it started sometime in the fall if i remember correctly. i was having a conversation with camille in new zealand. i was talking through my options of places to visit as my plan before i left korea, after my contract finished. for a long time i had thought about a nice, relaxing visit to thailand, but i wasn't finding anyone interested in joining and having friends about it a big part of traveling for me. she casually mentioned that her and kirsty were planning a vacation to Melbourne. i got excited because i wanted to pass along lauren's contact info so they could finally meet up. two brighton friends of mine who had never met each other, how fun. i imagined them laughing over their brighton exploits, wine glasses in hand.
then i asked when she was going. early march. i was going to be off contract in early march. could i visit Melbourne as well and have a great hurrah with my kiwi and australian friends? didn't take long to convince me. i would arrive a few days after cam and kirsty started their vacation, and leave a few days after them, giving me both time with them and with lauren.
so, my first day in Melbourne. within a couple hours of arriving and settling in i was able to get online, meet up with camille and kirsty, get breakfast, get a meat pie to go, set up an australian mobile, and take out some more australian money, and spend it in a shop. everything moved so quickly and smoothly. when i commented on it cam reminded me that being able to speak the language really makes a difference.
after seeing the bill for a simple but wonderful breakfast and catching a little sticker shock, they also had to remind me that in new zealand and in australia waitstaff don't receive tips but make a living wage.
after some more walking about we headed to Federation Square.