melbourne take II

Posted by walking rek on Jun 21, 2007 in living rek |

Getting well jack of the dirty smeg crowding my aura in more recent times I once again decided to high tail it down to Mexico, this time for the June long weekend. My mission: to see just how unbearable the weather really is to a thin skin like me with view to possible permanent relocation in 2008.

My local contact is agent Rattlesnake who flew the coop south from Sydney almost a year ago. Our rendevouz was due to take place outside the domestic terminal at the crack of dawn but Rattlesnake decided to ambush me inside at the carousel disguised as a frumpy house frau in brightly coloured pyjamas and flouro ugg boots. I almost didnt recognise her and if it wasnt for her signature bourbon stained voice I probably would have belted her over the head with my hand luggage and legged it into town solo. As it was, she slipped me the right code word and we made our way somewhat loudly to the car en route to HQ.

Melbourne did not disappoint. I had another fabulous time, and the weather was great. Whilst Sydney was getting smacked about by tsunamis and flash flooding, I was strolling around enjoying clear sunshine and my stripey thermal underwear.

As usual, I went with an agenda to keep me from spending all my cash in the first bar/shop/restaurant/club/pub that I land in:

  • Take a turn on the rollercoaster at Luna Park, the old ricketty one. Did this. Cost $7 and was heaps of fun. Not as thrilling as the Mighty Mouse, but very authentic and very ricketty. I was stunned to discover that this rollercoaster is actually manned by a person who controls the brakes from a little perch mid carriage. This person is not strapped in and grabs onto a long wooden handle and pulls on it when the coaster goes around a corner. When I rode the coaster, the driver was a very petite young lady of about 5’2″. Seriously. I was sitting just behind the middle section. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy holding on as we hurtled around the exterior wall of Luna Park with all its peaks and troughs. I had trouble staying in my own seat so I can’t imagine how she managed. Anyhow. If I ever find myself looking for a new job, I reckon I’d give that one a turn. Another tick for Melbourne.
  • Catch more trams. This was to suss out how Melbourne compares to the shambles that is Sydney public transport. Tick. The trams are ace. They even have a service that sends you a text to tell you how far away your next tram is. Very civilised. I guess they realise that the paying public would rather hang inside sipping their soy hot chocolate then getting snap frozen on the street. I was a bit startled however by the narrow distance between the tram and the island in the road where you get on. There’s a gap of maybe 50cm between the tram and the fence. I’m pretty sure that morbidly obese people would be a traffic hazard and I was even fearful for my luggage at one point (I took 2 bags with a combined weight of 25kg for a 5 day trip… but, hey, I HATE the cold). Regardless, my bags survived. And I saw no morbidly obese people. And I didnt get busted travelling without a ticket…cos I had one this time 🙂 I even got asked directions from a drunk tourist who thought I was a local. Must’ve been the smug look from inside my warm shell of wool and goretex.
  • Go back to SpellBox. Get some candles and make another personalised incense blend. This shop is inside a terrace house on a lane in the CBD. It is amazing. Its like a scene from Harry Potter with herbs drying from the roof and shelves heaving with jars full of magick. Had a palm reading this time with Ian. Pretty much confirmed what the gypsy reading with hi-octane coffee said in Feb. Tick.
  • Go for a day trip or over nite jaunt outside the city. This episode found Rattlesnake, her sister Lisa and me bundled into her car fanging south west to the Great Ocean Road. Ended up at Apollo Bay at the Ocean Road Hotel with some new friends Rain and JD. Black sambuca, a juke box dance off and lots of questionable photography made this nite a highlight of the trip. Seems that everyone in town drinks at this pub including a large contingent of underage patrons there with their parents. It was a hoot. Accom was a mere $25 each for the nite, and although the sleeping quarters were a probable fire hazard and the place was most certainly haunted, I slept like the dead and didnt get bed bugs. Hooray! Another triumph for the great southern land.
  • Do some culture. Went to the Australian Centre for Moving Image in Federation Square to watch Daft Punk’s Electroma. Groovy cinema in a beautiful public space. Kinda lousy flick. I sent Dazzlebatz a short scathing review after the viewing. If he still has it I’ll post it here.
  • Buy some new threads. Indulged in a pair of black leather Converse then held out for days until I found the perfect farm shirt by Princess Highway. Giddy up McLeod. Looked at probably 600 pairs of gorgeous boots in every foot fetish store in town. Only tried on a couple cos my cowboy boots hurt too much to take off and put back on. A wise shopping tactic. Saved me a few hundred bucks just cos I couldnt try the beauties on. And I sooo wanted to buy.
  • Eat Dumpling. Did so again at Shanghai Noodle near GayLord the shabby chic Bollywood restaurant in China town. Super dumplings for $6. Tick. Gay Lord is the real name of the other joint and is a sight to see in its own right.
  • Get pissy at the Espy. Yes. I did this again. The usual boozy affair but I was disappointed that the Hendrix/ACDC cover band werent playing the nite I staggered in. Wasnt really in the mood for Aussie hip hop. Big fan of this pub. Reminds me of the Titty Twister from Dusk till Dawn with the caved in roof and grand staircase. Could easily become my local if I moved to St Kilda.
  • Buy food at Victoria Markets. Another highlite. Got 3 massive chunks of quality Australian cheese (brie, cheddar and a King Island Roaring Forties Blue) for a measly $10. Lisa insisted that I try Burek, a turkish (?) savoury snack that now rivals my perpetual favourite Gozleme. Immediatley addicted. Shopping for groceries here every week would be a real treat. Even scored a brilliant car park with Lisa at the wheel. Big Tick.

Now, I didnt get to do everything I planned to do so there will definetly be a next time: football at the MCG, the Boosh at the Comedy Festival, any gig at Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom, more Brunswick street and Fitzroy action, more parmies. More Melbourne.

1 Comment

Jun 22, 2007 at 11:53 am

Very very cool blog on Melbourne!!!! I was quite proud to be at the top, jarmmies and all 🙂 I really hada great wk end. But i must say…the weather here is really god damn cold…you might have to come down for a wk end in july to get a better feeling(or lack of feeling) for it!
next time your here we’ll definately do all the other stuff you said fitroy and brunswick a must!
stay cool, and keep the blogs going, i love it 🙂



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