May 9, 2006 at 7:08 am (Uncategorized)

About two hours after my last post I proceeded to lose my wallet. There could be no worse tragedy when you’re traveling in another country, but don’t panic just yet, my passport wasn’t in there. My license was, but I have an extra copy of that (pshhh), the big loss was my debit/credit cards.

The story is that I managed to just leave it on the tram (93% sure about that) and Peter said there was a chance that someone would turn it in, so we went about making phone calls. Nothing. Right when I was starting to fear the worst I got an email from Mel Loe (my boss in Sydney) saying that a man named Phil Johnson had my wallet. Yes! I love you Phil Johnson! However, over the next three days Peter and I called Mr. Johnson like it was our job and every single time the call just went straight to voicemail. This continued until Monday and then I started to panic again since Tuesday morning I would leave for Perth. We worked out an alternate plan so that my Mom and Pete came through big time to make sure that I had cash-money for my trip, but what about my wallet, Phil Johnson???? Huh???? I do not love him anymore.

At the airport this morning I was checking my email and I had another message from Mel Loe. Now the police have my wallet. I guess that’s good news since Phil Johnson cannot operate a cell phone, but it was a little late. No matter, eventually my wallet will be home with me again. Melbourne is a really cool city. Denise and I did a fair amount of walking around on that first day and we basically got to know the main streets (in and around the CBD). With Peter, we had a guide/host that dreams are made of. Except for the first night in his room when he kept the window open and we didn’t have any blankets and I got extra sick (I already had a cold). I can’t blame Peter though because he’s a polar bear.

The first day (rain) we slept late while Pete was at class and then made it into the city around 5pm. A hearty meal at a diner-type place on Elizabeth Street and then we were off to Melbourne Town Hall. The annual comedy festival was going on in the city so Peter had suggested we find something to see. There were only about a billion choices of stand-up acts and the like. We picked one called “Damien Callinan has Spaznuts”. It was part stand-up routine, part one-man play, and then partially interactive. Peter was handed a sperm donor cup the size of a cookie jar on our way in as part of the routine and when that finally came into play, Damien called him “bucket-boy” and I almost died. I have to say I was a little bit uncomfortable for the portion of the show where Damien was running around onstage in boxer-briefs, but overall it was really funny. I was relieved because there were so many shows that it seemed possible to pick one that would not be funny, but we done good.

After that we made a stop at Dizzy’s, Pete’s favorite jazz club. We were the youngest ones there but the music was good and it felt nice to be out of the wind/rain/cold. They played some Sinatra and the like, and the singer had a really nice, smooth voice. He actually started putting me to sleep so during their first break we took off.

The second day started a little bit earlier. We made it into the city by 2pm for a footy game. Pete tried to make me eat a meat pie but I was not having any of it. Denise and I quickly caught on to the game (it’s really just a free-for-all) and it was not as painful as I had expected. I don’t know that I would go again, but it was an interesting experience, especially seeing how into it all of the Aussies were. Also, the St. Kilda team’s theme song is ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ with one minor change: they sing ‘oh how I want to be in St. Kilda’ instead of ‘oh how I want to be in that number’. That part was kind of painful.

Since Pete and I are actually a married couple, we made dinner that night. Pete cooked chicken sausages while I tried my hand at homemade macaroni and cheese. It was actually Ok, but I started to feel sick during it so Pete and Denise went out that night without me. I’m kind of sad that I did not get a taste of the Melbourne night-life but I really just needed to go to bed and kick my cold in the ass before it got too out of hand.

Denise left early that morning, which was strange because I did not see her go and we had been joined at the hip for a week. Cold turkey. Hard as it was, I lived, and Pete took me to St. Kilda (land of the saints) to see the beach-side market. Strangely enough, we got there and there were only a handful of tents set up while the rest of the marked off spaces were empty. Pete was disappointed. We tried to make up for it by getting some sushi/noodles which seemed to settle him down some. Then we took the tram into the city and went into the Anzac Shrine of Remembrance. I was a little surprised that it would be free since it was so nice inside, but Pete pointed out that it might be inappropriate to stop veterans at the door and demand a fee. Always thinking that Axtman.

More flopping around the city ensued, a trip to Southbank to kill some time. Southbank is a shopping center/food court situated on the river. We had a coffee and talked about sports for nearly two hours before moving on to our final destination. Pete and some guys he knows had been planning on going to see this blues act, so we headed off to The Corner and got inside just as the show started. The guy’s name is Geoff Achison and he is crazy good with that guitar. I don’t know that much about the guitar, but he was shredding it. I was in pain watching him at a couple of points. His band was awesome too, except I’m not sure that he needs the two female backup singers that maybe sang one line in every song. Now Geoff is off to America to promote his new CD, so maybe we’ll catch up with him there.

On my last day in Melbourne Pete was nice enough to help me get my 60+ pounds of luggage up to the tram and into the city. We dropped it all off at All Nations backpacker hotel and then ran off to hit the museums. We did the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Melbourne Museum. Both were interesting and free. Then we had a very decent Mexican meal at Taco Bill’s. It was pricey, but it killed that craving. We also hit the James Squire Brew House and had a classy beer after dinner. I had a coupon for a free beer back at the hostel and I owed Pete a pot so we stopped there and then Pete took me down to the river. He was going to try to have his way with me, but I saw through his game and insisted we just watch the Crown Casino pyrotechnic show from the bridge. These pillars just started spitting fire at 8pm, it was pretty awesome.

Then we said our short and sad goodbyes. I went back to All Nations to make sure all of my stuff was in order for Perth. That seems like forever ago, but it was just last night. I’m writing this after my first day in Perth and I have to say that so far I don’t know which I like better, Melbourne or Perth. Neither can be compared to Sydney, that has already been established, but they are in strong competition with each other and I still have two more days here. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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