01 June 2010

A Beach, A Shrine, A Concert and A Good-Bye

It’d be my first ‘beaching’ in Australia. I had these for breakfast. They were given to me by Widgie when I first met her on my very first day in Melbourne. While all I could offer to her was a lame thank-you, I couldn’t help but feeling a little bit ashamed because I didn’t bring anything for her from Sabah. Uhuks!
According to Widgie, it’d take her a few days to finish the fruit cheese. Me being me, it took me less than 10 minutes. Don’t blame me. It tasted too good not to finish out right away.
I took a tram from Flinders Street Station to St. Kilda Beach.
It was Saturday so it wasn’t a surprise that the tram that I took was almost to its capacity.
Ohh, I actually hoped off the tram at a wrong stop. There would be at least a few more stops before the tram should reach the St. Kilda Beach. But then I was glad I did. Otherwise, I would have missed this.
The art of vandalism!
Melbourne is probably one of the most ‘painted’ cities in the world. They are so many wall paintings they actually give some artistic and lively look to the rather gloomily colored city.
They paint on just about everything.
Seriously, EVERYTHING.
Even this truck here was not spared.
Walking over towards the famous beach of St. Kilda, I knew I was almost there when I saw these scantily dressed women looking so…beachy. LOL!
I actually asked for directions from an old man with a walking stick when he recommended me to check out this thing here. “You gotta look very carefully, it’s beneath a big tree, don’t miss it”, he reminded me.
Apparently, it was another acknowledgement of traditional land for the aboriginal people.
You know you HAVE reached the St. Kilda beach when you see this.
It is actually another war memorial.
Welcome to St. Kilda Beach!
I was lucky to be there when the sky was so spotlessly clear and the beach was at its best look.
While Gold Coast alone has 70km of beaches and Sydney has at least half a dozen, St. Kilda’s is probably all that Melbourne has so it wasn’t at all surprising that it is so well-maintained.
People would come to St. Kilda’s to take a stroll around..
To cycle..
Or just to lie down and sunbathing..
Some to get lovey-dovey..
For me, St. Kilda Beach is just a perfect place for…. Camwhoring!
But seriously, the sea view at St. Kilda Beach is something to die for.
Ohh, and I’d come to realize how Melburnians love bitches dogs so much. I noticed that many of them come to St. Kilda with their dogs..
Which was why there was a section where dogs are allowed on the beach on leash..
And another section off-leash..
I was actually looking for a perfect spot to take a seat and just relax when I found this one here..
Oh well, I did a little bit of sunbathing..Except with my shirts on of course..
Dominating the landscape of St. Kilda Beach is this long stretch of pier..
It stretches all the way out to the iconic St. Kilda Pier Kiosk. It houses a café from which visitors could see the city of Melbourne from a distance..
Constructed in 1904, many people linked special memories with its simple yet elegant form. When it was destroyed in fire back in 2003, many of the local residents mourned it as if St. Kilda had lost part of its soul. It was then reconstructed in 2005, maintaining the original form.
The pier doesn’t stop at the kiosk actually. It stretches further out to some restricted area but just a little further down from the kiosk is this beautiful platform. It is actually part of the St. Kilda Breakwater and it is a protected wildlife area!
Ohh, and I didn’t know the existence of any goose species that live in the dry and salty sea. Not until I came here at St. Kilda Beach.
They seemed to mingle freely around with the seagulls.
But then, with such a crystal clear water for a habitat like this, I had to brace against the idea of taking my clothes off and joining them into the water..
And I didn’t understand what a pirate flag was doing in a place like St. Kilda.
Apparently, the status as a protected wildlife area doesn’t seem to apply for the fish.
There were quite a number of people fishing along the pier that I noticed.
Time passed by almost unnoticed. Before I knew, I had spent more than 3 hours there. It was time to say good bye to the beautiful St. Kilda. Of course I wouldn’t leave without taking errrr, one last photo.
While we only get to see the pole of a street lamp bended down when it is hit by a car here in Malaysia, they actually do it on purpose in St. Kilda.
They even made this pedestrian crossover a little bit errr, convoluted? LOL!
Found these on the bench of the stop from where I took a tram back to the city, I guess Melbourne has a thing about putting things straight. 
Melbourne as it is in most major cities is so ‘happening’ on Saturdays. It’s like everybody comes out into the streets to be part of the weekend vibrancy.
There were street performances everywhere.
And they were open about how they do it for money and NOT FOR FREE. [I’ve been to all over the world to perform and I don’t do it for free! I do it for MONEY! And it’s not a joke! So please come closer.. come closer… everybody come closer…and kindly put some money in here… Hey you! The guy with the camera! Where are you going??]
Errrkk, I knew I had to get out of the crowded streets. I took a tram and stopped right in front of this, errrr, weirdly-designed building here. I later learnt it was a cinema.
A little walk from there had led me to this.
It was actually the Shrine of Remembrance.
It is worth visiting here considering its relevance to our own history.
Thousands in the Australian army were killed on Malaysian soils during the World War 2 including over 2000 (together with British soldiers) that had perished when they were forced to march across 260km of treacherous terrain and dense jungle from Sandakan Prison Camp to Ranau in what is now infamously known as the Sandakan Death March.
You can just go in. It’s free.
The lower ground has these.
There were so many of them I’d rather visualize them all as one.
And I just couldn’t understand why every war shrine that I went to always had grueling stairs (Arc de Triomphe in Paris?).
What appears to be the focal point lies on the upper ground.
It’s a war shrine where people come to pay respect to those who died while fighting for their country.
So whenever you guys come here, show some respect.
Be silent and TAKE YOUR HAT OFF.
I was there when a memorial ceremony was taking place. There was a tiny light pointing down from the roof that moves across this square thingy here.
Upon walking on out to the veranda, you’ll see a 360 degree view the parks from a high standing point with the city of Melbourne in the background.
Quite so typical of me, I stayed there longer that I had intended to.
Getting back to the hostel later, I had to be prepared for what would be one of the highlights of my whole trip to Melbourne.
Melbourne International Jazz Festival! Taking place INSIDE the Federation Square building, it gotta be Melbourne’s version of the Albert Hall in London or probably our very own Istana Budaya in KL.
I couldn’t help but getting distracted by the cow-web of iron sections so heavily clogged up into each other in the background of the stage.
The concert was OK but I think they added in too many elements in the already heavy music that they played I actually thought it was more like a rendezvous than a jazz. Not that I didn’t like it but I would have preferred a simple jazz with some vocal. Still, it was such a good experience to be attending such a prestigious event.
Hitting into the streets later, we made our way off to this Vietnamese Food Restaurant here.
And I ordered a big bowl of Pho Bho. A very big one. Errrr, a very very big one actually. hehe.
Oh well, I’ve read somewhere that your sex drive can be measured based on how much you can eat. Or rather, you can judge how strong somebody’s sex drive is by looking at how much he/she can eat. SOOO, the story of Bill Clinton having had 2 bowls of Pho Bho when he visited Vietnam has become such an epic story amongst the Vietnamese people even until today. But then, he had TWO bowls for Christ's sake! 
aND I only had one. And was struggling. :-(
Now wonder his intern had to do the extra job for him. :-D The night didn’t end there actually. The ladies then put me into a very interesting conversation, not to mention INTELLIGENT I actually felt so sorry after awhile considering how little I could contribute to their rather academic discussion.
But seriously, talking to these ladies had been immensely eye-opening for me personally, they dragged me into thinking about things that probably never came to my head ever before, and for a moment I felt so dumb for even sharing the same table with them. I was so inspired in how they do things in their lives and as somebody who had been seriously thinking about migrating for quite some time now, they made me question myself why I am still here in Malaysia. :-D
I actually had a great time with them it didn’t feel good having to say good bye to them eventually.
Seriously, if they didn’t tell me they’d come back to KK for Christmas, I would have cried a man. Hehe.
Follow me as I bring you into one of my longest walk trails in my whole trip to Australia - the day when said NO THANKS to the trams and ended up leaving thousands of footsteps all over Melbourne : all in my next blogpost. :-)


