Aug. 15, 2018—Melbourne, Australia
Screwd up + got the rong flite from Canberra to Melbourne, so wint by ourself an hour aft'r our bedder-½, then to our hotel in Chinatown, got tie food for lunch then walked all around the city centre, then met
back up w/ our bedder-½ at the state liebury for sum cocktail hour, then dinner at sum Tapas place leaving us craving pizza after. Definitly a proper city (unlike Canberra), reminded us of a flat San Francisco or Seattle, street cars + alleys + high rises + such, who would've thunk (as we said to folks from Melbourne just to piss them off).
off Flinders lane
Hosier Lane (Melbourne's #1 tourist attraction, chock fool of Shyknees taking selfies
in tourist-board-approved city grit)
Royal Exhibition hall
railyard + Etihad stadium
Melbourne skyline over Yarra river
Walked around w/ our
far north as Carlton + Fitzroy hoodz, switched hotels to another 1 down along the Yarra river, then back out flâneuring, pho for lunch, then wound thru as many little lanes as we cd find. Tried Chin Chin for dinner but too crowded, so ended up at Lee Ho Fook (in AC/DC alley) which was just as well, gitting our fix of Asian food wile we can.
Flinders st stn
fat Aussie possum
Walked along the Yarra to the botanical gardens, around thru the gardens then down to the waterfront at St. Kilda pier. Put our hand in the Tasman sea + saw a penguin hiding under a rock then took a boat to the other (Princes) pier. Then walked all the way back into town (tram too expensive). Then our bedder-½ had sum event up in Northcote, so walked up thru Fitzroy until we felt like we was getting into the outback, sum 30 km in all. Ubered back + had ok sushi (1st choices booked) @ sum place that stacked plates to tally your bill like a Parisian cafe.
Aug 18—Sydney (en route from Melbourne to Rome, via Dubai)
Wint for a run along the Yarra then got a last lunch of pseudo-Thai food at Chin Chin (salt/corn syrup overload, w/ hens party decor). We booked our ticket sorta last minit so couldn't get on the same flite back as our bedder-½ so we's going thru Sydney + she's going thru Singapore, but we meet back up in Dubai.
B4 coming to Oz we got to wondring waht famous Australian writers there was + couldn't think of nun. Why is it Aussies (+ Brits for dat matter) got great bands but the best writers (in the English language) are Amerikin + Irish? At sum bookshop in Canberra we picked up a copy of Monkey Grip by Helen Garner + read 100 pages before getting bored of all the sappy mellowdrama, about sum woman who kept falling in love w/ junkies, as she admits, her weakneess: "to romanticize dope, and to treat junkies with an exagerrated respect," then wondering why they was such flakey jerks. But she was a love struck enabler that couldn't help herself nun. On top of it, she had a dotter, kind of fucked up if u aks us. She dint do dope (not so far in the book) but smokes pot + takes a lot of speed + exposes her dotter to these loser junkies she brings home. And she lived in this communal hippie situation w/ all these other drama junkies that all slept w/ eachother, etc. just not intresting enuff to plod on thru the ~400 pgs, so when we got to Melbourne (that has lodes of good bookshops, unlike Canberra) got Praise by Andrew McGahan, the book that spawned the "grunge lit" movement in Australia in the '90s (tho Garner's Monkey Grip was grandmothered in retroactively (it was writ in 1977)). "Slacker" lit seems more apt a name—bored + boring 20-sumping yr olds that just want to collect unemployment, take drugs + have sex—dat's the point, we get it, but still, bin dun plenty, not adding nutting new to the sex, drugs +
rock'n'roll oeuvre xcept perhaps a certin suburban apathy, + forget the rock part cuz aint no mensuhun of listening to nada. "Grunge" (named for the Seattle music movement of the '90s) wd imply not only loud music appreciation but a certain angst (derivative or not), which nun of the charactors rilly had. It was sorta intresting @ 1st cuz the narrator was sincrely insecure + honist about his hangups (like his 5" penis), but as his confidents mounted hit became more + more cliche, cumplete w/ trip to the abortion clinic like seemed every '80s movie had. But visceral it is, if u want vivid descriptions of genital warts, kernelingus during menstration, shooting up dope, etc. We suffered thru the ntire book just cuz we had nutting else (we packed Monkey Grip in our baggedge we checked cuz we dint want to deal w/ it during the rigamarole of layovers, wich dam, 1 thing for sure Oz is a long ways from anywhere).