Monday, 30 June 2008


We left at 3.00 am on Friday morning – I was pushing for an earlier start but the others were still tired from work and needed some sleep… I think I got about 2 hours… maybe. I pack the car with my bag, sleeping bag, pillow, iPod* and sweet sweet snacks then kissing my Anjel good bye I drove around to Dazza’s. We left from Dazza’s place as his was the cloest pick up point to the other 2, who live about 5 mins walk in either direction.

I was met at the door by Dazza drinking an energy drink and a coffee while handing me a tiny vial of dark coloured liquid. I read the label – it appeared to contain the essence of energy drinks. A concentrate if you will of all the goodness that is supplied in one of those cans. I tucked it away for later.

The others arrived in good order just as we where packing Dazza’s and Dans stuff in the back – Jas got his gear packed and away and we jumped in prepared to head off into the wide blue yonder (which was actually black as it was night but you get the drift)

Dazza’s Father-in-law had recently seen a Tomtom GPS navigator, his other daughters bf bought one on special, and so to cut a long story short – he got one as well. Which was great because we got to use it for the trip, the main benefit of which was that the Tomtom notified us of speed and red light cameras – not that we sped nor ran red lights! Also a great help in getting into the city NOT using pay road – which you can do in Melbourne… weird. Dazza had pre programmed the destination in so we where set to go – and offcourse straightway we went an alternative route and made the machine try to play catchup! This also occurred when we took the slightly quicker route to the Hume Highway… instead of the prescribed Moss Vale route.

The trip down was as expected long and boring with a couple of refuelling stops for both us and the car it was a nice drive straight into the City where we found the car parking station closet to the backpackers I had booked for us – 200 m or less from the car door to the front door. The backpackers was great $27 a night each and right in the heart of the city – any closer and we would have been sleeping on the streets! We also got a free breakfast each morning – Toast and Cereal! Woot a riffic!!!

So we got to Melbourne just after lunchtime and our first thoughts after getting the gear into the room and selecting beds etc was to feed our selves and have a looksee about the place. Off we heading into the streets of the City – Now for those who have never been to Melbourne there is something special about this City that I have not witnessed in other Australian (or international) Cities. Traffic and pedestrians are friendly – I can explain this – when you walk across a small side road in Sydney (or other Cities) you have to watch out for cars in Melbourne they stop to let you walk across, when crossing at lights people move aside to let you pass and vice versa they are appreciative that you do the same. The sidewalks/footpaths are really wide (made so because motor bikes and scooters can park on them – but still it makes it easier to walk along and look at shops without fear of blocking the way. Also the trams are fantastic a great mode of public transport – you can buy Day Passes which you can use for all transport (buses, train, trams) and it costs $6… The shops and cafes and restaurants are great and not too expensive – there are clearly marked areas for tourists and visitors – food district shopping etc. All in all it was a great location for four guys to wonder, and soak up the atmosphere and enjoy ourselves.

After lunch and bit of a walk around looking at shops and where we wanted to go the next day we had a little rest and a cat nap before dinner. While Jas was sleeping (he works odd hours and didn’t sleep much Friday night) the rest of us went up to the roof where there were a few banana lounges and other seating. Dazza took the opportunity to ring the wife and Dan and I sat down on banana lounges and lean back relaxing. Our eyes went to an apartment in the building opposite which was lit up – two figures where moving about. Suddenly we worked out what they where doing – they where stripping down for a shower or to get changed and we could see everything. The girl was in the bed room taking off her top and skirt while her beau was (we worked out) getting dressed in the lounge room. I looked at Dan and he at me in total disbelief – were we really seeing this? Looking back we saw the girl walk out to (what we surmise) was the bathroom as the guy pulled on his underwear. Dan and I laughed at the scene – something we had no idea we would witness and tried to signal to Dazza to come see – he was in deep conversation and I guess we really didn’t try that hard!!! So we went back to looking waiting for the girl to come back out.

