I had started to notice a trend- I would get very cranky and fed up on the days after people left me. These were probably the only bad days I had while away, but they all seemed to be unlucky. It first started when Hauly and Barry left me in Hoi An, but I originally put this down to the typhoon and my “Dengue fever” (slash the flue). I’m sure it would have happened when I left Teo and Lins but the Peninsula softened the blow. That, and the knowledge that they were going back to work the next day and I was not ;). It happened again when my mom left. Nothing went right for me that day- was stuck under a shop canopy for 45 mins on my own in HCMC due to a thunder and lightening storm to be then robbed by a taxi man. The same thing happened when I got to Melbourne after leaving my dad. Bad day: Had to wait an hour for the bus, was missing Asia, it was FREEZING and I only packed for roasting, it was too expensive, you had to pay for shitty wifi….ugh….then I get bad news from home… I hate Melbourne, I hate Australia, I hate today. I’m taking my last emergency Valium and I’m going to bed.
The next day I saw the light. Melbourne is marvellous. The sun came out (thank god- I could only get away with wearing that one hoody so many days in row). I went shopping with Nina, a girl in my dorm, as I had to by some races paraphernalia. I picked up my two tickets for the cup, and turns out my uncle had gotten me members tickets. We walked around harbour town and through the parks and then it was time for strip bingo at the hostel, which came with free champagne. I also discovered my new favourite restaurant- “Lentil as anything“, which is a vegan/vegetarian volunteer run hippy joint with no prices or tills- you donate money as you see fit into a anonymous magic box. Melbourne is like east London on crack- Shoreditch wouldn’t get a look in.
While at the hostel bar, I bumped in to a load of NUIG heads, who are all going to the races. I give my spare ticket to a guy working at the hostel, since he was trying but couldn’t get one. We all start drinking “champagne” at 10 am at the hostel and then make our way to the racetrack. I was so delighted that I won $10 that I barely even noticed losing 60. To me, races=champagne, so I bought a bottle in the champagne bar:
your finest bottle of the cheapest Yellowfin please sir
I had too much confidence in my uncles horse and backed him to win rather than each way. As nice it was to be at the cup, it was sucking my bank account dry-though I was still thrilled to see the horse come third.
On my last day, I decided I would go exploring the city some more since I was so impressed with it so far. I walked along the beach towards the harbour and then took the tram into town. I wanted to go on this free walking tour everyone had recommend but before it started I planned to go to the Queen Victoria Market. When I got to the markets, they were closed (closed on Wednesdays)…ah this was not part of my plan…
Don’t make me hate you again Melbourne!
It was a minor set back but the walking tour made up for it. I met an English girl who was also travelling on her own and we got on with her like a house on fire. The tour lasted 5 hours and brought us through all the major historic spots as well as the coolest alleys which were covered in street art. Our young guide also recommended bars and cafes to the group, and myself and Ginni decided we would head back to the “Berlin Bar” for a drink after. The tour guide then saved the day when he told us the Victoria Night Markets were opening that night for the summer- Success!
After the tour, Ginni and I made our way back to the Berlin bar. The bar has two themed rooms, east Berlin and west Berlin. We snooped around for a bit taking pics but snuck out when the waitress wasn’t looking after seeing the cocktail prices. Instead of $20 cocktails, we had $5 lattes in the Italian quarter. We made our way up to the QVM, where things were getting going with food stalls, bars and a band. We shared kangaroo and croc burgers (when in Rome…) and I made up for the lack of shopping in my life over the last few months and bought loads of great stuff that I didn’t need and couldn’t afford- bliss!
I was semi devastated I didn’t have more time in Melbourne, as I had cut my time short to go to Sydney early. But…Sean was collecting me at the airport so I didn’t mind too much 😉