Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day in Melbourne

We celebrated our independence today by having a true day off, having completed the first of the six workshops Daniella will teach here. The Melbourne class was great and people were wonderful, especially our hosts, Mark and Daina. They took us out to dinner twice in a row, once for Italian and once for a Vietnamese dinner, yummy. It is a relief to have gotten through with one job and have a breather before the next.

On this 4th of July we found out that the Australians are also thinking about Independence, from the US. This was a group of people lying down on the steps of the Flinders railway Station a couple of blocks from where we are staying.

Today we worked a bit on logistics of moving ourselves and all the equipment around Australia in a timely way. It is quite complicated, but we are working it out. We explored a street called Flinders Lane today, a wildly energized area with street cafes, tiny and vibrant alleys buzzing with energy, and numerous small shops and boutiques. Melbourne continues to be a city we love and would love to explore in a more leisurely way.

Yesterday we went to lunch at the Abbotsford Convent, a place that was founded by nuns from Ireland to rescue the girls and women brought to the gold mining camps in the late 1800's for prostitution. Of course the convent turned into a place where women and girls were locked away for life, forced to do industrial laundry, virtual slave labor to "save their souls". This beautiful old complex is now a center for the Arts, with former nuns cells and laundry rooms and dormitories transformed into artists studios, restaurants, and even a children's zoo.

Our lunch was in a fascinating place called "The Lentil"' a vegetarian hippie place where they make huge pots of delicious food, you eat whatever is there for the day, and you pay whatever you feel is appropriate, putting money into a little brown box. Food was delicious, place was packed with newly arrived immigrants, hippies, artists, and us! We have since discovered two similar places just near our hotel run by the Hare Krishnas, dirt-cheap veggie meals. Haven't tried them yet!

We did try a fast-food chain called Pie Face, where they make a ton of little meat pies with faces on them. Things here in the culinary world tend towards the British. We think we have had enough small meat pies to last a lifetime. Veggies, please!

Doing laundry tonight, tomorrow off on an outing. More soon.

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Location:Melbourne, Au

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