But it was the guy who gave us the greatest comic relief. He was now walking around the rooms in his boxer briefs taking time to wonder into the bedroom to adjust this and that and check himself out in the full length mirror, Dan and I made up a few comets like “does my bum look big in this” as he twisted and turned to check it all out. He then went on to iron his clothes for the night – the motion of his arm movements compounded with the angle we where at made it look a lot more suspicious then ironing… With each article of clothing he put on he made sure to return to the mirror to check it all out and adjust bits as required. After a while the girl did return with bra and panties on and she too took the time to check herself out in the mirror while he dutifully went off to iron her clothes. Needless to say the pair where blonde and quite pretty look (early 20’s) but to watch the preening habits of these two made better entertainment then any nature show I have seen! Brilliant!!!

After Jas awoke and we had had our fun being peeping toms… we head off for dinner. We chose to go to Lygon Street in the Italian District we all thought we knew roughly where it was… over that way. With that as our plan off we headed… needless to say we kinda go a little offcourse (I have no idea why!!!) although we were only a street or two off. By the time we got to Lygon Street we could have eaten a horse… and might have! The first place we came to a shortish Italian man grabbed us (figuratively) and told us that this place has won awards for it Pizza and was the first Pizza Restaurant to open in Australia and had great prices and and and and… we said yes and sat down! And had a great meal! Daz ordered Pizza with the lot large – Jas a Steak, Dan Pasta and I ordered a large pizza too, with peperoni, ham, onion, capsicum and Anchovies YUM! Daz and I went glass for glass with red wine, Dan had a couple of whites and Jas being the non drinker had a coke or two! The food was fantastic, simple tasty and filling and the wine was cheap and plenty-full which is what we wanted!!

After nearly exploding with too much food we headed off back into town to look for a bar – we found the quick way back and were back in the main CBD in no time. Standing in line waiting for the lights to cross somewhere near China town I commented that we needed to find a place with good beer. A guy turned around and said “Did you say beer? You should go to Eurotrash”
“Great” I replied “where is that?”
He gestured as he explained the way. “Over the road then over there walk up that street until you come to a alley way – its small – go down that until you see the dump bins near that is the club”.
“OK” I said and as the light changed we crossed to look for the alley way. It was quite easy to find and I turned to head straight down it when Jas called out from the back “Are we really going there”.
“Yeah” Dan and I spoke in unison “It’s called Eurotrash!!!”

And what a place it was. At first glance it was a simple inner city bar with a DJ station wards one end and upstairs a band was setting up for later in the night. But when we got used to the dim lighting more was reviled to us. Near the DJ station was a retro tabletop gaming machine (which offcourse Daz headed straight to and deposited several coins and played a few games) behind that I saw a small opening covered loosely by a thin curtain. I stuck my head in and saw a bed like lounge with pillows and a soft glow from a flat panel mounted on the roof. I went in (having to get on the bed/lounge and looked up to see what was on the flat panel… it was porn. ‘Nuff said. After that, while the boys played the games, I went and looked at the rest of the place which I discovered went on further towards the back after the toilets – another flight of stairs and a cocktail bar and more nooks and crannies that seemed to come out of nowhere. This place was fantastic and well worth a drunken recommendation on a street corner. We had a few more drinks and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Bar before heading back to Backpackers as we were getting very tired from the early morning and long drive and various beverages! Besides we had more to do tomorrow!

To be continued…

* I filled my iPod with a good mix of Rock, Pop, and Comic songs from the Collection. Highlight where Flight of the Conchords which caused much laughter and enjoyment on the way down and a reprise on the way back!

Sunday, 15 June 2008


I have (had) been a gamer for many years before the computer style games took control - I loved spending weekends playing table-top Role Playing Games with my friends I even joined a group that met an hour north of my house just to play ShadowRun... Was that wrong of me?? No because I enjoyed it and I got to get out of the mundane world and do something I wanted to.

These memories and more came flooding back thanks to a post on boingboing (link). A real life Roman D20... circa 2nd Century... it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that something that I did (would still like to do) has a link back to the past... Maybe it wasn't a RPG the Romans used the die for - but that they had them... makes you wonder what. What about all the mythology they had back then... maybe that was all based on rule books for a massive fan base of RPGers and we have misinterpreted them... smiles

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Monday, 9 June 2008