what was supposed to be a helicopter ride around the city turned into something much tamer. my folks didn’t wanna risk their lives to the frivolities of melbourne’s winds, which can sometimes be tenacious. strong winds are normal here. people still go through their daily routine without batting an eye.
back in the philippines, winds as strong as that already warrant a lockdown on all government and private schools and offices, with students refreshing their facebook feeds for any official news of no classes. that is, if the posts holding the power lines haven’t toppled down yet.
the first time i witnessed the raging winds here, i was like, “omigod, this is already a typhoon in the philippines!” i don’t mean that as an exaggeration. sometimes you can literally hear the winds screaming.
it was something my mom and dad experienced, too, on their first night here. which is why when i called them in sydney to inform them that we’re going on a helicopter ride when they come back, my dad automatically said NO. yep, the all-caps kind of no with no room for persuasion.
so jeff and i took them to eureka skydeck instead.
but before that, we had dinner at jeff’s favorite indian restaurant at bourke street, where i made the mistake of ordering something completely unknown to me, for the sake of adventure. (okay, fine, they didn’t have my vegetable korma.) i forgot what the traditional punjabi food was called but let’s just say i went on a skydive. with a parachute malfunction.
anyhow, my mom ordered goat curry (which the server said was pretty mild but could actually burn your mouth all the way to your esophagus) and I LOVED IT! that was pretty much all i ate on that night. i am so getting it again next time.
it was either eureka skydeck or melbourne star. i read the reviews days before and aside from the fact that melbourne star is more expensive, there’s really nothing much to see, as it sits on the far end of docklands. eureka tower, on the other hand, confidently stands like a beautiful skinny model in the middle of the city, collecting $19.50 from every adult who wants to get on top. (wait, why doesn’t that sound right?)
good thing the line wasn’t that long when we were there, considering that it was a weekend. i kept my folks occupied during the short wait, reading to them some interesting facts about the building off the brochure.
while my dad kept interrupting me to ask me to ask him what time it is because he just got a new watch, given to him by my cousin in sydney.
i still have the brochure with me so might as well share the geekiness with you.
skydeck 88 is the highest public vantage point in the southern hemisphere. that sentence alone is enough to amaze you. but you know what’s even more amazing that it almost borders on stupid?
it suddenly just occurred to me that the reason why they call it skydeck 88 is because it’s on the 88th floor. (took me almost 3 weeks to figure that out. the whole time i kept wondering, “what’s with number 88?” good thing i didn’t ask jeff. he loves keeping a file of all my blonde moments on index cards in his head, which he pulls out every now and then for his amusement.)
anyway, it takes less than 40 seconds to arrive at level 88. traveling at more than 9 meters per second, the elevator is that fast your ears won’t even have enough time to react to the pressure. even your eyes feel like they’re losing focus just trying (and failing) to keep track of the numbers on the elevator. i should know, i kept my eyes glued on the screen, as if i’m deciphering a magic trick. (speaking of magic tricks, one blog post on that coming soon!)
eureka tower is 300 meters in height. the top of the tower can flex up to 600mm in high winds. two 300,000 liter water tanks on level 90 and 91 prevent any excess swaying.
there are 3,680 stairs, 92 storeys, and 52,000 square meters of windows. (that’s a lot of windows to clean!)
the glass on eureka’s top 10 levels is 24 carat gold plated.
i could go on and say that eureka weighs 200,000 tons but at this point, everything becomes just a number i will forget as soon as i hit ‘publish.’
i’d rather do the counting in one go and lump it all up in a single phrase:
the billion fireflies that light up melbourne at night.
and there goes another one of my lame attempts at poetry.