April 7th, 2014
Still in Melbourne! Living here since almost 1.5 years now. In July I will fly my way to Vancouver and travel down the west-coast from there until South America. But until then I still have some time to kill in this beautiful Melbourne.
I will try to live one month without money. I moved out of my place 1st of March and moved in my van – so no rent. I went already occasionally dumpster diving but never had to rely on it. My plan is to live from free food for one month so that I kind of force myself to explore all the possibilities that Melbourne offers regarding that.
There is a French bakery chain Laurent which throws away much bread and pastries every day, so that’s a good base. Apart from that there are a lot of big supermarkets (like Coles, Woolworth or Aldi) where I check the bins. Then there is Queen Victoria Market on Saturdays.
Lentil As Anything
For me Melbourne is Lentil. Everyone who hasn’t been here will be shown this place first thing by me. It is a Pay As You Feel restaurant which means you can eat first and pay after as much or less as you think is appropriate. Most of the staff is working on volunteer basis, except the chefs and floor-managers. There are four restaurants but the most impressive one is in Abbotsford. Everyone can jump in and help out any time. As its a buffet I can also fill up my lunch box for the next day. As volunteers don’t have to pay for the food I will work for a few hours as exchange.
Free Feed Street Kitchen
Originated as a Dumpster Diving Street kitchen, every Wednesday its time for Free Feed on 175 Smith Street. We have many restaurants, cafés and bakeries where we do pick-ups. Before those places would throw their food away they provide it to the street kitchen. I for example do a pick-up at the Munsterhaus every Wednesday. So much food and bread for free – which means I can stock up as well for lunch the next day. The nice thing here is that its a good mix between homeless/needy people and those who are just cautions about how much food gets thrown away. So we just have a feast together.
I would like to explore some other places and possibilities as well. I still have a few cans of food, three pasta packages and oil and spices. I didn’t by any food prior to this. Let’s just say I simulate someone living here who runs out of money. I will write down every day what I ate or found and try to make a weekly overview here.
Mai 19th, 2013
Ok that’s a lie. It was not today it was yesterday! Because on Saturday it’s the best time to go diving for free fruit at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne (that’s where I currently live if I didn’t mention, Melbourne). The market is overwhelmed with touri-crap (for example kangaroo-ball bottle opener) but also has a very nice and big fruit section. Most of this fruit section is not open on Sunday and Monday, which forces (actually they could give it to charity) the sellers to throw away what would not stay good. And yes, all this above on the picture I got for free, and you can’t see a difference to what you buy in your fancy Coles or Woolworth (which sells food here in Australia).
That’s how the market looks right after closing. Some are leaving, some are starting to clean. Others are arriving to look through the leftovers. What you are looking for are boxes like this:
Mostly stuff that they were selling in “top deal” 1$ bags at the end of the day. What they could not sell will be thrown away – and yes, even the bins are full of great fruit.
This just shows in what kind of crazy abundance we are living. This is not a single case, we do that quite often. Almost every Saturday we are going to the Queen Victoria Market when it’s closing to get our fruit for the week for free. Sure, you can’t always choose what to get :)
A few times we did a Dumpster Diving BBQ organized on CouchSurfing. Many people collecting free food together, walk to the next BBQ place (they are all over Australia, for free, no coal, gas, just press a button) and have a feast together. We bring dips and drinks. Bread will be collected from a bakery chain that throws away unbelievable amounts of bread every day. But that will be another post :)
Because it seems to be so incredible easy to live in Melbourne without paying for food, I will do this for 2 weeks up to one month. I won’t spend any money on food. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Have you done some Dumpster_diving today?
Mai 13th, 2013
(Ubud Elephant Temple. I took a picture in the moment a mosquito bit me in my face.)
Oh boy! One post many changes. That’s me on top, and that’s English underneath. Since when do I put pictures of me online?! Never done it before! All because of one little project I was working on while travelling. Hope to finish it in the next weeks (saying that since almost a year…). Why in English now? Even though the majority of travellers in Australia are German, most new friends I met while travelling are from non-German speaking countries. Hope that’s not changing something between us my beloved and faithful German followers. :)
I left Kuta after a few days and felt quite relieved to escape the mass tourism. I took the Perama Shuttle Service, which is made for tourists and not many locals are using it as it is quite expensive. After watching awesome landscape passing by a few hours I arrived in Ubud. Leaving the bus, locals were already looking for travellers without a clue to offer a place to sleep. I met a nice guy who organised a place for me, room with warm water, balcony overlooking the rice fields. All for around 120000 IDR (around 9Euro) the night. He took me (with my backpack on the back) on his motorbike and off we went:
Not a too bad place to enjoy banana pancakes for breakfast, he? After moving in I went into the Monkey Forest, which is in walking distance from the city-centre. It was nice to be able to walk through the streets mostly without people asking you to buy something.
I met Joy from America in the monkey forest and we got along with each other very well, so we decided to explore the surroundings together. We rented a motorbike and met Ketut, a local who was our guide for the next two days. It’s funny that on Bali, there are just 4 names for people. The firstborn is Wayan, second is Made, third is Komang and fourth is Ketut (Balinese names). So I met quite a few Ketuts on my way :)
It was the best way of exploring, Ketut driving on his motorbike, and we just following him. We went to many temples, rice fields and a coffee plantage where we tasted the famous expensive Luwak coffee. Even though I liked the taste (really really smooth, I liked even eating the powder that was left in the cup), there is much controversy about farming the animal (Civet).
Highlight was that we were able to attend a funeral, we just followed the many locals through the streets. We were the only tourists. In Bali they burn the body of the dead. But as this is an expensive process it is quite common to bury them at first, save enough money and dig them out again later for the final burn. We saw two bodies, one large and one small one (probably a baby) burned that day.
The locals were carrying two wooden platforms through the streets all the way to the cemetery. One platform holding a real sized buffalo and the other one a horse. Both were made of wood/paper and looked fantastic as they were painted and carved very detailed.
A few man began to dig out the two bodies. While doing that they received a lot of support from the surrounded people through shouts and chantings, as it must have smelled quite strong.
They cut open the wooden buffalo and horse. About five people carried a dead body, ran three times around the platform and placed it finally in the buffalo/horse. After that the wooden platforms containing the bodies were burned. You can imagine why such a burning will cost a lot of money – it must take a lot of time to build those platforms just to burn them in the end.
In the middle of the funeral it started to pour down, leaving us two the only ones covering ourselves in horrible looking rain-ponchos. Most of the locals just got wet and didn’t seem to care. One covered himself with a big leave of a banana tree. Funny to see the diversity between technique and nature, as he had a mobile in his hands :)
After that we went into the beautiful mountain town Munduk.