Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Day Out In Melbourne

-diary entry from friday- Long long long day today. Classes started at 8 and ended at 12pm but I had to leave the last class, a PCL exercise 30 mins early as I had to catch a shuttle at Mannix to the airport. Got there, then walked 20 minutes in the hot sun to the DHL office. Then I had to walk 5 mins to the customs office. Then back to the DHL office again. Then i had to walk back to the airport. Caught a shuttle to the city. Got a wool filled quilt, cover and photo paper and powerade. Spent AUD215. Got back tired. Walked alot around city too. Finding my way around was an adventure. Got back at around 5.30pm. Had subway sandwich and played badminton from 8 to 10.30pm. So dead tired now. Tomorrow, I will be going to the beach! Wow... i wonder if i'll be able to find time to myself.

Expenditure: $2.70 Skewered Chicken $5.95 McD Dbl Cheeseburger Meal $35.00 Bus Fares To Melb Airport and to City $3.10 Metlink $119.65 BigW Comforter69.84 100sPhotopaper29.66 QuiltCover15.23 3Powerade4.92 $49.50 DHL $7.50 Roast Beef Foot Long Sandwich

If i had taken the lazy way of getting to the airport, the taxi fare alone would have cost me AUD160 so I would have spent at least AUD210 to get my parcel delivered. I spent only about AUD225 today. Got lunch and dinner and still have half a sandwich in the fridge. Got a nice quilt and photopaper too! Ok, so I had to walk abit, but it was worth it.

Had some bad experiences at customs too. The lady at the counter was outright rude. My parcel had been detained for some reason (it contained only books and some winter clothing). She said out aloud. Well, its probably because you were cheap. Inside, I was like "WTF!!!". My parents had paid more to send me the parcel by courier (DHL) instead of regular mail. I also had to pay an extra AUD49 for DHL to clear the package. I could have skipped coming to the airport customs if I paid AUD165 to DHL but I felt that was daylight robbery (and I dont have a credit card so I couldnt pay them anyway online). Then I had to get clearance from quarantine after speaking to that outright rude officer. The Quarantine Department lady was very nice. She told me that parcels sent by courier had to go through that process. However, regular mail gets x-rayed by default and there is no such problem. I was passed back to customs after Quarantine Department clearance. The next customs officer was so snobbish I would have thought he was from British high society or something. Luckily, I knew he was not. He was Indian! I asked him why my friend's parcels were not detained. He kept on rambling about the fact that they had filled in some forms etc. When I mentioned about the post. He just exclaimed "That's what I was trying to explain just now..." and went on and on about how I didnt understand him. He doesnt seem to know regular mail does not have to go through this troublesome procedure. I've heard alot about racial discrimination in Australia and I dont mean to sound racist impolite, but I got the impression that this Indian guy felt that he was, colloquially speaking, "whiter than white". Thank goodness the citizens of Melbourne were not nearly as impolite. Had to ask for directions many times as I did get lost in the maze of shopping corridors and city streets. When I asked a nice lady where Myer's was, she went to the trouble of asking another person as she didnt know. I guess the people of Melbourne are generally good. Those that arent probably have marriage problems or were abused as children have sad, mundane lives.

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