State of Flux
08.11 09.11- St Kilda, Melbourne
My secondary Australian airport experience again left the UK in the shadows, they don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories here,allowing phones to remain on throughout flights and naturally liquids can be taken through ( remember that plane bomb in Australia? No me neither)
.....then I arrived in Melbourne; all positive Aussie affirmations disappearing with the nose dive of a plane... Kidding... However a tin pot shed with an ATM, one luggage carousel and shuttle bus desk... Does not constitute an airport; These are your options kid....
Except I had no options because during my inflight transition HSBC made the proactive anti-fraud decision to block my card.... A week after I had been continuously using it and having phoned them to update them about my travels.... Forefront of security my ass!
It's ok, I'll just transfer money to one of my other cards.... Ahhh wait tinpots don't have wifi ...
Great: cashless, card less, contact less, wifi less; modern day castaway really.
I could blame myself for this predicament by choosing to fly to Avalon instead of Toullmarine (main, more expensive, but probably worth it for facilities, airport) however it was recommended as easy transfer to the city (cheers Mr Cape Verde) so yeah I'm shifting the blame.
The last city bus shuttle departed at 18:30 (it was 18:10) Raaahh! time to bring out the lost and alone face; approaching the driver all timid and shy (comes natural) I explained my quandary. Chuckling I got the 'Ahhh just get on ya soft darrlin' what a geezer! Snaps for coachman.
The 40 mins drive from Avalon to the city was dismal, it was grey,raining and it looked like We were crossing into Liverpool docks... Not what you'd pay a grand for... And my dress was stuck in Karl.... For the second time today... Flashing my bikini bottomed ass to the world..again... No wonder the driver took pity!
Coach station - town centre- no wifi, hungry jacks- wifi broke, Starbucks closed...
Just when all free wifi hope had left me and I was leaning against a closed shopping mall trying to tap into their signal who should ring..... HSBC.... Epic timing... The worlds local bank...I was no longer castaway and all was saved.
For my stay in Melborune I'm based in St Kilda, beach resort, jumping on a tram (melbournians love a tram) I laid back for a relaxing 40 min journey....
Unfortunately Alicia Keys was on the tram, her impromptu concert causing quite the commotion... terrible looking in person, hoodie, knickers and hiking boots (perhaps just slipping into the Aussie style) she gurned her way through six songs, her teeth protruding through her cheeks, neck tattoo splattered with self harm... Of course this wasn't the real Alicia Keys...naturally she talked (shouted at) the one dickhead who dare give her eye contact...me! rest of the journey she was bellowing down the tram 'alright English you wanna sing with a black Shelia'
Infamous by association.
Arriving at the last stop on route, myself and Alicia disembarked:she requested $2 for her starving babies... (Erm no) that was the end of that friendship. It was 8:30 on a Saturday night, I was half lost, in the middle of all the bars and clubs... In the rain... With a yellow sundress on, Karl in tow....Welcome to Melbourne.
However people here are friendly, real friendly and Eugine (deutschen rusky) approached me and told me:
'I know exactly where your hostel is, I worry about you, you being alone, that hostel is how you say- shady, I will take you there, maybe we go party? Down the unlit back alley I followed...
Trustful cynicism said no. Gut extinct and hangover said yes....
It was fine... I'm alive... With a restored faith in German/ Russian Mafia types.
Before coming to Melbourne, I was tad nervous; in Sydney there were contacts but here I had no one...
However from entering my hostel (room 106- come play :) I have never felt less alone and everyone has been adorable. My first roomie encounter with Minge, set the standard (Nottingham yay for northerners) and people have consistently been fabulous since.
Exhausted on Sunday morning first I went for a potter around St Kilda, ( accidentally on purpose) walking half way to the city, I made the mistake of jumping onto the tram into town ( delayed hangover and lack of sleep does not appreciate Christmas shoppers) so jaunted back to the more hippy bustle of St Kilda's (peg you'd love it... Crystals galore) after a quick gander down the beach, skirting around Luna Park ( THE RETURN even more decrepit and scare inducing than before)... I headed back to my 'home'.
My Two NI lady roomies took me under their wing, (not NJ's), piled me with free Goon (two cup limit- Cyprus ruined it forever) and off out our (majoritively Northern) flat went. Sunday sessions in Aus exceed Friday and Saturday nights... Not sure why... They all work Mondays... Backwards...But hey works for me.
After some $5 gin and apples,( I will not succumb to the goon) in La rouche? We headed to the Vineyard for some bouncy house music....shazam crazy.
The vineyard has a positive rep here in St Kilda.... Not sure why.... Rednecks getting their d*** out to the right-Couples actually sexing to the left... Oh what's that- oh just some old swingers (pensioner age) watching them- surely it can't get any worse- oh wait swingers have started sexing too..... Old mans facial excitement at having nipple tweaked by (maybe) wife- blurregghhh. (See photos)
Moving to the dance floor to escape this hedonism, which puts a certain South Yorkshire town to shame... A new crowd started to filter in... Transvestite and midget night..... Oh just remembered I've got to FaceTime.
Melbourne has well and truely flummoxed me.
It's incomparable to the awe-gasps of Sydney but equally flabbergastingly beautiful.
It's artsy, it mixes classical European architecture with cutting edge pieces, there is always space for a random sculpture...
I feel like I've been here before, I've adapted a 'home' routine, I know my way around. Maybe because Besties have raved about it, but I'm actually a little gutted I'm only here for 5 days and it's only day one.