Never had so much opportunity to chat with customs officials as today, arriving in Melbourne. They wanted to know what I do, what’s in my backpack, and how I can afford to visit so many places. They browsed through my pictures to verify my statements. Apparently Bali is a major source of illegal drugs.

That, and figuring out Melbourne’s metro system which is very good at keeping salient information secret, such as what lines exist and how to find the right train and which train stops at which stations, took most of the morning. The afternoon I spent walking in Melbourne’s rather compact downtown.

At first sight, Melbourne feels like a large Canadian city – a clone of a large US city, but with a soul. There are highrises, a regular grid of wide busy streets, the usual faceless modern chain stores, and malls; but also grand old facades in the mix, little alleys with cool restaurants and little shops, and trees. There is a small Chinatown and an even smaller Greek town. Nobody here carries a basket with pineapples on their heads though. I miss Indonesia already…