What’s it all about?

This week I leave India behind and head to pastures new, in Australia. Being from the U.K I’ve always wanted to go to Australia as it’s one of the furthest points away and everyone just makes it sound amazing! Follow me as I start my journey along the coast of Australia starting in Melbourne. This week’s entry isn’t one for the faint hearted – you’ve been warned!

Getting there

To get from Port Blair to Melbourne we had a short stopover in Kalkata which was literally enough time to grab a sandwich and drink then back to the waiting lounge. Unfortunately, our plans of getting a little bit of work done here were not to happen, as the WIFI was down in the airport. This also meant we couldn’t use our debit cards to make payments.

From Kalkata we headed to Kuala Lumpur. We hadn’t booked our onward flight to Australia because of the rubbish internet where we had been so we were hoping to book at one of the kiosks at the Airport….but it worked out so expensive so we managed to use some data from a sim and book our next flight on the internet.

With hours of travelling and airport procedures of checking in etc, this felt like a really long day. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne was long, around 8 hours. With no entertainment we tried to sleep as much as possible as it was the early hours of the morning though as I tried to sleep I felt a little worried as storm Joyce was causing mayhem and creating some extremely bouncy turbulence. I asked for a blanket to help me sleep but was told I would have to pay – I know I am going to sound old here but I remember when you were given blankets for free and without asking. Times are changing!

We landed and had another time difference to adjust to. This time they were around 3 and half hours ahead of where we had been. We were surprised at how quickly we breezed through security. We used our taxi booking app and we were one step closer to our apartment and relaxing. We were NOT disappointed when we got there! It was so lovely and somehow we’d managed to bag it at such a good price just before the Tennis open! When we tried to book more days here….it was wayyyyy more expensive! 

FUN FACT – Did you know the water from the taps here is actually bottled and sold?!


Last minute plans? Well, we did and we were worried about our visas but lots of place take travellers into consideration and for our Australian Visa we got a quick online visa which covered us for 3 months travel here.

St Kilda

We stayed in a few different areas whist here and the atmosphere in each one was totally different. We started our journey in St Kilda. Renowned for Melbourne’s most famous beach. St Kilda has an edgy vibe and many festivals are held here.

As our accommodation wasn’t far from the beach, we decided to walk there. The walk was rather pleasant and on the way we walked through the lovely Catania Park. This park area is full of green grass and shady palmed areas. It’s great if you’ve got kids as there are kid play areas and many free public BBQ’s. I was so excited at the prospect of a free public BBQ and after seeing one for the first time, I was already planning on making my paprika burgers.

Along the promenade here there are lots of shops, people and even many people skateboarding. There’s even a bike path on the walkway!

The location of our accommodation was great as we were so close to the beach, shops and places to eat but there were a few homeless people on the streets who would often shout and argue throughout the night. We also only had a microwave to cook here so we became dab hands at meals that could be made in the microwave.


Just a microwave to deal with? No problem, why not try:

  • Minced meat stuffed bell peppers
  • Jambalaya
  • Scrambled egg
  • Jacket potatoes  

Now, for anyone that’s read my other blogs, you’ll know I am a complete cookie/ brownie fiend and it was here that my love affair started with Cole’s cookies. These cookies are THE best cookies I have ever had. I am trying to crack their recipe but am yet to get there. The secret recipe is coconut, I just can’t quite get the measurements right. Have you got a cracking cookie recipe to share?

St Kilda: BBQ time!

One very hot day, we put our lotion on and I prepped for the BBQ and we headed to the park. I was itching to get on the public BBQ! We weren’t sure how to even turn it on at first so we tested that it was working by pouring some water on it. Whilst we were waiting for the BBQ to heat up we munched on some snacks and noticed a homeless man lingering around. I thought nothing much of it but just made sure I was keeping a close eye on him. It wasn’t long before I saw him walk over to my partner and ask him something. My partner shook his head and the man then proceeded to head towards me and our things. He was convinced his headphones were where we were and then he wanted to search our things. Things began to escalate very quickly. He began grabbing our bags and then accused me of being in possession of his headphones. What had started as a calm day out in the park was now becoming something out of a nightmare! Though we both explained we didn’t have his headphones and asked him to leave us alone, I noticed him draw out a knife from behind his back. After approaching my partner with the knife, we threatened to call the police and he left. He still stayed in the area and I no longer wanted to stay! I just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. The man looked crazed and it was clear there was no talking sense to him.

I warned a group of girls who were eating on a bench nearby and as we left we called the police. The police soon arrived and ended up taking the man in. He was well known to them and had just been released for stabbing someone. They encouraged us to make a statement and I felt a little safer knowing he was going to be kept in overnight. Now, we love a good crime movie so getting fully caught up in the moment we went back to the scene to see if we could find the knife as he had ditched it as the police arrived! Unfortunately we couldn’t find it but we came across many needles! On the plus side, when we did eventually get to eat our paprika burgers they were really good!


The UV is really high here. Sun lotion can be bought in pretty much all shops so make sure you stay safe!

We moved to different accommodation in St Kilda to save some money. This accommodation was grim. We had some unexpected roommates. Cockroaches. Everywhere. The room also stunk of smoke and when we complained, the employee just came in and added to the already thick air with a room freshener from a can. Then when we had to, reluctantly, pay for the room. However, they didn’t accept credit card. This was a pain as we were waiting payments.


If you’re an animal lover or ALL animals….cast your eyes away now! I love animals…but I do not like cockroaches sleeping in my bed with me. So, when I saw one I would soak a sponge in washing liquid with some water and squeeze it over the roach. Much more effective way of getting rid of them than squashing them!


We always carry our plastic tubs with us so if we end up in a less than appetising place we can serve up our food in them.

St Kilda: Botanical Gardens

We decided we would like to take a stroll to the Botanical Gardens. Walking through the park there were palm trees, flowers, walkways, wooden archways and on top of this there were also loads of birds and butterflies. This place was a really nice park and there were lots of people relaxing here. Following our stroll here, we headed to Acland Street. This place is full of restaurants …and cake shops! It has a tram line running down the middle of it. The buildings on either side are low so when you sit in the street and eat your food, you can still see the sky.

What’s it like to work here?

Another country means another time zone. It’s always important to make a note of the differences and don’t forget Australia is a large place and also has different time zones within it so take these into consideration. The last thing you want is to be an hour out if you mis-read the time.

The WIFI is good here but as in most places, it’s important to check the WIFI limit as some places we stayed had a certain data usage amount. Lots of the cafes have WIFI so if you’re out for lunch you can catch out on a few work emails too.

What’s up next?

Next week I’ll be sharing more stories about my time in Melbourne. I go to some lovely spots and beautiful gardens as well as the city. Come along for next weeks entry and find out more about this amazing place.

If there’s more you’d like to know please do not hesitate to contact me. travellingteacher@iqbar.net .