Saturday, March 17, 2012

A visit to the city centre

(Warning: This is a very long post with a lot of silly pictures!)

I can't believe that I've completed three weeks of classes already. Time here sure is passing by quickly! I probably should write about how things are going at the university, but that will have to be put aside for another blog. Right now, I want to talk about the stuff that happened today (Saturday, 17 March 2012).

Hmm... so where to begin. I got up around 5:30am today, probably because I needed to use the toilet. (I've been getting used to saying "use the toilet" here instead of "use the bathroom"!) Naturally, I tried to go back to sleep. (Even though I do tend to get up early, I don't usually get up that early.) I couldn't fall asleep though. My brain just kept drifting through different thoughts. At some point, I was thinking about a math problem posed by the Maths and Stats Society at Melbourne Uni that I had been stuck on. And somehow I solved it! I guess my brain didn't want to go to sleep. It wanted to solve math problems...

Sorry, I thought that was kind of interesting to share. I'm not going to go into so much detail in the rest of this entry. I'll focus on the afternoon, when I decided to go and explore the city centre, also known as "the CBD" ("central business district").

It was a nice and sunny Saturday, which made it the perfect time to walk around. There have been some places in the CBD that I wanted to visit for some time now, so why not today? I made up my mind and left to house to do some exploring!

But wait! I said it was "a nice and sunny Saturday." This meant I should use some sun protection first!

Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat!
I live in Collingwood, which is an inner city suburb. There's a tram stop about five minutes away from where I'm staying that goes straight into the city centre!

When I got to the tram stop, the tram had just arrived, so I quickly hopped on. I wanted to take a picture of the tram arriving, but it would become a picture of the tram leaving me stranded!

I made it just in time!
20 minutes later, I got off at a stop inside the CBD. (I know the time it took because of the timestamps on my photos!)

Without having to walk very far, I came across some people pretending to be statues.

This reminds me of when I was in the Boston Commons!
Stop 1: David Jones

My first destination was a place called David Jones. I heard that there was an section with American products, so I went to see what they had in stock! (I wonder if homesick Americans go there!)

You could not miss the place! It was a huge department store!
I found some American Cheerios!
What?!?! Does it really cost $16.95?
There are in fact Cheerios in regular Australian stores (although they're packaging looks different). If they wanted to sell breakfast cereal at crazy prices, shouldn't they choose ones that didn't exist in Australia? One example is Rice Chex. As anyone in the "Princeton morning breakfast group" can guess, I've been missing Rice Chex so much since I came here!

But as it turns out, David Jones only stocked Cheerios!

No Rice Chex in sight!
Off I went, kind of confused. Along the way to my next destination, I passed by the Vietnamese restaurant I went to on my first day here, so I had to stop for a picture!

Here's the restaurant I went to on my first day! (I have a short blog post about that day.)
Stop 2: QV

My next stop was the QV Villiage, which is a mall. I didn't have anything I wanted to see in particular, so I just walked around.

Here was the entrance that I went through.
In Australia, bubble tea (or "boba" or "pearl milk tea") is called "bubble cup"!
There's Tutti Frutti in Australia too! (I went to one in the U.S. during my time in Berkeley a few months ago!) It's a little more expensive here though.
I also stopped by the supermarket in the QV to get a picture with regular Australian Cheerios. One box is $7.94 (which is still a lot, but way cheaper than the other one).
At that point, I probably spent enough time in the mall, so I left.

Stop 3: Mind Games

I made my way to a board game/card game/puzzle store called "Mind Games" that Tim told me about during my first RMIT Cube Club meeting.

Store entrance! (Note the trefoil!)
The store might not look very big on the outside, but the store goes very far in, and there's a second floor!

Everywhere in the store is just packed with games!
Set! I haven't played that in a while!
Look at all those cubes! (And non-cube-shaped puzzles!)
After some browsing, I headed for my last stop - an Asian supermarket. My plan was to buy some Asian groceries and then head back home. (Until this point, I had not bought anything from an Asian supermarket yet!)

To get to the place, I passed through Chinatown!
 Stop 4: Great Eastern

I made it!
Like Mind Games, this store didn't look very big from the outside, but one you go in, it's enormous!

There were so many aisles of products!
I don't know what inspired me to get a picture with ramen. I didn't actually buy any.
After taking enough pictures, I decided to get a basket and actually buy stuff. I got some noodles, some mian-jin (fried wheat gluten), some tofu, and some bean sprouts. Time for my food to start tasting more Asian! Here's a picture of everything I bought:

(Since this picture was taken after I got home, it's way out of sequence. I don't know why it bothers me a little. Maybe because it ruins the flow of this blog post.)
Homeward bound!

At the tram stop, with my groceries!
I wanted to get a shot of me with the tram arriving. I can't say it turned out very well. (I only had one try!)
Here's me getting off and the tram leaving, 20 minutes later!
When I got back I decided to make dinner! I had some leftover vegetables in the refrigerator, so I mixed them with the noodles and bean sprouts to make a soup.

Here was the result!
Bon app├ętit?
I thought it turned out well, but I'm sure most people would say that my noodle soup has no taste. I didn't add salt or anything else to give the vegetables or the soup flavor. But that's because I'm a little too worried about having too much sodium. Oh well...

It has occurred to me that I should probably write a blog entry about my attempts at cooking! That would be pretty fun (and painful) to write! But that will have to be for another day.

Anyways, this is where my mini-adventure of the day ends. I'll stop with all the silly photos for now. (I had much more that I didn't put on here!) It's 10pm, so time for bed!

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