Saturday, November 08, 2003

Again, I can't recollect my daytime activity but tonight was another rugby match, I have it in my notepad as the Australia vs. Ireland game but I thought I had already watched that; it was definitely Autralia vs. someone though!

I went out this evening with Robin, Millie and a whole bunch of other people, we were going to a pub which nobody knew as Robin was meeting his Australian cousin there (who he had never met before).

I didn't speak much with Robin's cousin, but he seemed a nice guy nonetheless. We all proceeded to drink jugs of beer and generally get quite merry, Australia won the rugby match so the pub (mostly Aussies) was in a happy mood!

Next we moved onto a small but cosy bar, again it was a Aussie bar not a typical backpacker place.

Now before I tell you about activities in the bar I will enlighten you on the situation with Lou and David; Lou had, either through her own deductions or through opinions of other people decided to call her relationship (of sorts) off with David and the backpacker rumour mill was working overtime as to associated events, such as inappropriate behaviour from David.

Back to the bar, at which David was present.

I had a fun time at the bar and ended up spending a lot of the evening chatting with Nadine; however, in a wave of refreshing honesty that only alcohol imbues, a lot of people decided to tell David what they thought of him. Consequently David proceeded to get the hump and for the next week or so spoke to almost nobody, quite the opposite of his usual self!

I don't recall quite how drunk I was or how I got home, but I do recall snogging Nadine in the hostel courtyard later that evening / morning.

Friday, November 07, 2003

I don't recall my movements during the course of today, but it was probably quite social, in the nicest possible way.

Being a Friday evening it was wine and nibbles night again. I received a text from Rachel asking if I wanted to come out to the Black Cat tonight with Mel and herself, I was in the mood for a night in with wine so I declined. The evening progressed and by about 8:30pm I had already had a few mugs of wine (you grab any recepticle available on free wine night) when unexpectedly Rachel and Mel turned up anyway, apparently I was coming to the Black Cat whether I liked it or not, so I obliged.

A few bottles of wine in the Black Cat later I was feeling quite chilled, but Rachel and Mel has decided that I had had enough and sent me home, which in itself is quite unusual. I don't recall walking home but I must have been quite out of it as I'm sure I went straight to bed, the next day Rachel said that I looked like I was about to fall off the sofa in the Black Cat! Good job I got to bed when I did then!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

When I surfaced today I bumped into Nat, she said that she was going to be going down to Carlton swimming pool later in the morning.

After getting myself together I decided to wander down there and see what it was all about, even though it wasn't far away it took a little longer than expected as I did get slightly lost and had to ask some passing stranger in the street for directions.

The pool complex (a small complex) was in the middle of some kind of council estate type area, which was quite odd as the pool itself was really nice! I realised when I got there that I didn't have any swimming stuff on me at all, so I decided to try and track Nat down. After looking for her for a short while she eventually located me, she had finished swimming and was chilling out in the spa / jacuzzi type room, hence the fact that I didn't find her.

The weather was lovely, so I had a coffee and we sat on the grass by the pool and chatted for quite a while. We chatted about philosophy and life and people and some quite deep and meaningful topics before deciding to wander back to the hostel.

On the way back we noticed that this weeks lottery was a roll-over and the total prize was $18million, so in a flight of fancy and the thought of what we might do with $18million we went into the nearest branch of Tattersalls (Aus's biggest gambling company) and put $10 each on the lottery. I was feeling lucky as I had already won 2 lots of money since I had been in Australia.

I don't exactly recall my activities later that evening.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Today, when I eventually arose, I felt a bit groggy, unsurprisingly. Luckily though, there were plenty of people that felt infinitely worse than me, I think my midday session of coke and water put me in good stead all done and told.

To my knowledge I had a quiet one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Melbourne Cup Day!

I woke up in time to have a shower, iron a pair of trousers and shirt (smart dress wasn't mandatory, but it was in the spirit of the whole event and I got to the iron before the queue started, haha!) and get in for breakfast at 9am. For breakfast we had pancakes and an entire bottle of champagne (well, as near as damn it) each! I think John (Little John) may have drunk an entire slab (Aussie slang for a crate) of beer.

We were getting the train to Flemington Race Course, so off we ambled, most people were dressed smartly, some came in old style 1920s togs, John was dressed as a Nun; the weather was fantabulous!

It actually took quite some time to get to the racecourse, this was on the basis that we were all already a little drunk and we took the train in the wrong direction for about 15 minutes before we realised. So we had to wait for the next one back, etc., etc., but we did get there in the end!

To get to the track we had to walk from the station to the racecourse, rather unexpectedly, Flemington was a right mangy area!

We didn't actually go into the racecourse, we camped out in Flemington Gardens (very nice) where there was a do going on with a couple of other hostels too; they were dishing out free food and beer all afternoon! The afternoon went well, I was drunk, but I didn't go overboard, John was sick (which everybody approved of), I think this gave him the space for more beer!

Earlier on in the day I had placed a few bets on the race (to keep in with the spirit of things of course) and lucky for me I had put a place bet on the winner (Maykbe Diva) and I won $120 overall!

I left the event with Robin, Millie and Graham; Graham is a northern guy at the hostel and is a really nice bloke.

We decided to go to a bar, the name of which I don't recall, but it was in the basement of another hostel in town. The bar was a bit of a dive, but I traded some flyer I had picked up at Flemington for a free Melbourne Cup T-shirt (wow!), I also excercised a rare degree of common sense (for me) and drank only coke and water for the duration of our stay at the bar.

