Ah, Melbourne. Now, I could write about the combination of the old and new architecture, the incredible Hosier lane or the amazing food that’s everywhere, but instead I’m going to discuss the multiple public humiliations I endured in my favourite city. Because, lets face it, I know what I’d rather read.
Being a skint backpacker, I opted for the overnight bus from Sydney to save on a night of accommodation, and of that I have to say only this: So. Much. Regret. After arriving with only five minutes to spare (apparently a bit of a theme for me and Levi…), we ended up sat separately in the world’s most uncomfortable seats, and I had the fortune of a charging port that didn’t work meaning Isla the iPhone was stuck on a traumatic 12% for most of the journey. So when we finally arrived in Melbourne at the middle-of-the-night time of 6am, we were grumpy, bedraggled, sweaty, and basically people you’d avoid in the street. After the longest walk with the heaviest backpacks ever, we rocked up at our all female hostel to find out it was exactly the opposite of that; definitely not all female, as two men sat in their boxers and the breakfast table. Further awkward glances were exchanged between me and Levi as the hostel owner had to be woken up and appeared to have no bloody clue who we were, who she was or what century we were in. Then she got rather shitty when we didn’t wanna share a room with two guys in the ‘female’ hostel. It’s fair to say we made a pretty swift move on to somewhere else, somewhere normal. Lesson learned: stick to branded hostels rather than random cheap booking.com choices picked from the other side of the world…
After meeting up with Jess in our new (thank the lord) branded hostel, we were treated to meeting our new, rather unusual roommate. He was neither young nor backpacker, but a silver fox businessman who apparently preferred the hostel life to hotels. You know, as you do at the age of 60. Anyway, D, as we’ll call him, had a catch phrase that I feel many intoxicated backpackers have heard of the years: ‘Dormitory comes from the French word dormir which means to SLEEP’. One that, apparently, did not apply when his beauty regime started at 5am… We later saw our dear friend D lurking by the local sex shop, so what sort of ‘business’ he was in Melbourne for, I’m not sure…
Now, being cultured AF, obviously our first choice of activity in Melbourne was not the many museums or historical monuments the city has to offer, but the enormous slip ‘n’ slide erected in Federation Square. Undeterred by the fact that the slide’s queue was mainly made of up eight year olds, me and Levi grabbed our rubber rings and rushed to join the queue. After we’d gained our confidence, we decided a race was in order. Being super eager to win, I placed my rubber ring on the slide and decided to run up. I thought, thought, I’d perfectly timed by flop onto the ring, however as my body zoomed straight over the rubber ring and collided with a nice, comfy bit of floor in front of it, I realised I’d fucked up. With an aching side and pride, I stood up to find both my friends, all the lifeguards and about a million random people cracking up. As I took the walk of shame back up to the start of the slide, I kinda wanted to shrivel up and die. Particularly when I had to get pushed off by the lifeguard the second time (normally reserved for the under tens) as I could just not move. Fair to say I was mocked constantly for the next few days over my majestic fall..
Perhaps unsurprisingly my departure from the city wasn’t too smooth either. On our last day in the city, we decided to hit up the night food market, one of my favourite things in the city because food. Last time I was in Melbourne, I went for a fairly boring (but safe) cheese toastie, so this time I was keen to embrace a more YOLO attitude, which is how I ended up with the Jerk Chicken From Hell (which I looked like a jerk eating). Now I knew jerk chicken was spicy, but I was thinking chicken tikka masala spicy, rather than wanting death to save you from the spiciness spicy. At first, I thought I’d sussed it, but then the eye watering began. Then came the food sweats. Then came the Kylie Jenner-esque lips that swelled to double their normal size. I was going through a near death experience eating this chicken stood up on a tram and my water supplies were low and all my friends could do was laugh while strangers looked as me as if I’d suddenly turned into a big chilli (I certainly felt as though I had). Sigh.
And then there was the Great Tram Fuck Up of January 2017. Me and Levi had given ourselves plenty of time to make our 10pm coach back to the city, but apparently the tram drivers hadn’t got the memo about, y’know, stopping where they say they will. Now, the city of Melbourne has free wifi, so whilst Levi was busy catching Pokemon and I was giving off #lifegoals on Instagram, the tram decided to turn the wrong way, which me and Levi didn’t realise until it was too late. Cue a lot of panic and a frantic Uber order, and then us trying to explain to our driver where we were when we didn’t actually know and he spoke little English. The casualty of this commotion? My Kingston University hoody, which is probably to this day trawling round Melbourne on a tram going the wrong way. RIP. (Oh, and we made the coach, for all those concerned).
So yeah, that was chaotic Melbourne. Still my favourite place in Aus so far, but I feel the East Coast may put up some strong competition..
P.S. The beaches had sewage in the water and I now have scales burnt on my back. Beaches didn’t work out too well for me in Melbourne.