I’ve known Sarah for almost ten years. We never really hung out together unless we happened to meet up on nights out through mutual friends. We’d always been in contact though, and we’d get chatting if we saw each other in a bar (yeah, Moorings). In March, she left Aberdeen for the sunny shores of Auckland, and we’ve pretty much been in regular contact ever since. Anyway, since Auckland and Melbourne aren’t that far apart from each other, she decided to come and visit me. Oh dear. Now I’m the host in a city I hardly know.
Sarah (full name Sarahjane, but even she didn’t know that for a long time) was due to arrive in Melbourne Airport on the 22nd of October. I was stood in the arrivals bit like a turkey, eagerly awaiting her to come through the door, watching ALL the people come through, but still no Sarah. Eventually I heard my name being called out behind me, there she was, snuck around behind me! She told me later that she was going to give me a good kick up the arse, and I must admit I was disappointed she didn’t. We got on the Skybus and made our way into The Centre of the City™.
We walked. A LOT. I took her across the river to South Wharf, a place I hadn’t been myself yet, and we found some fine wee bars and had some fine wee drinks. There she is, look at her all chuffed with her cocktail and listening to such as Bowie and Talking Heads.
Well we hit up a couple more places, most notable to me the Munich Brauhaus bar, with litres of Lowenbrau (one of my favourites) for $6 at happy hour. That’s a very happy hour, alright. Oh yeah.
Well we carried on exploring and took some photos and decided we ought to get some food, so we found ourselves a fine wee noodle café down one of Melbourne’s many alleyways.
After a ton more wandering and looking in shops and such, I surprised Sarah by taking her up to the bar in the Sofitel. It’s on the 35th floor and has pretty stunning views of the city, especially from the toilets. No, seriously. Well, I’d never been in a bar like it, that’s for sure.
The next day we went for a Thursday KURRY (as is tradition), only we had it for lunch, like the renegades we are. We spent a good bit of time wandering around where I stay, including a look at Footscray (which Sarah affectionately refers to as “Footspray”) and its many humorous billboards.
On ze Friday we hired a car! Sarah wanted to see the Great Ocean Road, and it’s something I’d been wanting to do for a while as well so we got it done. We stopped off by Williamstown first for some lunch (a fine fash and chaps), and to look at the bo-wats.
So we hopped back into our Fiat Punto and hit the road, taking turns to drive and admire the views that the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Well, my driving mostly involved moaning about how slow and ill-timed the gear changes were (it was an automatic) until I figured out how to put it into semi-auto so I could change the gears when I was good and ready! Riding without a clutch is weird though. ANYWAY. Photos? Aye.
We drove for ages, with the aim of reaching the Twelve Apostles, but it’s a staggering distance and we just didn’t leave early enough and we didn’t fancy driving back the windy road in the dark of night, so we got as far as Apollo Bay before doing an about turn and heading home.
On the Saturday we went into town to have a look at the museum – but not before I got to introduce Sarah to sushi! She’s not a fan of fish, but I made her try some teriyaki prawn maki, she approved. But I wouldn’t let her have any more of mine because it was too darned tasty. So I walked her through Chinatown before heading up to Carlton Gardens where the museum is. There was some kind of car show going on in grounds of the Royal Exhibition Building, so we had a look at the motors on show there as well.
The museum was pretty good but we got there pretty late and maybe spent too much time in the early social history of the country, which Sarah was getting frustrated at because of the way aborigines were treated by the first settlers – not at all like how they did things in New Zealand, she was quick to add. We did catch other good bits of the museum, like how the city of Melbourne grew from a tiny wild-west style town to the sprawling metropolis it is today, and a section on the famous racehorse Phar Lap.
After the museum fun times we went for a walk back to the German place from the other day, we were hoping to get some scran there but it was heaving – we should have expected that, it was a Saturday night after all. We nipped across the road to a pizza place and had a few more drinks and watched a live band strut their funky stuff. It were rate good anyway.
I’d heard of a rock night at a venue in the CBD that falls on Fridays and Saturdays, so we went to check it out, hoping to recall the sensation of going to Moshulu in the early noughties. Well, it didn’t disappoint, pretty soon we were jiving to such as Blink 182, Green Day, and New Found Glory. In the back room they had… Rhianna?! I dunno, some kinda warped alternative universe Moshulu action going on there.
It was getting late and I just happened to check when the last train was due to leave the nearby station about five minutes before the last train was due to leave the nearby station. We cheesed it on out of there and caught it home. It’s a sad fact that we’re getting too old to stay out until the bitter end. Oh well.
On the Sunday I was determined to show Sarah St. Kilda, so we met up with Sam and Ben (who I work with) down at Sam’s place and walked on down to St. Kilda (not before a couple of bevvies, mind). The sun was going down so we got some cracking good views.
We hit up a couple of bars and got some grub, sadly we didn’t make it to the Espy (the Moorings-ish pub). There’s always next time! Anyway, what is it they say about red sky at night? Oh yeah, a night of CRAZY STORMS.
That’s just what you need when ALL your warm clothes are outside to dry. Come the morning, it’s still stormy, and all I have to wear to work are shorts and T-shirt, I decided to take the day off or I’d have ended up a right mess. Just as well I did because the storm caused mega disruption across the city transport network. So it wasn’t worth really going out, and we opted to stay inside and watch films and that instead. It was a fine relaxing end to a fine holiday! It was great to spend time with Sarah and to discover more about the city I’m living in. It’s my turn to visit her, and as I write this I’m due to be in Auckland this time next week and I’m terribly excited. Just gotta get this damn blog up to date before I leave and end up writing another post as big, if not bigger than this one! 🙂