Melbourne Blog Part 1
I'd arrived in Melbourne's Southern Cross Station just before Midnight. Luckily two Italian guys G.P. and Luca were able to meet me at the station and escort me back to G.P.'s. G.P. had a spare bed in his flat after Luca had moved out and into a new flat with his missus Christy, who I also knew from are Banana farming days. Once we got back to the flat we caught up for a couple of ours despite the unearthly hours. The flat was basic. It was above a pub called The Birmingham. We had a double bed each, a set of draws to share between us, a desk and some empty milk crates we used as shelving. The toilet and bathroom were also a little less to be desired and not having Wi-Fi would be a hassle while I didn't have a job but at a $100 a week rent I was not going to find anything cheaper.
The next day I met up with Peter. Pete had arrived in Melbourne the same day as me but slightly earlier. I think I told you already about how myself and Peter were acquainted but I will run through it again just in case. When I worked at Dawson Rentals, we had a student placement in our department called Harry George. Conveniently he had a flat just outside of Nottingham which was convenient for pre-drinking and stopping over. When I'd make an appearance there he had his friends from Southwell over, one of these was Peter. So we shared many nights getting drunk, singing on Lips (A karaoke X-box game) and going out in Nottingham. I then went traveling, and while I was away Pete planned his own trip he went Thailand for five months and then came over to Sydney where I taught him the ways of goon and places in Sydney. I also tried to convince to come on my epic west coast and central Australian journey but he didn't instead opting to work in a ladies clothes warehouse for a few months to make some money. So we decided to reconvene in Melbourne. Pete wasn't a massive fan of Australia, but in my opinion he needed to give it more of chance. Pete to put it kindly is very careful with his money and he just needs to cut loose a bit and have some fun. So I met him at Flinders Station where I thought we would be going for a cheeky pint and a catch up. That didn't materialise and we ended up on a bit of an all-day bender. Not bad for a Tuesday eh. I can't remember most of the places we went but I'm pretty sure we started at Young and Jackson's a pub across from Flinders Station, then made our way to somewhere which had pricey Corona's, a pub Pete wanted to go to as it had $3 beers, the problem was the beers were not much bigger than shot glasses and I'm nearly convinced that was a gay pub we went in, not that I have anything against people who have a fondness for the same sex. We may have gone one or two more places before we went Fluid and each had a Pizza. I had a Nacho Pizza out of curiosity and it was a taste sensation. We then noticed there was a comedy and karaoke night that night so made plans to end the night there. We went in search of an Irish bar Pete had also spotted because it was cheap but we never found it so ended up in a pub which was just full of pokies (Fruit Machines). The only notable thing that happened here was that I decided to eat the chocolate Santa Pete had brought me and were getting photos with in the various pubs we had visited. We had a beer and decided just to go back to Fluid and stay there for the rest of the night. We were joined by one of Pete's mates from back home Jonno, and also Christy and Luca. The comedy night was fun, the beer was flowing and then we, mainly Pete, Luca and I decided to embarrass ourselves on karaoke. Our hits included The Killers - Mr Brightside, Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger and most shamefully One Direction - You don't think you're beautiful or whatever it is called. We made our way back but unfortunately I had not got a key for the flat yet so ended up staying on Luca and Christy's floor that only lived a few minutes' walk away from where I was living.
