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Article written by Boris Bozic on the 22 May 2012 in Economy,Mortgage,Personal,Travel,World Events

For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization. 

In the name of all things holy it’s far.  For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization.  For transparency I was fortunate to be able to sit at front of the bus for the flight over.  That gave me the opportunity to stretch out and get some sleep, some seven hours’ worth.  It was the other fifteen hours that I had to fill, and what I learned is that to pass that amount of time away you need a distraction.  Like food!  The flight attendants try to feed you at every moment.  “Mr. Bozic, is there anything I can get you?” Let me see, it’s been 22 minutes since my last meal, “sure, how about some dim sum and 4 bags of chips”.  I’m not kidding.

The real estate market is red hot here – This according to the cab driver who drove me to my hotel.  Property values are increasing by 10% annually, and he owns multiple properties. Hmm, interesting.  I was afraid to ask him if he was a part-time mortgage broker.  Let me rephrase that, I was afraid of the answer.  I have this illusion that the Australian mortgage broker industry wouldn’t allow that.

As soon as I unpacked at the hotel in Melbourne, I went for a walkabout.  I went out and picked up two newspapers, which I planned to read from front to back, so that I can get a flavour of what’s current and happening in Australia.  On the front page of The Australian and The Daily Telegraph was this number one story: the original Wiggles are no more.  Yes, Australia’s jewel and gift to children’s programing is going through a radical makeover.  Three original members are leaving for personal reasons; the usual, wanting to be closer to family etc.  Yeah right, one day the truth will come out and we’ll all learn that there’s a Yoko Ono story in there somewhere.  One of the replacements is, are you sitting down, a Wigglette.  Only 22 years of age, Emma Watkins is the new face and the first female member of the Wiggles.  If you’re wondering she will dawn the yellow shirt.

Australian stock market has tanked.  It’s lost all of its gains in 2012. The European debt crisis dominates the business section but the major banks here feel they’re insulated because they have been preparing for the inevitable for some time now.  Australia biggest trading partner is China.  As goes the Chinese economy so goes Australia’s.

The best five year fixed rate I could find is 6.5%.  Gulp!

Melbourne is a lot like Vancouver, from architecture to the overall feel.  Melbourne hates all things Sydney; just like Vancouver and Toronto.

The learning continues.  The bastards drive on the wrong side of the road.  I was nearly killed twice jaywalking.

Revolving doors at the hotel turn in the opposite direction.  Smacked my head a few times – D’OH!

Clearly I speak funny.  I was in Melbourne for less than twelve hours and two people asked me the following: “so you here on vacation, mate?”

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is that there’s no awkwardness in meeting family for the first time. It was odd talking to my cousin on the phone, making plans to meet at the hotel and having to describe what I was wearing so he could pick me out of the crowd.  He found me, and I got a chance to spend some time with him, his beautiful daughter, his brother and his mom, my aunt.  They were extremely gracious and they treated me like family.  It doesn’t matter what happens from here – that will be my lasting memory of this trip.

Until next time


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