So, I’m sure everyone’s chomping at the bit to know how my holiday in Melbourne (including my shopping ‘to-do’ list) is going! No? Well – hmph! I can’t imagine why not!?!?
In reality, most of you on Twitter and Facebook will be up-to-date on my happenings, but for the rest of you… my progress here (like in life) has been mixed! Because I am an ever-growing and evolving kind of gal, I have however, continued to learn a number of lessons:
1. I’m WAY less tolerant than I thought I was when it comes to shopping. Within 2 hours on my first day (ie. yesterday) I was grumpy and my patience was well and truly tested. Unfortunately for her, my poor mother bore the brunt of this bad mood.
2. Having said that, I’m not sure if my grumpiness was a result of my antipathy towards shopping OR a result of spending time around others – which I am unaccustomed to doing. I realised yesterday that it’s not even the ‘being’ with others, more that I’m used to being entirely self-sufficient. Being dependent on others for my plans or things / them being dependent on me is somewhat foreign to me. I try to impose on others as little as possible (yes, even my family) so feel bad when someone (yes, even my mother) has to tag along when I shop, or if things are going to plan… and I start to feel high-maintenance!
3. Shopping for larger sized clothes is not particularly fun. I have to bypass most shops and make a beeline for those stores I know have plus-sized items. It also occurs to me that even if I lose the extra 15+kg I’d like to lose, at my height and build, I’d still be still be struggling to fit into things in mainstream stores.
4. Gluten-free options are not easy to find, even in large capital cities. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not as problematic as it would be in a smaller locale; or 2, 5 or 10 years ago. At least, when I ask about GF options, people tend to know what I mean and can respond knowledgeably. But… we still have to rule out A LOT of places before finding something that can cater for me (again I feel like a nuisance – even though the fact I am coeliac is not a choice!). My capital city hometown would be similarly difficult but I guess I have more control over my circumstances. I take lunch to work every day as I know options near my office are limited. And, when choosing meal / dinner options I have the luxury of investigating potential locations first, whereas here we often find ourselves wandering aimlessly, reading menus in cafe and restaurant windows!
5. One needs to be a bit flexible (figuratively) when it comes to exercise. I had this great plan to hit the hotel gym every day, BUT after walking about for several hours yesterday (please refer to points 1 and 2) I had sore feet and was ‘over’ this being-out-and-about business. So, as I pondered on my need to go to the gym it occurred to me that the incidental exercise gleaned from the roaming about town would probably suffice. However, as we’re starting our days later, I WAS able to get to the gym today and do a cardio workout (for those who like detail – which I am not: I actually did the C25k week 2 run program, plus a short stint on the exercise bike as I was loath to have to think TOO much).
6. Melbourne still allows smoking in a lot of public places, which my hometown of Brisbane does not. I realise I’ve taken this for granted as it has come as a bit of a surprise that people here can still smoke in (outdoor) eating areas and malls and the like.
7. I’m falling back on old patterns out of laziness and ease. As we’re eating breakfast out, we’ve not bothered with lunch or eaten snack-type foods. Sadly I bought packets of rice cakes and have been consuming those. (I just hope I’m walking enough to cancel out their ill effects!)
Finally, as for my shopping ‘to-do’ list… I’ve bought two pair of jeans. The grumpiness of yesterday set in before much shopping was done, but I took myself off (alone, during which time I am WAY more effective – and efficient) later in the day and VOILA – found myself a store which had jeans on sale for less than expected so bought myself two pair.
I also tried on SEVERAL pair of boots, to no avail; and found my beloved Nicola Waite store. I balked however at the $330 NW shirt (in t-shirt material) which had me salivating from her catalogue and website but decided I’d continue to covet her clothes from afar (and perhaps buy on eBay or when on sale down the track!).
Today we did some touristy stuff and I was much better tempered – if I do say so myself – visiting Captain Cook’s cottage here in Melbourne. For those who don’t know CC (sort of – though it’s a long and complex story) discovered Australia. And he’s my family’s namesake, so we posed for the obligatory photograph outside of the cottage so tiny it appeared built for one very small person but which apparently housed a dozen or so.
Finally, I find myself cringing when I see office workers passing me by in a hurry to get to work or return from their lunch breaks, because I’m loving this ‘being on holidays’ malarkey and think there should be more of it!
And tonight I’m excited to be meeting some Twitter friends for drinks and dinner, although am disappointed I couldn’t get to a training session with some others tomorrow. However… the whole point of us coming here, was to accompany my niece to a pageant tomorrow afternoon. But, more on that next time.
Are you a better tourist; or a more patient shopper than I?