Friday, July 18, 2008

Okay, I'll Admit It. Australia Has Some Ugly Parts

I love to plan holidays/trips--maybe as much as going on the trip. So, of course I made detailed plans for our time in Australia.  

I wasn't that bad—didn't dictate hour by hour. But for each day, I had something planned for us to do. 

My father taught me to be well-prepared and detailed, so I went on a website and wrote down directions to all our excursions—how to get there by bus or train or ferry or walking.

Unfortunately, something went wrong on our fourth day there. Tim is nice and blames the website.   I have to say the website is probably fine.I think I probably just plugged in the wrong information.

We were SUPPOSED to go to the Farmers Market in the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park.  We got on the bus and things just went downhill. I forgot exactly what happened...I mean where we went wrong. I just know there was a lot of:

Do you think THAT'S it?   Are you sure we're going the right way?  Shouldn't we have gotten there by now? Should we ask someone for help?

After about thirty minutes on the bus, we ended up getting off at some stop near Moore Park. Sadly, it was not the part of Moore Park that we had been looking for. This was a mall.

We had our hopes, but we doubted the farmers market would be in there. We stepped in and my delusions of Australia being all lovely and perfect were quickly shattered.

Malls in Australia are just as ugly and awful as malls in America.

They also have the same coin-eating kiddie rides; except, in Australia, they're much more expensive.

We were hungry and....Well, I was hungry. I bought some disappointing bread from a condescending rude man--destroying my delusion that ALL Australians are super nice. Now I'm down to believing only 99.9% of them are.

After I ate the bread and we explored the super high prices of Australian toys, we began asking people how to get to the farmer's market thing.  I think we asked about three people before we were able to figure it out. I'd like to say they gave us bad directions. It's probably more like we're bad listeners, and not too smart.

We ended up having to walk about two miles to get there. And let's just say the landscape wasn't the lovely landscape they talk about in the tourist books.

We had to walk alongside a busy road.  It wasn't very beautiful, and it definitely wasn't fun.

But the story does have a happy ending.

We finally found the Farmer's Market.  We ate good food, bought ice-cream from Santa Claus, talked to super friendly people, hung out with my cousin, and I found a new friend.  

It ended up being one of our best days and one of our favorite places. But we had to go through hell to get there.


  1. Funny how it works that way. The best travel days are the ones that start off terrible, making the sweet part all the sweeter!

  2. Yes, apparently Australia is just another country, with good, bad and ugly in it.............

    who would have thought? lol

  3. Tex,

    How dare you write such blasphemy on my blog!!!!!!

  4. Yep, we loathe those malls. We avoid them like the plague and stick to the small, local strip shopping centres (individual shops along a main road in each suburb).
    That's where you get the individual and unique items, care, service and attention ;)
    One shopping mall in Melbourne, Chadstone, has grown so large it bought and demolished a beautiful 19th century convent and, more recently, a small university, just to fit in more chain stores and car parks.

  5. Jaybe,

    Horrible about the convent.

    In America, malls used to be very popular. When I was a teen, that was the thing to do. Or one of the things. Hang out at the mall.

    Now they seem pretty much dead. Or maybe I'm just not a teen anymore and don't notice.

    When Jack was a toddler, I was all into this "I need to take him out everyday" and one of the places we went to was the mall. I don't remember seeing a lot of teens.

    There didn't seem to be a lot of people....period.

    We have outdoor shopping centers and I think those are more popular.

  6. Mmm ... my guess is you journeyed from the Supacentre on Todman Avenue to the old Showground at Lang Park. What you coulda done was cut through the golf course - the unmanicured bits. This way you would have maxed out at two cross streets.

    Yep ... bits of Oz are way ugly. You have not found them yet - by a long stretch!

    Pst ... thanks for the comment. I've noticed you lurking a bit ...

  7. Julie,

    Thanks. I bet that's exactly what we did.

    Next time, I'm going to make sure my husband gets directions and not me!!!

    We'll probably do the farmers market again. We loved it.

    I'm sure all countries have their ugly parts. But Australia has less, right ; )