A great day in Melbourne--first to the Garden and Flower Show, then to the new Melbourne Museum behind it, then to Prahan Market for foodie stuff.
It was a nice warm day--maybe 25c; we took the train to the flower show, which is a big big major deal. It's $17 to get in, and thousands of people were going. Browsing the retail stands you can certainly tell this is a nominally British country: it's all about daffs and tulips and various bulbs and English cottage garden plants. The Queen would be proud! Does Melbourne have the same climate as, say, London? Not in the least (a 25C autumn day in London would cause riots in the streets)! Not even much of a nod to interesting plants and designs from, oh, South Africa, or New Zealand, or North America--much less anything native to Australia. All blubs! All cottage gardens! All the time! Not my style at all, but still, many of the displays were amazing and colorful.
We also saw Marv. He was wearing a Hahn's beer shirt. He's much taller than I thought from the beer commercials.
The Melbourne Museum was even more interesting; it's the best museum I've been in Australia and one of the best I've ever been to. Much better (ahem) than the Australia Museum in Sydney, or anything in San Francisco. (side note: we thought the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston, Tasmania was certainly better than that vacuous pile of brick called the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. But I digress.
There were interesting displays on Melbourne history--like an 'every ten years, what were the streets paved with and what shoes did people wear?'... or 'in 1999, what did schoolkids take to lunch, and what playground taunts were they using?' Also a great exhibit on Aboriginal/European relationships; not just 'what do they think?' but 'how has native culture changed' and 'how have whites seen natives?' I found out that both the terms 'dreamtime' and 'didjideru' are European terms as well.
In the courtyard is a huge wet rainforest display of the mountains east of Melbourne, with galaxia fish and crayfish and 10m tall tree ferns... and snakes! Yay!
OK, must go... Chris's turn on the computer!
That's Merv, not Marv!
Doh. Time to respell.
Not enough "boy" flowers at the show?
Here's a typical flower display: http://www.marmot.net/2002au/images/2002-04/2002-0411/img_7887.jpg
You judge whether they're boy or girl flowers!