Back to reality

I’d like to start by thanking Teresa for the cool new branding of my blog — Crossing Ponds (she is a marketing guru after all). For those that have no idea, Waurn Ponds is the station which I start my travel back into Melbourne for work, and Southern Cross, well if you’re a true Melbournian you’ll know what that is.

On the subject of Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world, voted six years in a row — I mean that’s not just a big statement, it’s enormous. I wonder how we keep winning this award because when you travel overseas and say you’re from Australia, most people answer, “Where, Sydney?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to say I live in the most liveable city in the world, who wouldn’t, but is it really justified? What’s the criteria? Who knows about this ranking — is the exciting news spread within only Melbourne or does the whole world know? I know I can ask Googs, but it’s much more fun writing about it.

I just got back from Las Vegas and entering Melbourne airport the temperature was lower than outside which was seven degrees. We waited 45 minutes to get our luggage — the longest has been one hour, so this was quick in comparison. The customs line was a kilometer long, the long term car park bus, that’s meant to come every five minutes, came after 20 — we weren’t wearing jackets, Boof was still in Vegas mode with shorts and although I had heaps of layers on, I was cold. All-in-all it took two hours from landing to getting to our car and then driving one and a half hours in pouring rain. That’s the only way Melbourne knows how to welcome us back from holidays.

But let’s put the moaning of the terrible airport service aside, I just wanted to point out our extremely inefficient service at the airport, this is Melbourne. While the rest of the country goes into spring and had mild mid-twenty’s weather, we still have rain, clouds and cold wintery weather. It’s like I’ve always said, Melbourne has two seasons, Winter and Spring and then the abnormal 40 degree day in between.

I know I’m being a sooky la-la, but it becomes more and more apparent after returning from holidays and it becomes harder and harder to come back. Admittedly the only exciting thing about coming home was returning to our new home by the beach. Let’s face it, I’ll have to wait another three months until I can jump in the water, but I love driving by the beach even when it’s cold, it always brings a smile to my face.

So back to our liveable city, what’s the criteria? Does anyone know? Weather is clearly not taken into account. Maybe it’s the great service we receive from Metro trains — we don’t have at least 20 cancellations a day. Or the fact our airport has the most exorbitant parking fees in the world. No I’ve got it — it’s $12 daily travel charge on Citylink, even if it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic, there’s roadworks, there’s a car accident, there’s road rage, there’s a collapsing sign, there’s monkey’s walking on the side of the road— Citylink’s motto is, ‘Charging you to get from a to b even if it takes four times longer’.

Anyway post-holiday Rose still wants to be in Vegas, going to bed around 5am, waking up at 1pm. Soaking up the sunshine, lying by the pool and ordering frozen Pina Colada’s, blowing too much money on blood thirsty, bright flashing slot machines. Cruising the streets in a dress because it’s still 25 degrees at night and having a drink in our hand or in our case around our neck. Oh and shopping, who doesn’t love a bargain from the outlets.

Our little buddah was filled with strawberry Daiquiri — as you can see Boofy loves photos.

Ohhh holidays aren’t they so great, but I’ll tell you a secret, I won’t miss the ramped up air-con in every venue, 40 out 15 in. Tipping even when your water comes out warm, your fries taste like they were cooked last week and drinks come out after you’ve finished your food.

Tipping is definitely something I won’t miss, above all, it’s expected and they’re not shy to make a comment if they’ve been undertiped. We gave a cabbie $2 tip on an $8 ride and after not saying hello, ignoring us when we talked to him, he had the nerve to whinge about the tip — We should have snatched the $2 out of his hands and then given him something to whinge about.

I also won’t miss being misunderstood. I asked for tap water and the waiter said they only have Fuji or Acqua-something or rather in the bottle. After repeating how can you not have tap water, every place normally gives you tap water when you walk in without even asking. He kept saying, ‘Sorry Ma’am’ we don’t have tap water. I reckon he was putting it on because Fuji water costs 10 times the amount of tap water.

Anyway, the moral of my story is, we choose to live in Melbourne, not for the weather, but because we have family and friends, great places to eat and although I don’t drink coffee, apparently the best coffee in the world. Word even spread to Vegas — we got asked a few times.

Admittedly I’d like to live in a warmer climate, the sunshine makes me happy, I love not wearing four layers of clothing and walking around like a new born pug. Honestly, my ideal life is working three to six months in a new place until we get bored. I can keep writing my blogs, maybe even start with my books.

Hamilton Island, photo taken by Paul Jason in March 2015.

How does this sound, my next blog will be from Torquay to Cancun, then Cancun to Honolulu, then Honolulu to wherever warm place we want to go. Ohhh how I love to dream, maybe we can make it a reality…

’Til next time peeps. Oh and I forgot to mention in my last blog congrats to Gill and Mark on the birth of their second girl Emilia. And another congrats to Giuls and Ange for their second child, a little boy Xavier.

Ciao RJ

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.