Goodbye Melbourne - Huxtaburger, EUREKA Skydeck 88, and on losing my wallet.

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This Australia series has gone on long enough, where I begin my journey in Perth of Western Australia, before jetting over to the city of Melbourne that I love so so so much. Sydney was the city I visited over during Easter break, before my final adventure in Adelaide where I explored with Caroline. There are too many things worth documenting for memory's sake, but I guess I have covered most of my exploring and food-hunting journey till now.. If I find anything that I missed out, I'd still come back from time to time to tell you more about my time here. Probably my cooking adventures (hah), some of the journeys I made while I was wandering around or one of those suburb checklists for those who plan to visit Melbourne. You will find this list very helpful. So we've come to the very last day... what did I do?



Other than packing up my stuff, clearing my room and feeling sad over the whole process, I definitely have to make time to meet up with Caroline, one of the lovely people I've met in Melbourne. 'Who knows when's the next time we'll meet,'  we'd said, and even till one year on, it seems that life is passing by too fast for anything to materialize (school, assignments and projects).

when we were in Adelaide
I haven't gotten round to write about how I met Caroline, which was as magical as how I met Lexi (on the cross-sections of a road.. more on this next time) - but this one, I actually have pictures before and after that particular encounter. See, the importance of obsessively documenting everything. It started with the thought of seeking out a particular matcha soft serve after I popped by Chuckle Park Bar & Cafe.


This matcha/ green tea soft serve ice-cream is from Rice Workshop, on 238 Little Bourke Street.
At 2 dollars a cone, it's actually a major steal because the folks here are immensely generous, and it is of really good quality, velvety rich matcha soft serve. People flock here for it. Anyway, it was Week 11 and I've heard too much about this soft serve that I knew I had to go in and try before procrastination got the better of me and I end up not trying at all.


This is the matcha soft serve. I even had to queue for it... but imagine the thrill of finally getting to it. I love matcha so yes, I was 99% certain I will love it even before trying it. After taking a picture of it with my trusty digital cam, I shuffled into a small table at the side:

Photo credits: hungrytraveller
I found this image via Google images, but that's where I sat. There was a filming crew in Rice Workshop on that day and they were taking up all the other tables around the cramped eatery, and therefore Caroline came over and asked if we could share the table - I think she had a takeout box of rice of some sort. Then we started talking, I guess because the table was really small and it's too strange to eat in silence without talking. But you know not everyone can click easily and interestingly, we did! We exchanged numbers after that, one thing led to the other and we even went on the Adelaide trip together! 😊


Caroline and I met up over some delicious burgers and fries at Huxtaburger; she had tried it at the outlet in her suburb and found it really good so she introduced this to me. 🙆 The meat patties were very juicy and flavourful, though Caroline said the city's outlet wasn't as good as the one she had in Richmond. This branch was particularly difficult to locate too :o But anyway.. food aside, we had our goodbyes at Flinders Station. Till we meet again.
Then I went ahead to have my own solo time at EUREKA Skydeck 88, something I wanted to do in the longest time, but I knew I was saving it up for the last week of my stay here, so I can have full appreciation of whatever I will see at the tallest vantage point in Melbourne city. This building has the fastest lifts in the Southern Hemisphere! Visitors are propelled to the observation deck on the 88th floor in just 38 seconds. At the Skydeck, I saw the 360 degree views of Melbourne and its surrounding areas thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. On a clear day and depending on how good your eyesight is, the skydeck boast of views up to 75 km in every direction. Just look at this:

 

Beyond how beautiful it is, it was quite heart-wrenching for me to bid the city goodbye while looking carefully at it, every street and many suburbs that I've frequented nearly everyday to make the most of it, I could recognize them from here. I picked the timing to visit it right before sunset so I could see the day-to-night transition.

 
 
 

I waited till the sky got completely dark, and see the whole city lit up, but it wasn't very conducive for taking photos because the glass was reflecting a lot of light within the skydeck. It was beautiful, nonetheless.

