Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wrapping up Australia

Editor's note: The censorship in mainland China is fierce, with the "great firewall" blocking access to my blog! Cannot corrupt Chinese minds with dangerous traveler stories. I tapped a couple drafts on my iPod while there which I am now posting.

My final day in Melbourne was an easy one. I met one of Michelle's friends for coffee, then we prepared a lunch feast. On the menu...kangaroo fillets!! They are much leaner than beef and quite tender. Delicious! Away from the cities in Australia, kangaroo run around the wild like deer in America, so I felt no shame in making one my meal.

I spent the afternoon at the Old Melbourne Gaol, or "jail" as we might say in the US. The jail had exhibits on old bandits in the Victoria province and the old practice of phrenology, used to predict criminal behavior based on skull characteristics before being discredited in the 20th century. The experienced included being locked up "for the night" and receiving a "mug shot". I was relieved to be discharged.

Time to leave the English-speaking world for my first foreign land, China. While in the Southern Hemisphere I have learned to cross streets by looking right before looking left and also what it feels like to have winter in June. Despite these and some modest cultural differences, I found Australia and New Zealand to be extremely accessible to the American traveler, and I hope to return someday!

P.S. Thanks to my gracious host Michelle (caught red-handed in the act of stealing my passport) for her hospitality during my stay in Melbourne. Please check out her website for cooking tips! http://wanderblue.com/archives/706

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