Toothache in Suburbia

Melbourne Travel Blog

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Bryony Andrew, Morgan And Finlay take me in.

On day one in Melbourne I lost my bag and had to cancel my cards; this left me completely stranded whilst waiting for replacements. For the first few days I stayed on my friend Campbell’s floor. Once it became clear I was (very literally) getting under his feet I transferred to his sister’s house, where I stayed with her, her husband and 2 sons for a further week.

Of all the things I anticipated about my travels, I never imagined I’d find myself living in suburbia helping out with cleaning and babysitting.

But I had a truly wonderful time; I adored playing castles & cubby houses with Morgan and looking after baby Finlay.

Being out in the sticks was in it’s own way an enriching experience too. I mean, it’s probably less exciting than being on the tourist trail but I felt like I was getting a proper glimpse into the real, everyday Australia. Bry & Andy were exceptionally cool; both had done the travel thing and could relate to me weirding out at the sudden lifestyle change.

One thing really bothered me though: It’s so hard to know when your welcome is up and it’s time to move on; whether the invites to stay are simply gestures or sincere? I really felt like I was imposing on Cam’s family, but at the same time I was haunted by Bini’s hint that I don’t take charity well………. I just don’t know, I hope I got it right!!

Anyway, Thank You Guys, it was such a pleasure, I loved every moment (except for the nappy changing part) XX

@ The Dentists

On day two in Melbourne X-rays reveal at least 6 of my back teeth in dire straights.

(ahh! That explains the constant pain). Dentist furious with ‘English Dentist Cowboys’, the image of which distracts me momentarily before I realise there’s inevitable pain ahead.

At the first appointment Lovely Dentist David rebuilds my bottom right molar 6. Whilst the drills are whirring I learn a brilliant removal technique that I employ throughout all four procedures. I reminisce in graphic detail horse riding a cross-country course in Gloucestershire. The mind game is so effective I barely notice as the drill pitch changes from a whine to a splintering growl; I’m busy galloping across a field towards a log jump.

At the second appointment David rebuilds my top right molar 6. Today I groom my pony Lucky from nose to tail, oiling her hooves and plaiting her mane.

I’m aware of digging, poking & scrapping going on be somewhere near my right eyeball, so more concentration is required to stay distant.

At the third appointment David rebuilds my top left molars 6 & 7 and pulls out top right molar 7. This is the big one; time to extract the Tooth Of No Hope. The pressure on my face rips my mouth at the side. I feel it tear but it’s okay because I’m 1000 miles away mountain-biking on Leckhampton Hill.

At the Last Appointment David rebuilds my bottom right molar 7. Whilst he excavates I loose myself in memories of good times with ex boyfriend. But then my Mind kept progressing to the bad times. I try to go back to the good times but stupid, stubborn Mind won’t cooperate and soon the feeling is more painful than the dentistry itself.

So it’s back to listening to the familiar screeee of the drill.

And that was it. All over.

Thank You Lovely Dentist David for the exceptional work.

The Importance of Poo.

Melbourne City Centre is pretty cool. The best part is a collection of tall, narrow streets lined with funky eateries and even funkier clientele. Being non-funky and on a diet, I just admired it whilst passing through.

I made like a geek and went to the Immigration museum. Learnt quite a bit about the various global passages to Australia and wondered if my English ancestors were ever tempted by the promise of a better life abroad, which was heavily promoted throughout the early1900’s.

Among all this intellectual stimulation the one thing that stands out above all others is the most infantile.

Another Botanic Garden
Upstairs the museum had a fabulously real recreation of steerage quarters aboard the immigration ships. Every last detail is here: Small wooden bunks, tiny portholes, toothbrushes by the basin, and an interactive loo. Next to the loo there’s a sign describing how most ocean fatalities resulted from sea-sickness & diaorrea. To emphasise the point there’s an accompanying sound track delivering the most revoltingly straining, farting & splattering noises......All I could think of was the poor voice over artist who got that job.

Intro to St Kilda

For my last four days in Melbourne I stayed in gorgeous St Kilda. These are the ingredients that make this place so yummy:

• Long white sandy beach with a cityscape view stretching up the coast for miles, flanked by a track for walkers, runners & cyclists.

