Thankfully I left Melbourne on a pretty positive note.

But I’m prone to griping, so let’s get some more “hostels are terrible” crap out of the way first:

For starters, it turns out the German that I thought was trapped in a K-hole was actually a VERY nice Italian guy. He still may have been trapped in a K-hole though, that part hasn’t changed. His name was Alessandro and he honestly sounded like one of the guys from Inglourious Basterds doing their bad impressions of Italian accents which lead me to believe that he was in fact a very talented liar (if he’d kept everything the same but said his name was Fabrizio, THEN I might have called him out on it. That’s just too suspicious).

A thing Alessandro actually said to me once, in the most sincerely dramatic voice ever:

“SHIT!”

“What happened?”

“For the third day in a row. I have lost… my shower gel.”

The Coloradan left the next day, which was awful because he was the only person who didn’t stay out all night other than me and Possibly Greg, who inexplicably hated me. At one point, he flat-out said to Thom (a British guy who eventually took the Coloradan’s bed. Relatively nice, hated shirts, loved his PSP and walking around in tightie whities) and I that he thought there were “too many Asians” in Melbourne. In a desperate attempt to salvage his racist comment, I mentioned that I hadn’t really met many actual Australians in Melbourne and it seemed like a lot of expatriates lived there. He glared at me (that happened a lot), said “That’s just because you’re in the city center” as if he was saying “You are a fucking tourist” (both of which would have been true, obviously) and avoided looking at me for the rest of the night.

It’s a minor incident, but we all know I’m the world’s cry-iest baby, so there you go.

Some better things:

I am in a stranger’s holiday photos because I offered to take a picture of her and her friend together and they then forced me to take a picture with each of them. It was very weird.

I’m a lame nerd who doesn’t understand that when you’re in a new place with a different history or culture or whatever you’re supposed to do things specific to that history or culture in an attempt to understand what it’s like to be part of that community. Or something.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: I don’t understand how being on vacation works so I checked out some of their artsy and/or classic movie theaters. So Melbourne’s sort of a movie nerd’s delight. It has a LOT of independent theaters in a small area, one really nice classic cinema, AND the Australian Center of the Moving Image which is basically a film gallery. They recently opened a big, permanent exhibit on the history of film which was very cool and surprisingly comprehensive (also they had a LOT of video game playing stalls in the section on “video games and film” and that’s how I learned that I’m really fucking good at Little Big Planet).

And they listed Ze Frank’s 29th birthday as a “notable event” in film history. Which…is probably pushing it a bit, but it was still really cool to see.

I also learned that Australian film people go totally apeshit over Baz Luhrmann, who I am no great fan of. So obviously I kept my mouth shut. Other cool things on display: lots of old shooting scripts, Cate Blanchett’s bronzed elf ears, and different peoples’ Oscars and BAFTAs. It’s almost definitely the closest I’ll ever be to an Oscar or a BAFTA ever again in my entire life.

The clear highlight of Melbourne was, for me, this little shop called Wunderkammer. Apparently that’s German for “Wonder Chamber” which is basically a curio cabinet. Which means for me it was basically heaven. TONS of crazy stuff in there. Taxidermied chimps, lions, etc. Not one but TWO whole human skeletons. Wooly mammoth hair (which I almost bought. I opted out in favor of a trilobite). Lots of fossils. Lots of insect displays. Ancient medical equipment. Gyroscopes-a-plenty. Two abandoned wooden legs. More belljars than you can possibly imagine.

Basically, a lot of old weird shit. Interesting insights to come, I promise (which is possibly a lie).

I’ve only got a few days left in Wellington and beginning to get very wistful. Expect all-too-sincere entries very soon.

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