The rest of the week didn't quite follow this. Luca took me on a walk to the closest K-Mart which was a decent 3.5 kilometre walk away. It was also next to an Ikea so we got to have $1 hotdogs! I also spent a fair bit of time watching Movies from my Hard Drive. Being pretty productive though I thought I better get on the job hunt. So my time was spent fleeting from Fitzroy Library, Luca and Christy's flat and the Library in the City to use the Wi-Fi facilities to check out the job hunt. I first started applying for anything. Telesales, Dishwashers, Kitchen Hands, Being Santa Claus, you named it I applied. I didn't get off to a great start keeping my address from Sydney on my CV and cover letter so there was about 50 job applications own the swanny. I had a few interviews, one I thought I nailed only to be declined. I was offered a trial as a dishwasher. Kitchen hand but I decided to turn this down. Did I really want to be a dishwasher? No, I wasn't that desperate yet. I also got the offer to be an Office Manager for four weeks. I had to turn this down too as it appeared the job was in Hallam which was a good 40minute drive away or an hour half bus, tram and train journey away. And perhaps the most controversial one I turned down was being Toy Promoter, the reason was they offered $16 an hour which is ok but I was on $24.44 in Sydney and thought I was deserving of a better wage. Or was I just making excuses and turning into the new Tom Basford? I was pretty sure I wasn't I'd been actively seeking work on a daily basis. And my reasons were good in my opinion. Something would come up I was sure, and if not I had a guaranteed two weeks work starting on the 19th November when the Noodle Festival would start in Melbourne. How am I guaranteed this work you ask? Well my good friend Jack was working as a barman at The Morrison in Sydney, when the Noodle Market Festival was in Sydney Jack was asked to manage on of the bars and then do the Melbourne one for two weeks. So Jack had a cheeky word and got me on the roster. Still it was only for two weeks I needed something more permanent. So from then and now I have been actively seeking work. This has been problematic though due to a number of factors.
The first was the issue of the Melbourne Cup. Melbourne Cup is maybe the only Horse Race that stops a nation. Melbourne goes nuts for it. They have a four day weekend dedicated to this so naturally this meant job hunting stopped. Also luckily I had a ticket. I had two. Unfortunately I had nobody to go with though. The Italians were not interested and all my other friends were scattered across the country and not able to get. Pete had decided to leave to go and see Central Australia and Jack wouldn't be in Melbourne until a couple of weeks after. But it was Pete who saved me from going to the Melbourne Cup alone. He had been staying with someone his Mum use to work with called Karen. Karen was Scottish and her Brother David was just about to come over from Scotland on a year's holiday visa. She had asked Pete to show him around but he had already planned to leave so he had asked me to do the honours. So we got in touch via Facebook and we went for a few drinks around Fitzroy and it was he who ended up going the races with me. It is fair to say we had a great day! As may or may not know I love a day at the races, I love everything about it, getting dressed up, seeing all the beautiful ladies dressed up, gambling - win or lose, the atmosphere, and beers flowing. I love it. And if you get good weather too there are not too many things better. And Melbourne Cup didn't disappoint I won on one race, Dave won a couple, my nose got sun burnt, Dave's face got sunburnt, we were pretty drunk. And we met a few great girls. Two of which Sophie and Laura we ended up going out with after first too a pub called Yak and then to get some food at a Mexican restaurant. I had took a shine to Sophie, she looked a bit like one of my ex-girlfriends (a much better looking version) I won't name names but hopefully this one wouldn't go psycho and smash a Gary Neville photo. We hit it off and had good banter together which led me to be invited to her house. I accepted and I wouldn't normally put these stories in my blog but the fact that her house was 100km outside of Melbourne, something I forgot until the next morning and the surreal moment when I went shopping for condoms drunk in the early hours of the morning with an I love safe sex hat on. It was really weird and I felt like I should be in some sort of American teen comedy movie. Sophie and I had a great night. And morning and then she pointed me in the right direction home. I went Werribee Zoo for the afternoon which was pretty cool. There wasn't too many animals were there and it's just outside the border of Melbourne but you could do a bus ride safari through the Giraffe, Rhino, Ostrich and other animal enclosure. The Monkeys and Gorillas were cool, as were the Hippo's and I found out the interesting fat the Hippo's don't actually swim they just sink to the bottom and walk across the bottom. They are also the most dangerous wild animal in Africa apparently. And despite their big frame can run 40 kmph.