• Botanical gardens with huge palm trees providing round blobs of shade on thick green grass.

• A little harbour with small swanky yachts.

• Inviting main street spilling over with cafes, delicatessens and bakeries.

• Everywhere you look you’ll see beautiful people taking it easy.

So much to see, so little to say…

I’m antisocial by default but I really managed to excel myself in St Kilda. I didn’t actually have a conversation with anybody the entire time I was there (with the exception of the customary pleases and thankyous at checkout tills.) However on three occasions I was forced out of my silence.

First was when I was walking along the beach and some guy with a surfboard says to me ‘smile it may never happen!’ I bloody hate it when people do that, it makes me really paranoid that what I think is my blank expression comes across to everyone else as Kathy Bates in ‘Misery’.

Especially for my Cuz.
Slightly frantically I squawked back at Mr surfboard

‘Do I look really look unhappy?

I think I startled him a bit ‘cos he went all squirmy and said something like,

‘aww no I just wanted to see you smile’.

I tried to give him the smile he wanted but the gesture was more like a psychotic bearing of teeth. He ran off into the water to play with the sharks instead.

Next thing, I was walking along a barren stretch of road on a mission to get a photograph of a particular street sign (don’t ask). A Ute with big tyres in the back drove past, did a u-ey and drove back again, a guy leaned out of the window and asks

‘You okay?’


‘You not lost?

‘No. I’m walking’

‘You’re walking?’

‘Yes, Thanks for asking’

‘Well if your sure you wanna walk…? see ya’

And he drove off.

I’m confused - is walking really so weird?

Finally, a little further along the road a white saloon full of stoned kids comes by and a naked guy leans out (okay….he was probably wearing shorts, but all I could see was his top half & as it’s my story I’m at liberty to fill in the gaps as I see fit) and he’s yelling ‘hello’ or something. Anyway he sort of starts having a conversation with me although I’ve only responded with a half arsed wave.

Then the complete tool drives straight into waiting traffic ahead and has to do a full on emergency stop, banking his car from side to side. Naked man thought this was hysterical and kept yelling at me ‘you nearly made us crash, you nearly made us crash!’ I shrugged but that felt a bit heartless, so said ‘sorry, do drive carefully’ as the lights changed.

I wonder if there’s a force of nature that deliberately obstructs the path of silence with friendly but odd Aussie men?

Genius Dog Tennis @ All Nations Travellers Motel

The essential components of G-D-T

• An open doorway with 3 meters depth either side

• A saliva coated tennis ball

• Player 1: human

• Player 2: genius dog

Genius Dog takes first serve. (This means dropping the ball in the doorway and nudging it expertly with his nose so it rolls to your feet.)

Human responds with any of these manouvers using either feet or hands:

Rolling ball kick/ airborne chip-kick/ Doorframe rebound kick


Back or forehand roll swipe/ Bounce/ Door frame rebound slam

Genius Dog will deploy defensive strategies that would make Peter Schmeichel jealous.

Lightening quick reflexes snap at the ball whether it’s 5ft in the air above his snout, or striking a tangent on a sneaky ‘off the corner’ shot.

Scoring is simple: 1 point to genius dog if he saves the ball. 1 point to the human if the ball gets past the doorframe.

Note: Human player very rarely wins at this game. Not least because Genius Dog does not recognize the ‘Game Over’ call, and will stand in the doorway nudging the ball at the human player, even when s/he hides in the bathroom.

I played Genius Dog Tennis for about 3 hours straight. By the end the ball was as fluid-soggy as an internal organ. A further hour was spent scrubbing the smell from my hand.

mfmcp1982 says:
You're brave going to the dentist - tis a phobia of mine!
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
londonstudent says:
Brilliant bit of blogging - such fun to read!
Posted on: Feb 18, 2007
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Another Botanic Garden
Another Botanic Garden
Especially for my Cuz.
Especially for my Cuz.
Genius Dog Tennis
Genius Dog Tennis
photo by: jendara