Thursday, 10 April 2008

Singapore & Melbourne 1991

With Trolly going to Singapore and Melbourne next week, I was trying to remember what my partner and I did on our trip to Australia in 1991. (such a long time ago, 17 years, where has that time gone?)
This was a job hunting trip and took us from Durban to Singapore, via Mauritius on Singapore airways. HWMBO has never recovered from those Air Stewardesses!
Outbound, it was a quick plane swap in Mauritius then a long 20 hour stopover in Singapore, as part of the package we were a free tour of the city. The tour took us to China Town, a Hindi Temple, a Buddhist Temple, and to shops in Arab Street. It was a great introduction to the city and we planned to shop on the way back so spent the afternoon checking out the shops. We knew that we wanted to by a video camera on our way back, so looked a lot of electronic shops to get an overview of prices.
We did not have a lot on money, this was due to exchange rate of a currency the world did not want, The South African Rand. We had sold a car to fund this trip, so did not want to use up all the funds before we got to Australia, or back to Singapore! We scooted off back to the airport and got our onward flight to Melbourne and slept.
In Melbourne we found the accommodation desk at the airport...again budget was our most important thing. We found accommodation in a backpackers lodge called Lords Lodge on the Toorak Road. The Jam factory was being renovated at the time. That was our 'Land Mark'.
We were in a room with four bunks, the other two occupants were young British girls touring around Oz. It was obvious that we were not the normal 'backpacker' when one of the young, attractive backpackers sharing our dorm asked HWMBO if he had seen her tampons! She tipped her bag out on the floor and asked him to help her look for them. Due to this, he asked about the ‘private chalets’ in the back...AKA...Garden Sheds.

When I think of it now, we got about during our short 5 days in Melbourne, went to Geelong for a job interview at Victoria Carpets, traveling by train. Got round Melbourne on the Tram (I think we were looking for better accommodation), got lost in West Footscray. Went to the Yarra River, St Kilders and the parks, we saw Captain Cooks cottage. Hired a car and drove the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. Went on a backpackers trip to Philip Island to see the Fairy Penguins. Then flew on to see friends in Perth.
Back in Singapore we had a proper stop over staying in the Hotel Phoenix on the Orchard Road. This was our first experience of a Karaoke Bar, it was Chinese! It was almost Christmas and the road was decorated, as were all the shopping malls where we did our Christmas shopping, buying lots of things we had not seen in South Africa due to the political sanctions that were in place at the time. (We were well over the weight allowance when we checked in!). Well, time does pass and it is good to remember such times!