So far I am very pleased with Melbourne overall. The journey here was very quick and painless which I was very happy about because I was not in the mood for another long flight. Upon arriving in Melbourne we got settled in and were able to get some lunch and relax for the rest of the evening. After being in Melbourne for the day I could tell that I was going to be fonder of this city than Adelaide. All of the modern architecture is really awesome and there seems to be so much to do and see. So far I’ve seen 3 different shopping malls. I can’t even imagine how much money I would spend shopping if I lived in this city.
The next morning half of the group and I made our way to Di Bella’s Coffee. I love coffee so I was very excited about his visit and was really looking forward to trying some true Australian coffee. At Di Bella’s we were fed delicious sandwiches and were able to order a coffee beverage. I decided to try the flat white and I ended up really enjoying it. After we had finished our lunch one of the workers came in to demonstrate a few different coffee brewing methods. The first was the drip method. The sample we got to try was really delicious. I normally don’t like black coffee but I enjoyed this and could have drunken a mug of it. However, I don’t think I would ever be able to make drip coffee myself because it takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete and I am way too impatient to wait that long for coffee. The next method was the pour over method. I also really enjoyed this sample and it seemed a lot more practical to me. Next the worker showed us their roasting machine and explained the process to us. Unfortunately, we were out of time and were not able to watch a roasting. This kind of bummed me out because I was really looking forward to this part of the visit.
After our visit with Di Bella our group headed over to the Chamber of Commerce to meet up with the other group what was already there waiting for us. Our meeting was pretty short due to our late arrival but I really enjoyed it. The lady from the chamber that presented to us was very informative. She was intelligent and knew what she was talking about. It was really interesting to learn about the Australian economy from her. I was shocked to learn that Australian who make over I believe $85,000 a year give 49% of their paycheck to the government. Since the minimum wage is so high I can imagine that it is pretty common for a lot of people to make $85,000 or more a year. I would definitely not be very pleased to have 49% of my paycheck taken.
That afternoon, we were split into groups for our scavenger hunt. I was with Shawnee and Brooke. We had five tasks to complete by 7 pm. This scavenger hunt was much more challenging because there were riddles and clues we had to figure out before we could find the places we were supposed to take pictures out. We ended up figuring out all of our riddles with a little help from some very nice locals. The scavenger hunt brought us all over the city. This was really nice because we got to explore some of the parts we hadn’t gotten to see yet and kind of learn our way around. Our scavenger hunt brought us to the Victoria State Library, a bar that used to be a brothel, the stadium, and an awesome bar that was located on an island build around the support of a bridge. The hardest part was probably figuring out the public transportation as well as figuring out where our meeting point was. My group had a hard time finding the last spot and ended up being one of the last groups to finish. We had fun though and I’m looking forward to completing the scavenger hunt in the next city.
On Tuesday, I went to the Toyota plant with half of the group again. The plant was pretty far out of town and we had to take a train and then a bus to get there. I kind of enjoyed it thought because it was our first time taking a train in Australia and it was nice to get out of the city and see what there is. Once at Toyota we were guided on a tour around most of the plant, which is huge! I loved the tour and found it super interesting.
It was so amazing to basically watch a car be constructed. We first saw the car as just a panel and that saw it step by step until it was driven for the first time. The transformation was so ridiculous. I really liked how the plant was very focused of waste reduction and recycling, and also that they used water collection and solar panels around their plant. It was very clear that the plant was focused of safety and cost/time reduction. It the line was stopped for whatever reason than they would lose thousands of dollars per minute. The pant obviously wants to avoid this happening so they work hard with their employees to make sure that there are no repeat mistakes. By the end of the tour my feet for sore and I was ready for lunch. I did however feel as though I actually leaned a lot from the tour and enjoyed the whole process.
After the tour of the Toyota plant my group was supposed to go to the US Consulate to meet with them but unfortunately were not able to make it. The Toyota plant was very far out of the way and ended up being a longer process to get back into the city for the visit. I am curious what the visit was about, but I’m sure I would have found it pretty interesting if I ended up being able to go.