Melbourne - officially the second best city to live in
Melbourne Travel Blog› entry 64 of 77 › view all entries
I got the day bus to Melbourne (due to arrive at 11 pm) so that I could see all the amazing outback scenery on the way. Error. It turns out that the scenery between Sydney and Melbourne looks pretty much like England. The bus journey was going pleasantly until Canberra, when a total Oz-hole got on the bus with his scowling missus and sat behind me. He was almost a spitting image of the Australian that had annoyed me a bit in the Pampas: Big head, blonde hair with wraparound shades perched on top (even on a dark rainy night), Billabong T-shirt, shorts, skateboard shoes, over-sized watch, gob-shite tendencies and an over protectiveness of his Sheila.
I got the day bus to Melbourne (due to arrive at 11 pm) so that I could see all the amazing outback scenery on the way. Error. It turns out that the scenery between Sydney and Melbourne looks pretty much like England.
The bus journey was going pleasantly until Canberra, when a total Oz-hole got on the bus with his scowling missus and sat behind me. He was almost a spitting image of the Australian that had annoyed me a bit in the Pampas: Big head, blonde hair with wraparound shades perched on top (even on a dark rainy night), Billabong T-shirt, shorts, skateboard shoes, over-sized watch, gob-shite tendencies and an over protectiveness of his Sheila.
I returned to my seat after the lunch stop and got an overly firm tap on the shoulder,
“Oy, if you move seats then you won’t have to worry about squashing her legs and you can put the seat back.” (The bus was full enough that if I sat anywhere else it would just be someone else’s legs)
I was tempted to say, “Actually I can sit right here, in my seat, and not worry about it quite easily, thanks… Fucko.”, but suspected it would be a tad confrontational.
Either way I had childishly decided that I wasn’t being pressured to move, or to not put my seat back when I wanted to sleep. Probably luckily for me the driver then announced that the brakes were defective and we’d have to get on another bus.
Well, I wasn’t having some upstart tell me what bus to get on… I joke.
By the time I reached Melbourne it was about 2 a.m. I reached the hostel, entered a code in the safe outside and found an envelope with my keys, a map of the building with my room highlighted and instructions that I was in bed four.
I edged open the door and crept into the room. OK - a set of bunk-beds, both occupied by sleeping girls, a double-bed with one girl in it and… and…? That was it.
Hmmm. Perhaps this was a very friendly hostel, but I would think it’s still generally bad form to slip into a girl’s bed at 2 a.m. when she hasn’t even met you. I did consider sleeping on top of the duvet in my clothes, but suspected this may still freak her out a bit when she awoke.
Finally I settled on grabbing a spare pillow and going to sleep on the floor, which was surprisingly quite comfortable.
The next day two of the girls shared the double bed and I got the top bunk and referred to as ‘a gentleman’ by the girls and the receptionist. Incredible - an accolade simply for not being creepy.
I met up with my old workmate, Pulse, in the afternoon, which descended into a small session on the over-priced beers. We arranged to meet at lunch the next day and do something more touristy.
The next day I went for sushi with Pulse and his girlfriend. We then had five hours to kill before meeting girlfriend and her mates on Ponyfish Island. Ponyfish Island should really be called Pub-on-a-bridge-strut, because that’s what it is.
In our cultural five hours we managed to visit the oldest pub in Melbourne, an exclusive roof-top pub in Melbourne, another pub that was, well… just conveniently placed really and then Horsetrout Island.
A few drinks, some very good pizza and plans to do something cultural the next day.
So… the next day. After a traditional ‘Chicken Parma’ we visited a few more cultural alehouses after which I returned to the hostel and ended up going out on Chapel street with the Swedes. Australia is not what I expected.
I expected to find a lot of Alf Stewart take-no-shit types. In fact the cities are full of homosexuals, metrosexuals and heterosexuals who worry too much about looking hip. As a consequence no one really dances in the clubs (apart from a very drunk English guy and three Swedes), they just stand there trying to look way cool, bro.
On Saturday I met Pulse and the gang and we went to Melbourne races. Lovely weather, only lost 30 dollars and Pulse got hit by a wind swept parasol, resulting in a lot of St John’s ambulance attention, some free beers and gentle amusement.
The next few days were okay. I went to Ramsay Street off’ve Neighbours which is, well, just a cul-de-sac really. I also visited the war memorial, had a traipse around Fitzroy and got sunburnt at Albert Park. The hostel all went bowling one night, which resulted in one of the Swedes getting friendly with a German in the bed below me.
It’s quite annoying trying to sleep on a rocking bunk listening to wet noises - particularly when you haven’t emptied your bins for some time.
After a while the protracted finger-fun was getting too much for me. I jumped out of my swaying bunk in my pants and said something along the lines of, “Tell you what, I’m going to leave the room for fifteen minutes so you can jack-hammer the shit out of each other, wipe up and then we can all go to sleep?”
Turns out that this was something of a passion-killer...