Friends were also distracting me from my job hunt. Friends who had visited Melbourne such as the Danish couple Christian and Signe who I met on my Kakadoo and Lichfield course. They were in Melbourne for a few days and we decided to go St Kilda for the day where we went looking for wild Penguins. They were supposed to appear at the end of the pier at dusk but we were there a couple of hours early so we went to an Italian restaurant for something to eat, Luna Park for a little walk around and then San Churro for the best chocolate shake I have ever tasted. It was sensational! We finally got to the pier at dusk. We waited with the crowd in anticipation to see something, we did a water rat, but we wanted penguins. Time was running out though as Christian and Signe needed to shoot off as thy were meeting a Brazilian guy they were staying with. Luckily though just before we had to leave two of them appeared from the sea and ran into the rocks. It was a bit crazy, when I was I first came too Australia I thought I would see wildlife but mainly things like Snakes and Spiders, not Penguins. I just never associated them with anything other than the North and South Poles. Before Pete left we had a night out where we got far too drunk at Luca's playing drinking games (Pete didn't even make it out as he passed out on Luca's floor) We ended up on Chapel Street after being refused entry into a club because of my ripped jeans, so went to an Irish bar called Birdie O'Reilly's. I enjoyed it as I got to see Man Utd vs. Stoke and there was also a decent band playing. Other nights out have included the pub quiz at the Birmingham which is maybe one of the worse trivia nights I have ever been too. The host just sped through questions without giving you chance to confer or understand it and preferred to tell us his s*** stories he thought was funny. I'd also joined the Italians and some of their friends for some drinks in Brunswick on Sydney Road at a place called Brunswick Green Room or something like that which was pretty nice. And most recently Luca, G.P. and I went to a restaurant called Lentil As Anything. It was a restaurant where you paid what you feel the food was worth. The food wasn't bad but it lacked something, then I realised there was no meat. It was all vegan food. It was pretty much a Vegan restaurant. I don't understand Vegan's never have, never will. I don't see why they do it and why they think substitutes for things are better when they are not. It's ridiculous. We also walked past an art exhibition on the way there, so popped in to have a look at some of the impressive and some of the not so impressive photos on display.
So as you can see I have been pretty distracted with friends, general outtings and just general laziness but don't worry Ma and Pa I am looking for a job and I have been out and got my RSA certificate. This means I am now officially allowed to responsibly serve alcohol to patrons in Victoria. If you haven't got this it's not possible for you to get a job in a pub, bar, restaurant or anywhere that serves alcohol. So it was pretty vital I got this so I could work with Jack for a couple of weeks at the Noodle Festival I mentioned before. The RSA is pretty common sense; there are stories like how can you tell someone is drunk? There are all multiple choice questions and you can get 7 wrong out of twenty, it was maybe the easiest test I have ever done. I'd also recommend for any traveller to go to a course to do it rather than doing it online. It is more enjoyable, you get more help as they instructors, I presume, want their pass rates to be high and you get to meet people instead of being stuck behind a computer.
I suppose I should also let you know what Melbourne is like as a city. Most people say it is the most European City in Australia and I can see why. It kind of reminds me of Leeds. The weather is also more like England. It can pour it down one day and then be 30 degrees the next, then overcast the next. It's so unpredictable you don't know what will happen from hour to hour. I am also full of praise for Melbourne's public transport, but maybe for the wrong reasons, it's so easy to sneak on and off the trams for free and they are pretty frequent. The only bad thing is they don't run through the night. In the three or so weeks I have been in Melbourne I have not spent a cent on public transport and that includes when I found my way 100 kilometres outside Melbourne. One more thing that is a bit irritating about trams though is that if you are in a suburb like Fitzroy (Where I am stopping) or any others and you need to get somewhere else you have to go into the city swap trams and get on another. This can put an extra 30mins - 60mins on what should be a 15 minute journey in a car. But still if they are free it's worth it in my eyes. Melbourne is also buzzing with live events especially music in the weeks I have been here Beyonce, One Direction, Franz Ferdinand and a lot of local Aussie bands have performed so I'm hoping I can defo catch a few gigs here in Melbourne.
I think that's all I have to tell you about my first few weeks in Melbourne, hopefully next time I update this I will have a job and maybe even been to the Neighbours set.
Stay safe and Take Care