed, and as the heat got even worse, when we got to Luna Park, I quickly found myself a place to sit under a huge umbrella with a couple of bottles of cold water to ease the dry throat, as my hubby took Aiman on most of the rides in the park, leaving me to keep an eye on the bags.

I did not manage to get any snapshot of Aiman taking the rides as I did not want to leave my shady spot under the umbrella as it was the few shady spots available at the park, and many people were eyeing my spot since it was a hot day. Besides, I did not dare leave our bagpacks unattended. *grin*

I think Aiman enjoyed himself tremendously at the park as it took some persuasion some 2 hours later to get him to agree to go home. When we finally got on the tram to go back to our apartment, it was only then that Aiman must have felt tired because he fell asleep on the tram almost immediately.

End of Day Five

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