Just like I had thought, Melbourne is a bigger city with more to see. I have noticed that many of the people here are quite affluent and dress very well. From my experiences and encounters with them, they have all been pleasant and very easy to talk to.
On our first day, we went to DiBella Coffee Roasters. This was a very cool cultural experience where we saw again the pace at which Australia moves. The coffees were very small, but quite good. They did not come out in fifteen seconds, but the atmosphere of the shop was such that you didn’t want your coffee in fifteen seconds, nor did you need it in fifteen seconds. It was more about taking some time to enjoy a cup and maybe a sandwich with a close friend or a small group of three or four people. It showed how much of an art coffee roasting can be, as well as the fact that there are no set rules. The tour guide noted how there is not one correct way to brew coffee, hence the reason there are so many different stores as well as styles and flavors. It was a very cool lunch with some good food and insight.
After DiBella we went over to the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. I thought that this was more of a job placement agency, but learned that it is more of an outsourced training and HR firm. They also act as a voice for the business’ they represent, and work for purpose to help improve economic conditions for the businesses in their area. They work to build a place for professionals to work by bringing in larger companies, but also try to get them to stay by stimulating smaller companies that help make a city exciting and fun to live in.
After we got done with the Chamber of Commerce and got back to the hotel for a few minutes, we were off on our scavenger hunt. To find the first place we used dome logic, but eventually ended up talking to a woman on the street that sent us to Madame Brussels. Once there we had to find the parlor and figure out where it was. At this stop we talked to one of the workers and he helped us with the rest of our riddles and we were on our way. We walked and trammed throughout the city finding places like the Old Melbourne Jail, as well as a bridge that portrayed immigration to Australia. This was a nice experience and a very good way to become acquainted with the city and the people that live in it.
The next day we went on the tour of Toyota's production facility. This was amazing. I have always been interested in vehicles and how they are made and worked on and this was about 20 flights of steps up from the garage shops I’ve worked in. As soon as we walked into the facility I was in awe. The machines that were operating were so efficient and fluid, also the logistics and iron that went into making the seamless plant operate was crazy. The presses that operated the dyes were massive machines and one of them was the largest in the southern hemisphere. This was used to press out an entire side of the Camry’s they were producing. These machines were rivaled only by the welding robots in the next section of the plant. A chassis would come onto the line and once it was in the proper position, they would start their work. The most amazing part was watching the ways the welding heads articulated. One machine would make 4-6 welds on an entire side of the car on 3-4 different planes, it was very cool to watch. The way the plant was run to employ maximum safety as well as efficiency and ease on employees was also interesting. If someone was going to be installing components on the floor or lower side of the car, they would stand in a trench next to the line so as not to make them bend over every time they completed their task.
These were good activities and a fun way to see the city as a whole.