Sunday, February 16, 2014

Australia Day 2: St Kilda Street Market and Beach

Day 2 in Australia started at around 7:30 am. I slept extremely well and woke up fresh-faced and bright-eyed. The first thing I did was toast some bread and eat my first spreading of Vegemite.

He just smiled and made me
a Vegemite sandwich.
Now, folks who know me know that I recently fell in love with Marmite, Vegemite's lesser known cousin from Great Britain, so I walked into my first Vegemite tasting knowing what I was getting into. First off, Marmite is...gooey, whereas Vegemite is much more akin to Nutella in texture (and also looks like it, but those that confuse the two are in for trouble.) Vegemite tastes less meaty and more bready than Marmite and has a distinctively artificial aftertaste that Marmite doesn't have. I am definitely more partial to Marmite, but it took me a few times to fall in love with Marmite, so maybe Vegemite will be the same. More in the future on that topic...

Coffee shops around here tend to
add cocoa to the top of their drinks
to accent their foam art
After breakfast I went down the gym and ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes, and then came back to the room for second breakfast -- this time some fat-free Greek yogurt with a little plum jam stirred in. By this time it was absolutely pouring outside. My first full day to explore Melbourne, and it's raining cats and dogs. I decided to go down to a cafe nearby for a cappuccino and some Final Fantasy VI on the ol' iPad to wait out the storm. I met my coworker Tony there and finally when the rain subsided we walked to a nearby Woolworth's supermarket to pick up some more room supplies.

I might regret this tomorrow...
On the way there we discovered a huge street market with covered walkways. The market, which was bustling, was composed of clothing vendors, services from barber shops to eyebrow pluckers, and a huge selection of restaurants and meat and seafood vendors. Ah, this was my kind of place. At a fresh seafood vendor, we saw some amazing samples of the local catches including huge crayfish, bay bugs, prawns and oysters. The oysters they were serving right from the storefront on the half-shell, at one AUS dollar per oyster. I couldn't resist. I got some local Coffin Bay oysters and sucked them down right there. Hopefully their ominous name is not a foretelling of my condition tomorrow after eating raw seafood in a street market...I'm sure I'll be fine.

After the elevenses of oysters, I was still hungry. Tony, who is anti-seafood, was voracious. So we bought some grilled burritos stuffed with chicken and headed to Woolworth's.

One odd thing I've run into here in Melbourne is a distinct lack of vermouth in the supermarkets. Two places so far seemed confused as to what vermouth even is. The only type I've been able to find so far is Cinzano Bianco, which is really not very good. Anyway, I bought some sunscreen and a cheap wok, because the hotel only provides one pot which isn't very conducive to cooking much of anything.

Kite surfer catching air
We returned to the hotel and regrouped with the rest of the team to head out to the biggest attraction of the St. Kilda area -- the beach. The beach itself featured a nice big boardwalk with lots of visual..attractions. One of the coolest distractions was the huge number of kite surfers, who use para-sailing style chutes to catch the very prominent winds in the area and surf around the bay.

That's a lota calamari
After a long walk down the beach, we ate at a restaurant just off the beach and then returned to the hotel. It was certainly a long day! I'm still not quite adjusted to the time change, but things are mellowing out. Tomorrow we start our first day at the game studio office, so there won't be as many exciting updates until we get some more free time this weekend.

Stay tuned! I'll write when I can.

1 comment:

  1. I want to see you on one of those kites before this is all over! :-)