Bridget said...

Aww it's ok that you didn't bring anything for me ba because the only things I really want are stuff that you can't bring here, i.e. ikan basung, mempelam, bambangan, etc. Nvm, I will eat my salmon and imagine that it's ikan pari bakar. With asam limau. *drools*

Yes, that was a good concert, wasn't it? And to top it all off, it was free!

I can assure you that you didn't sound dumb during the 'deep' conversation. As long as we didn't bore you to death, I thought you contributed nicely... :)

Oh and about the going back to KK thing, there might be some change of plans. Will tell u about that later.

Ok, back to my 3 assignments.

kenwooi said...

jazz performance! sighs makes me miss playing my saxophone.. haha..

oh yeah, the graffiti thingy.. in paris also got alot right? even in underground train tunnels!! haha..

i like the beach.. looks so comforting.. oh my i want my holidays back! =P

Kelvin said...

Luckily u did not swim in the sea...there is tons of bullsharks in it.

JIPP said...

hi Widgie.I can't never thank you enough for what you did for me in Melbourne. Really hope can see you again soon. Change of plan? please keep me updated k.
Kenwooi: you're right! I think Australia get most of the ideas from Europe esp Paris. So many graffitis there. SO, when is ur next trip? :-)
Kelvin: Hehe, I really wanted to but it was quite cold there. :-D

aud said...

The grafitti walls are so cool; "organised creative vandalism" :) I personally think this should be the case here in KK. The more it is prohibited, the more gatal the tangan to 'graffitise'. Better to encourage the talent in a positive way like this.

Haha, Clinton ate 2 bowls? I remember a chain of called Pho 2000 in Saigon, with the tagline 'Pho for the President'.

*word ver. : koomo (so Oz sounding kan)

Luton Airport Parking said...

Hope you said a nice goodbye to these lovely places.
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Daisy Parker said...

Saying a good hello to a lovely goodbye.
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