The stars aligned and the first 48 hours that Lisa and I spent in our new home country of Australia were in Melbourne. We stayed with our friends Neil and Maggie, and caught a day of the Australian Open. Despite the jet lag, it was a great kick off in the new continent.
Friday was mostly spent trying to adjust to the new time zone, and fighting like crazy to stay awake. We managed to make it until midnight and I slept through the night, despite waking up in the late morning hearing Lisa’s not-so-loving voice commanding “Stop! Snoring!”
Saturday we had ground passes for the morning session, and then tickets to Rod Laver arena in the evening. We watched all three matches on Margaret Court with our ground passes, and each match was great. Radwanska vs. Halep was exactly the type of women’s tennis I enjoy (both women were quite attractive and athletic), with Radwaska just being far too consistent and not making enough mistakes to give Halep a chance. Tsonga vs. Dolgopolov matched a crowd favorite Tsonga against a scrappy, lightning fast Alex Dolgopolov, who fought his way to win the second set, then Tsonga basically laid down once the fourth set was 4-0 (it’s sad to watch a top 20 player intentionally throw the final games of a set, just to rest for the fifth. While I understand the strategy it’s sheer crap to watch it. Isner vs. Cilic ended up being a great fight – went five sets, though we had to depart for Rod Laver before this marathon finished.
Rod Laver featured two Aussies – Stoser vs. Kvitova was an incredible disappointment for the Aussie crowd as Kvitova dismantled Stoser. Nadal vs. Tomic, which no one expected to be close, had Tomic down a set but up 4-1 in the second. Seconds later Nadal had won 6-4 in the second. While I am not a Nadal fan, I have to admit he hits the ball harder than just about anyone in the game, and his serves make a sound that you just don’t hear from a tennis ball.
Just to record and remember, we had great meals at Macca Bah (Friday evening middle eastern on the water in the docklands), Tweeks (great sandwich/brekkie place for Friday lunch), and Gypsey and Musquito (Sunday breakfast). I tried my first Vegemite on toast with butter and survived. We did not try the KFC across from the brothel at the tram stop.
Vocabulary Lesson #1:
Words I should not use in Australia: Rooting, Pulling.
Words I learned: Dunny (old timers word for bathroom), Doona (comforter), Benchtop (kitchen countertop), Bogans (Aussie equivalent of Rednecks), Jock (underwear), Box (jockstrap). Don’t ask how any of these came up in conversation.