Christmas Eve started off with a 6-hour shift of housekeeping at the hostel and then a costumed holiday party with the APA crew at the Trace Facility. Apparently Aussies think that Christmas is a good time to host costume parties because I saw a lot of weird costumes that were definitely not “Holiday-spirited” wandering around on the public transportation in the week leading up to Christmas. Taking inspiration from some of the English guys at the hostel, Fizz, Martin (a fellow “foreign” traceur from China), and I dressed up as Christmas smurfs. While this was not as easy as we thought it would be (finding body paint was surprisingly difficult for such an artsy city), we managed to get all of the required pieces and “got dressed” outside the warehouse before the party.
|Getting "dressed" for the party.|
|Filling in the blanks.|
|Parkour love, APA style.|
Christmas morning was pretty anticlimactic as there weren’t any presents to open and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the hostel before heading over to Fizz’s apartment for Christmas dinner with a number of English ex-pats. As with most English events that I’ve attended (with the exception of those within the parkour community), a lot of our time was spent with alcohol in hand, which resulted in a much more “jovial” Christmas atmosphere than usual. After a delicious feast, and feast is the only way to properly describe the spread we had before us (4 different types of meat, pastas, sweet potatoes, string beans, ….), we let our stomachs recover a bit with some Wii games and then headed down 5 minutes down the road to the beach- loaded with coolers and drinks of course.
|Christmas at the beach (the sun was hiding by this point).|
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve started with drinks and sunshine on the riverside outside the hostel. As darkness fell, the riverside got even more crowded in anticipation of the fireworks. Instead of the usual fireworks show, Melbourne actually hosts two shows, one at 8pm for families with little ones, and another at midnight to really celebrate. After the first round of fireworks I headed into the center of town to meet up with some of the parkour guys (and girls) to find a better vantage point for the midnight show. We managed to find one that was about 35 stories up in the center of the city, and since the fireworks were shot off from the tops of five of the tallest buildings in the city we had the best seats in the city.
|Right in the middle of everything.|
|Not a bad way to welcome in the new year.... photos courtesy of Anna & Pui|