Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just a day

After such a long dry period, today it just pissed down. There, I am getting better at bad language in my writing. Pity my writing is not improving too.

Today had been set aside for shopping for gifts for the UK rels when we arrive. We ought not have celebrated the forthcoming weekend last night with Mr 700 mil Ballantyne. At our local tram stop, Bowen (no relation) Crescent, things were in chaos with trams and buses everywhere, people confused and wet and heading in all directions and many staff aimlessly milling around. This is just an impression. Perhaps it was organised chaos. This was because of some grand tram and public amenity works happening near the Arts Centre. But as we were going to Victoria Market, we walked on in the rain to the Domain Interchange and caught a West Coburg tram to Vic Market.

$180 later, we have an amazing amount of absolute crap to take with us as gifts. Keyrings, tea towels, pens, umpteen kiddies tees........if it had an Aussie theme and cost under five dollars, we bought it. Exceptions to under five dollars, were the koala, later mentioned, and a battery powered kangaroo that hops, although not quite like a real one. We drew the line at the kangaroo that could do somersaults.

The cold was seeping into our ageing bones so we caught a lovely warm tram to the Post Office for more crap, photographer Steve Parish kids books. A break for refreshment at a French deli place in Bourke Street, fully staffed by Asian students (Indochine rules ok), and onto more souvenir shops in Swanston Street. More crap bought.

We had a good laugh in a duty free shop in Swanston Street when even more crap was bought. R managed to upset a display of fluffy koalas and a Japanese lass customer helped him put it right. I think she may have just wanted to touch the koalas. But she was very polite and constantly bowing and nodding. By the time the display was right, R was nodding back to her.

Does our friend in Japan nod and bow now? Or is it bad for geng, ah, gwi, ah farang to do that? Think I asked her that the last time we saw her, ever so long ago now.

Better still was when we chose a gorgeous fluffy koala and the sales assistant was very helpful, pointing out that they all had different faces. They did too. How will we fit all this into our suitcases, R complained. The sales assistant slammed her hands together with the koala in between and viscously spat out, squish.

I lasted about thirty seconds before I broke up into laughter. Fortunately by then we were trailing her to the counter.

We bought some flowers for home at Flinders Street Station, and then a luxury tourist coach gently and graciously transported us home. I quite like the tram replacement vehicles.


  1. Squish a few of those drop bears in those suitcases and you';ve got a ready made meal for the long flight ...:P

  2. Shhh Jayne. Don't let onto potential tourists about the drop bears. It might put them off. Leave out the hoop snakes and the spitting caterpillars too.

  3. Ever tell you about the time I went to buy my Korean pen friend a gift of a spft Koala, only it was MADE IN KOREA!! lol.
    Cute story abouy T and the Japanese girl. I had the pleasure of wotking with a Japanese girl yesterday, she was so pleasant, on the eye aswell as her mannerisms.

  4. Oh, did you see the news about Ellen DeGeneres and our lovely Portia de Rossi with wedding Bells in the air? Go Califor-ni-aye!

  5. squishing a Koala? awwww. :(

    :) HUGZ matey!


  6. Anonymous6:03 pm

    Yes, we 'gaijin' do bow and nod. Luckily, we are exempt from knowing the exact angle at which to bow (it depends on the situation)so a slight bow and a quick nod of the head is all that is required of us!

    I'm disappointed that you didn't purchase any wombats - everyone knows they're much cuter than koalas and kangaroos!! Vik.

  7. Good tale Cazzie.

    Yes Keshi, she did it with venom.

    We now know where we can get heaps of them though Vik. Pity your birthday is so far away.

  8. I have the sqishing thing all sorted. I had to try and fit all the gifts that I'd bought on our holiday to bring home before he could say "told you they wouldn't fit".

    And before you ask Andrew, no I didn't buy you one... they were all for me :-)

  9. Yeah, typical of you Jo, all about you. Btw, are you going to put up some pics of your trip north?

  10. I love the flower man at Flinders street - they are always beautiful (and much cheaper than florists!)

    Kitsch crap is great for overseas gifts, Andrew. I find my UK friends always appreciate a good killer python. You can't get them over there!

  11. They are good at Flinders Street. We buy them there when we can. We were buying some on a Cup Day when he had jacked his prices up, but he knocked ours back to normal price.

    We did miss a twelve year old boy. Killer python sounds perfect.