Saturday, October 22, 2011

Peaking and Thinking around Melbourne

Since the Aussies don't have school on the weekends, just like Americans, I was able to go out today and visit downtown Melbourne a little bit. A fellow teacher, Mr. Peter Anderson, took me to the bay and local aquarium. We had a good time. I was able to see some of the city and get a better feel for it. The weather was rainy (It was a "four seasons in a day" weather.) so I didn't take many pictures except for a couple fish and fat sharks. (Yes the sharks were fat.)

For lunch we had some fish and chips. I think fish and chips in Ireland and also England are better, but I haven't been told where I can get the best fish and chips in Melbourne. So, I'll refrain from making a final judgment on the quality of Aussie Fish and Chips.

It was an enjoyable time. On the way back a tantalizing question popped up in my head. "What is a road?"At first I thought it could be a piece of land that has been flattened with asphalt, but there are roads that don't have asphalt. Also, it can't be a piece of land which many people travel on since trails are similar, and you have to provide some sort of number which is a bit absurd. So now I am stuck with this major philosophical quandary. The dictionary helped a little saying "a way leading from one place to another" but that would then have to include airspace and waterways which I'm not sure if they should be included in the definition.

If arguments about what is a road aren't very interesting, it may be interesting to know how people turn left in Melbourne. (The equivalent of a right turn in the U.S.) Instead of getting in the left lane and simply turning like most cities, some streets in Melbourne have the car turning left get in the middle lane, stop in the middle of the intersection, wait until the light turns red and before the other cars begin coming, turn and go. It's a bit strange but according to Peter Melbourne is the only city in the world that does this. I'm not sure if it's a very practical way of turning, but perhaps it has something to do with being on the left side.

I have driven in Australia for the first time. There was no other cars around, and I did a good job. Peter Repse, who I live with, said that he had a good time laughing while I drove. I found it very strange and almost scary, like a nightmare. After I finished, the whole right side of my body felt overstimulated because you drive on the right side. It was an experience. I didn't crash so I think I'm ready to take on the highways. 

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