By the time we finished at the bar and got back to the hostel and perhaps had a few beers at the Pump House, time was getting on. So Robin, Millie, Graham and myself decided to go out to Brunswick Street and see what else we could find.

We decided upon the Laundry (popular bar / club), however upon entry we were approached by a rather butch looking woman who informed us that (in case we weren't aware) it was gay night tonight. We said we didn't have a problem with it, at which point she said, and I quote "If you see anything you don't like or that makes you uncomfortable then keep your mouth shut or get out"... hmmm... we went in for a beer anyway.

For a gay bar, Robin and Millie seemed strangely at ease; not that I haven't had my share of encounters with the rougher gender, but even I wasn't that at ease! Before we knew it, Robin was in enthusiastic conversation with some gay guy and Millie, Graham and myself seemed to have got into a conversation with Melbournes own version of Dame Edna Everage; I can't remember the guys (girls) name but he had the dodgy make up, the quirky personality and the voice to boot!

Well, for a gay bar it was quite entertaining. Robin seemed to get on really well with the gay guy he was talking to, I think Robin and Millie are quite a liberal couple. We left the Laundry at about 3am-ish, I think and walked back to the hostel. Robin and Millie went to bed and Graham wandered off somewhere else.

I was considering going to bed myself, when I bumped into Clodagh; I may have been drunk, but Clodagh was well and truly trashed! I chatted with Clodagh for quite a while, she told me (a relative stranger) the ins and outs of her life with a degree of intimacy and detail that would have been unprecedented had she not been wasted.

Soon after, Aine turned up (Aine and Clodagh are partners in crime). Aine was about as drunk as me and by now the time was approaching 4am so we decided to go to the casino, the casino is the only bar in Melbourne that is open 24 hours a day. Aine makes a regular habit of going to the casino until all hours of the morning, for a short girl she can't half drink, but then she is Irish!

I don't recall exactly how we got to the casino, possbily by cab.

When we got to the casino we decided to make a B line for the club (the casino is a massive complex with loads of stuff in it besides the casino), unfortunately we were denied access largely due to the fact that Clodagh was so trashed Aine and I had to hold her up.

In light of this disappointment we wandered into the casino itself, as it also has a bar. This was the first time I had ever been to the casino in the evening before and I stayed for a little while, but soon got discouraged by the fact that there were about 20 guys for every girl in the place. I wasn't desperately on the pull or anything but it still wasn't a pleasant environment to be in, so eventually I got a cab back home.

I don't think I got to bed before 6am.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I got up at a reasonable time today and liaised with Nat and Millie about the interview at Harry the Hirers. As luck would have it Millie was starting work at 2pm today and she agreed to give Nat and myself a lift up there which was groovy. Millie and Robin have an old yellow van, it looks a bit beat up and it has a column gear change, but it's quite cute and it got us to Harry the Hirers OK.

When we got there Millie went off to work and Nat and myself were pointed in the direction of the personnel lady. Harry's is basically set in a big warehouse and Nat and I needed to see a lady called Amanda, she was sat in a glass booth and in typical personnel fashion she was quite abrupt and noteably unfriendly.

Nat and I filled out application forms and were probed by Amanda with questions through the window of the booth (we found it quite amusing that we had had an interview through a window!), she then wandered off to speak to the supervisors in question. When she came back we were told that thay didn't actually need people at all and that the MD had just been a little over-zealous, but we would be top of her list of people tp call if the occasion arose. She did actually waffle on quite a lot (you're not wearing the right kind of shoes, blah, blah) as I think she was embarassed at telling us that there was no work going. Nat and I were a little put out but were both philosophical enough to chalk it down to experience.

We ended up getting the the 109 tram back, I had a coffee at the tram station and that was that!

That evening I had a quiet drink in the Pump House next door, I had to get up early tomorrow as it was Melbourne Cup day and I had signed up for a day of fun, starting with a champagne breakfast at 9am!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Today was truly a day of recovery, and a quiet one was definitely required. Tonight was also the night of the England rugby match and I was in a predicament as to how to tackle it and where to watch it.

Anyway, today I chatted to people, drunk tea and had a generally relaxing social thing going on - which suited me just fine.

Later that afternoon I sat on the green outside the hostel (Carlton Gardens) and read a book for a while, I bumped into Natalie who had just come back from swimming at the Carlton swimming baths; I discovered that this is an outdoor swimming pool just up the road and Nat loves it, I said I may join her up there one day soon.

I will introduce you to another couple who are now at the hostel, Robin and Millie; they are a lovely, really friendly couple and seem to get on with most people (apart perhaps, from David). They work just up the road in Richmond for a company called Harry the Hirer, this is a company that hires things (chairs, tables, crockery, cutlery, you name it) to events (like the rugby); as a result things need to be loaded and unloaded from trucks and dirty dishes have to be washed and Robin and Millie were dish washers.

The MD of Harry the Hirer had told Robin and Millie that they were looking for more staff so Natalie and myself decided to go up the next day and try and get ourselves jobs.

Another introduction; Natalie. She is 32 and has done a lot of travelling already, she is a really nice person but is very opinionated (she hates David with a passion). She is fairly quiet and does her own thing a lot of the time, I think she is actually a lot more outgoing than this but I hear that she is borasic, hence the quiet nights in. Natalie is only in Melbourne for a little while, she is flying out to India soon.

As for the rugby tonight, well, in keeping with good common sense I had a night in, watched the rugby on TV in between socialising with people in the courtyard; England won and I had an earlyish night.