The Moomba Festival

The Moomba Festival happens annually in Melbourne city. I arrived on the right day. Recovering from a slight jetlag, we only decided to check it out later in the afternoon, around lunch time. The streets were coated with Australians, and Malaysian students. Food and games stalls filled awkward corners of the city, transforming Swanston and Flinders street into a major fun-fair. There was supposed to be a water-sports show on the Yarra River next to the city. Sea Gulls and people waited but to no avail. We arrived at the festival just in time to watch everything end.

The Moomba Festival helped me carve my first impression of Australians. Australians are fun-loving. In the festival, the police force staged a band performance. The police men and women each played an instrument or sang back up. I mean, in which country would your police officers sing, dance and body surf to entertain their fellow civilians. Ok, they didn't body surf, but I thought it would've been cool to imagine it. I only know of my uncle Alfred who's the first singing-cop in Singapore. He looks like George Michael, but way straight. I guess it makes a difference when your local authorities reveal their light-humored side. Perhaps it reduces crime rates.

For lunch, we ate KFC. Lesson learnt: Australian chickens are bigger than Malaysian ones. My taste of Aussie Customer Service: Top notch.

I stayed with my mum's sister and husband.. and cousin who's studying in Swinburne. My aunt is a student affairs counsellor in Deakin Uni. She's the youngest sibling in my mum's family and the coolest aunt I have. Cool also because her knowledge and grasp of pop culture is quite vast. She doesn't quite fancy Jessica Simpson.

Uncle Arun is her born-in-India-brought-up-in-Australia husband. He's a replica of Paul McCartney. We called him Paul McChutney to complement his Indian accent. Uncle Arun runs a Tandoori take away shop on Burwood Road. It's called the Tandoori Express. The food's really good. And it's frequented by Aussies.

My cousin Aaron, is my mum's brother's son. He's a really cool guy. Cool because he listens to Incubus, System of a Down and earns via Ebay. We share the same age and taste for music. He hackin' in a Degree in Multimedia at Swinburne.

Living in Australia is different from experiencing it in a month-long trip. I only got the icing, didn't get to finish the cake. But the snapshots were good enough to whet my appetite. The first day there was a good one. The following days, as I look back, gave me good reasons to appreciate studying abroad and globalisation. Will continue tomorrow...

Cheers, mate!


* I can't remember how the name Moomba came about. I actually didn't bother to ask. If you do know, post a comment to educate all. Thanks.


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