Australia II: The Melbourning

I will remember Melbourne as a booze-ablated miasma of bars and clubs, beer and goon, intense heat, and a motley collection of magnificent people.

So this is going to be a bit of an odd update…


There’s a laid-backness to Melbourne you’d think Sydney would have (being a city wrapped by beaches). People walk a little slower. No one is in a rush to get anywhere. This can be pretty annoying if you are, but so it goes.

I stayed at United Backpackers, and in some ways, Melbourne will be United for me. Located right downtown, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from everything.

The funny thing is, there’s a lot I didn’t like about United. No aircon was one, and with the temps passing 105f/42c during the day, the nights were borderline uncomfortable. The room looked out on an alley with trash collection at 6 every morning (and you can’t close the window because of the heat).

But in the end, that didn’t matter. I barely noticed. Hell, I barely slept.

Just a guy dressed as Cookie Monster playing the bagpipes

I realized, sometime Tuesday night, that in the previous 4 days I’d only had 3 full meals. For someone who rarely drinks at home, such an bender is something… no, dammit, no caveats, that bender was 4 days long and EPIC. A wise poet once said “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” Yeah, well I was never that good. I’ve gotten better with age.

So while this is ostensibly a travel blog, it’s more an experience blog. And that’s what Melbourne was for me, an experience.

Inside the war memorial

My favorite parts of Melbourne, aside from the above, were the little side streets filled with café’s restaurants, and bars. Tiny establishments squeezed in the interstitial spaces. I love that kind of thing. One cool bar was a reclaimed empty alleyway:


My week in Melbourne is one I’ll never forget, made all the more special in that Melbourne was never on the initial plan. Had things gone differently in Sydney, Auckland, or Wellington, I would never had been in that place with those people at that time. Magic.

To my many beautiful friends I met and (heavily) imbibed with, I salute you, and hope to see you all again.

I’ll bring the goon.

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The Bald Nomad

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