Thursday, February 03, 2005


Day 1: Arrive at hostel, get stuck with a top bunk again. It's just not fun anymore once you've passed the age of 10 years old. Head out to walk around the city, see pretty parks, Parliament, and Federation Square where they were doing a live interview with someone involved in that tennis thing that was going on there. Get hungry, head back to the hostel to get my book in preparation for eating alone. Stumble across a cute little alley in the middle of a dead city (a Melbourne friend told me that those little streets are the secret to the city and, by God, she was right) full of Italian restaurants, outdoor seating, and live music. Delicious dinner of risotto--which I still can't distinguish from rice--and gelato for dessert. Have to pass on that bottle of white wine because I'm sick, and have also recently learned the painful lesson in Perth that the alcohol flush makes sunburns hurt more before they hurt less. Head back to my (unairconditioned) room where I can revel in the coolness of being the first person in bed.

Day 2: Sleep in, then spend 2 hours showering and getting ready to head out because it's so frickin' hot I can't figure out how to put on makeup in a way that's more flattering than not. Succeed on my second try (standing in front of an open window). Meet the guy who goes around changing bed linens and convince him to help me move bunks to one that's not on the top. Yes!!! Head out to the suburbs to meet up with some people out there who I met in Bali. Spend the afternoon and evening doing whatever it is Aussies do in their free time, which appears to be hanging out, either at home or at the sports bar, with a little bit of alcohol and billiards thrown in. And the most massive burger I've ever seen. It's the first time I've ever not been able to finish a burger, and I blame the fact that they added pineapple, ham, and a fried egg to it. I almost managed to finish the day without doing anything worthy of my Lonely Planet, but it turned out we were right at the base of Mount Dandenong, so we drove to the top and broke into (aka climbed around the fence) the area with the good view at the top to see the city lights. It really is beautiful landscape down there: just the town we were in was nothing but tree-covered rolling hills. Day ended with me missing the last train back to the city and spending the night out there. We watched a bootlegged copy of The Aviator on DVD (thank you Bali) and couldn't finish it: too boring. Does that movie remind anyone else of Citizen Kane, but without the literary device that I've now decided really helped keep it interesting? Watch an episode of Cedric the Entertainer on TV before falling asleep.

Day 3: Wake up, take train back to the city (2 hours), spend the afternoon doing I have no idea what. I think eating ice cream was involved, though. At 8 pm go out to meet a different set of Aussies I met on Bali. One of them was a lead singer in a cover band, so I went and met the rest of the band and watched them perform. Drank me some beers and had an awesome time, and couldn't believe it when all of a sudden it was 3 am and the bar was closing. Also that I had to leave for the airport in three hours for my flight to Sydney. Convinced the drummer to help me kill some time (which mostly involved looking around for a food establishment that was still open), and then somehow turned my ride home into a ride all the way to the airport. Score.

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