The Neighbours Night

Melbourne Travel Blog

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After touching down at around midnight on our first night in Melbourne, we were apprehensive about our check-in to our dorm at our hostel in the early hours. Although we were glad we could get into the hostel at that time and check in, that was pretty much all we were glad about. The hostel quite simply is a soul destroyer.

We tiptoed into a 12-bed dorm where we attempted to find our two beds and curl up. Not easy. Not a single bed looked like it hadn't been slept in, if it didn’t already have someone in. There was rubbish everywhere, bags spread across the room. It felt like we were with a bunch of kids who had left home and were happy to live like pigs in their new-found freedom. After climbing into a bed, someone entered and told me I had taken theirs.

Melbourne centre
Once I had finally found a bed I lay there wide awake as numerous (probably drunk) people failed to have their keys and had to knock several times before someone woke and let them in. I accepted that from then on I wouldn' be getting much sleep.

The next day we just wanted to get out as quick as possible. So we took a nice, calming walk around Melbourne on a glorious day, on labour day, a public holiday. We walked through Federation Square, through Queen Victoria Gardens and into the park, where a protest was being held. There, I was asked by a police officer what I was doing, and when I asked what the protest was about, he asked me to move along and even gave me a cheeky push! I refrained from doing an Ali G on him (http://www.

youtube.com/watch?v=XncucACVLzA). Our walk also took us past Melbourne Cricket Ground and around the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Now, the big one. Having spent my student years (and many years before that), almost religiously watching Neighbours, I was really looking forward to the Neighbours Night and meeting the stars of the show. However, I found the night, on the whole, to be a big disappointment. I think, in my head, the evening looked something like this. A mansion on a hill, with several waiters armed with trays of Ferrero Rocher and assorted snacks and nibbles negotiating their way around tables of Neighbours fans in tuxedos or posh frocks reminiscing about their favourite Neighbours scenes with their favourite Neighbours stars.

Legend
What I actually got was something that destroyed any lingering feeling that I might miss England - an Irish-themed pub with beer-guzzling idiots singing the Neighbours theme or God Save The Queen, while the fat compere made bad Welsh sheep jokes and asked the crowd to make more noise repeatedly. After the second round of only being able to hear every third question of the trivia quiz and watching the fifth or sixth person make a fool of themselves on stage, I was willing to call it a night. I think I'm getting old. Then, Toadie salvaged it all. I grabbed him, got a photo and was happy again. Then, out of nowhere, came El Robinson - I don’t know their real names - who I also demanded a snap with. That was it, though, I was off to my rubbish bed now. But, as it happens, Lady Luck was shining on me. As we fumbled with our map, working out where our chavvy hostel was, who did we see making their way into the building? The modern-day Fonzie that is Karl Kennedy. He was to perform on stage, so photos with him weren't part of your money's worth, as they had been with the other two. And even though he would only oblige with a couple of cameras before heading off to perform on stage, I wasn't taking no for an answer. So a great way to end a pretty big letdown of a night.

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What is this place?!
What is this place?!
Melbourne centre
Melbourne centre
Get in!
Get in!
Legend
Legend
Queen Victoria statue
Queen Victoria statue
Edvard VII statue
Edvard VII statue
You cant take our freedom!
"You can't take our freedom!"
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens
A tree. Well, why not?
A tree. Well, why not?
Thats not the fat compere, thats…
That's not the fat compere, that'…
You only got your photo taken with…
You only got your photo taken wit…
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photo by: jendara