Last few days in Melbourne were pretty laid back. I gave up trying to persuade the rest of the family that they really wanted to go to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook/RAAF Williamstown so I hopped on the train to head out there. Interesting journey. A woman sitting next to me noticed I was reading a book called Culture Shock on a recent immigrant’s impressions and advice on Australia so she decided to give me a narrated and rather interesting train journey! Likewise, taxi driver for the trip from Aircraft Station to the museum (after I’d found the local equivalent of a taxi rank – a shady area under a tree in the car park…).
The museum itself turned out to be in a still active military base so I had to sign in at the gatehouse and walk 700m in to the museum building. Ah… sheer war porn heaven. Saw and photographed more planes with kangaroo roundels than you can shake a stick at. The highlights for me were the Phantom and a UH-1 Huey which apparently was one of the ones which flew during the Battle of Long Tan! There was also a Mustang but that was in a hangar where photos weren’t permitted :-(
On the way back to the gatehouse to meet my ordered taxi, a couple of old boys drove past, stopped and offered me a lift to the gate. Hell, they even offered to take me further but the station wasn’t on their way. While waiting, I ended up chatting to the guards too, one of whom, it turned out, was a frequent visitor to Malaysia as she had a family friend in Kuching.
Must say, I was quite surprised and impressed by how open and friendly Australians seem to be! Actually, overall impressions of Melbourne are very positive and pleasant, only real downsides are it’s a bit hot at times (but fortunately low humidity), a tad expensive and it’s not exactly a 24-7 society!
Anyway, back in KL again for a few days. Been kept busy trying to spec out and pick out a new PC for Mum. The dogs were getting frantic because a cat had wandered in and perched itself on top of a grill. Never realised their whining could get so high pitched! Cat also wouldn’t shift – not even when Dad prodded it with a broomstick. Eventually required the use of hosepipe in the morning to persuade it to leave. Still not sure it went home. The dogs appeared to running around barking, chasing something which seemed to noisily scramble over the garden wall.
While I was in Melbourne, I picked up the DVD set for Vietnam, an Aussie mini-series I vaguely recalled from many years back, which included a very early performance from Nicole Kidman. Anyway, watched a couple of episodes and discovered that then Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies was apparently commonly referred to as “Ming”! Does this mean I can introduce national service and despatch a battalion or two overseas? If so, so much for the “White Australia” policy! ;-)
Also went to Mid-Valley Mall to get some software and DVDs. My sister clearly buys too many bootleg DVDs. The guy at one store looked at me and asked “Are you the brother of Chi-Ling? You look very similar” :-O
One bummer – I er… accidentally put my fountain pen through the laundry. Came out with a bent nib. Seems OK now though, following some delicate work with a pair of pliers.
Another frustration: BSG 2x11 has aired but I'm in Dial-Up Land here in KL so no downloading it for me till I get back to London on Tuesday!