Salad at last!

Grilled tiger prawns, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and red onion on a bed of leafy yumminess. The most delightful meal that I have eaten in weeks.

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A decent salad was pretty tough to track down here. I wonder if it is a cultural thing? There are many prix-fixe menus here that include a salad course, but it took me nearly an hour to track down a place that was serving giant dinner, or in this case lunch, salads to satisfy my oversize American appetite for animal proteins and leafy greens.

I’ll have to ask someone at work about this on Monday. Are Australians typically opposed to salads AS their meal?

Overall, this morning was a huge success. In addition to locating a salad, I got my hair cut and highlighted, something that I was not brave enough to attempt in India. I am not so worried about the Indian cut, but in a place with very few blondes, I am hesitant to ask for highlights.

It seems that haircare is one of the few things in Melbourne at a reasonable price point. Food prices here are just off the charts. Worse than London or Tokyo. Even in the grocery store. I am thankful to be here on work’s dime, but even still, I would not typically buy a work meal that I wouldn’t be willing to pay for myself; it seems kind if unethical to me to do so.

I am not much of a city person, but Melbourne is a big city that I would be happy to live in, well, other than the high cost of living. The atmosphere is pretty laid back, I feel relatively safe walking around alone, even at night, the traffic isn’t bad at all, and the vegetables are safe to eat. Maybe we can get another transfer.

Kidding… Kind of…

My big afternoon activity was be a self-guided bicycle tour of the city. I didn’t feel like hitting the hotel gym and I found out that I could rent a bike for the day for $2.50 to explore the city’s 18 miles of paved bike paths.

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In reality, I did not make it nearly 18 miles on my three-speed wonder bike, but I did have fun and was able to cover a lot more ground than I could have on foot.

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I headed south of the Yarra River through a few parks before looping back up north into the city centre where I wandered the streets some more on the way back to my hotel.

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I am really enjoying the multitude of tiny alleys lined with cafes. I may head back to this neighborhood for dinner!

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