Selfie with the city, er, kind of. Later I had another gathering in Fitzroy with the Sydney gang at Attic but pictures were too blurry to be presentable... except this group shot, which is the most precious of course, the ones who brought so much laughter and joy (and eye-rolling exercises) 😄:


They are the cutest bunch!💛


Not forgetting my one and only loveliest and kindest roommate Yssa, and Gary, who have made my exchange experience so wonderful 😆 For always giving me encouragement and being sporting enough to try out the experimental food I make in the kitchen, and much more. The best people on Earth are always found at the most unexpected places. 💛💛💛

Coming to the end of my journey, the morning before I caught my plane back to Singapore, obviously Fate has it that I mustn't leave without a bang, because while going to my favourite place in my suburb (okay, I have too many favourite places but I picked the one I will miss the most) - Queen Victoria Market and getting some delicious burritos and the best coffee, Market Lane Coffee... I lost my wallet. I don't exactly remember how it happened, but it was within five minutes after this picture was taken:

probably nothing to do with her, I was too preoccupied with documenting everything, this is for illustration purposes
I know right.

At that point in time, I figured it probably slipped out of my coat's outer pocket because it was so bulky - with receipts and cards, not cash - or pickpocketed(?!) - or I left it at the counter of Market Lane, or... it was so crowded and quite a rush, so anything was possible. Though it is the first time I ever lost a wallet, so I panicked. Thank goodness I had Yssa and Gary with me at that point, or I probably would have suffered a heart attack on the floor of Queen Vic Market. We re-traced our steps but we couldn't find it on the floor nor the counter, and nobody at Market Lane knew anything.

It was ready to mar my happy experience in Melbourne, but I really didn't want it to. I was quite upset, especially with the need to cancel my bank card, losing my Myki card, identification cards, any spare cash that I had, polaroids, pictures, everything. I just realized my wallet is a huge part of my life that I obviously took for granted. 😳

So, approximately six hours prior to my plane's takeoff, I had to make a police report so I could claim insurance, though that was not much of a comforting thought since many things in there could not be compensated by money. 😥

The police station in North Melbourne was incredibly inefficient and slow, there was practically nobody at the counter when we entered, and after ringing the bell, someone came only after ten minutes (what). So if you do encounter a robbery, running into the police station may not guarantee your safety. We did the administrative login and paperwork, which ended unceremoniously with 'we'll call you if there's anything'. Sorry for the lack of images to spice up this story, but I obviously wasn't in the mood for taking pictures anymore. 😥

We went home and picked up my luggage,  said my goodbyes to Yssa and Gary tearfully, and texted Lexi who was a lifesaver too. We arranged to fly back to Singapore and Beijing respectively at the same timing, so she got us to the airport without a hitch. On the way to the airport, I received a call, which began oddly:

'Hello, is this Amie?'
'Um yes?'
'Somebody found your bank card.'
'Oh?! Did you find just my bank card or the entire wallet? Who is this speaking?' (too excited for niceties)
'This is the Melbourne East Police Station, we have your card and your wallet, we've called the bank to check and they told us you've cancelled your card.'

Within three hours of losing my wallet, somebody actually found my wallet, returned it to the police station - 2km away. Faith in humanity completely restored... I was amazed and beyond thankful that my wallet was actually coming back to me. At the moment when we were retracing steps in Queen Victoria Market, I was certain I was going to lose it forever. There was cash in there, at least 50 AUD dollars and my bank card, everything that anyone could use immediately and had absolutely zero obligations to give it back. I couldn't go back to Flinders Street to personally claim it, so I called Ruoyu to help me get it back, the wonderful girl which I should really get to meeting up with soon 😆

Amazingly, everything in my wallet was intact - at least as much as I could remember - cash and all, and all I could say is: Melbourne you are truly one amazing heck of a city, not just the crazy inventive street art, infrastructure, tram lines, but the people. The soul of a place.


Enroute back to Singapore at Darwin International Airport for a few hours of stopover, peeling layers of clothes off because it was getting to be really warm even at 21 degrees, and hobo-ing at restaurant seats to catch a quick nap before touching down in Changi Airport, Singapore. 

"And to all Singaporeans, welcome home."

Homecoming.

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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @amie.hu and Facebook page!

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