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Ash’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 21 Jul 2007

Location: Melbourne, Australia

MapA week in the life, with Ashley G in Melbournia:

Friday: Went straight from work to meet housemate Mark and his mates to watch the cringely (no such word) named “Socceroos.” There is a lot more interest post World Cup and for such a good sporting nation, I think the Aussies would love to compete in what is the only game that matters. It’s also the only Australian national team I support myself as the rest are arrogant fecks. Anyway, they got soundly beaten 3-1 by a surprisingly sharp Iraq side. After, we went to some little alley bar in Chinatown for a few bottles of Tsing Tao at 20 times the price it is in China and I ended up in bed at a somewhat reasonable time.

Saturday: I’d bought 7 tickets to watch the weekend’s big game of footy at The G, Collingwood (biggest team in Melbourne) vs Geelong (45 mins from Mel and top). Off were me, Craig, Maz, Em (housemate), her boyfriend Ned, and two Irish mates, Joe & Ewan. 3 of whom had to be woke up at 1p.m. to get their hungover arses out of bed to meet me. Gathered the crowd & ended up being a little late as we got caught up in a Aboriginal rights march. We were right at the top and it was a little difficult to make out which team was which as they were both wearing white stripes. The Irish topped up from Friday night & were soon shouting out hillarious chants in their worst Aussie accents. “Come on the Piiiiies,” being the most popular.
Geelong won their 11th game in a row, but it was quite tight & a day out at the packed MCG is always a good one.
We all headed to an Irish bar where Ned’s drink giving brother worked. Things got messy, Em & Ned argued, Joe got slapped, Craig danced with a woman with no teeth & I behaved like the perfect gentleman.

Sunday: Bed, bacon & sofa in no particular order.

Monday: Our team (accounts) had to present to the rest of the company (100 people) about what we do. Even though I was only speaking for a few mins, it was complete brown pants time. Ended up going well & I got a few laughs after cracking a cheeky joke about my boss. Was glad I’d done it as it gave me a buzz & will stand me in better stead for future ones.

Late that night I went out in North Melbourne to watch the “Socceroos” must win game against Thailand. Was an entertaining game & the Aussies ended up recording a flattering 4-0 win to sneak them through to the quarter finals.

Tuesday: Stayed in, eat Kirstie’s always tasty dinner, watched some crap TV, played pro-evo and got some much needed kip.

Went out for lunch to a Hare Krishna restaurant with the Scottish girls, Maz, Emma & Evie as it was the last time I was gonna see Evie. Veggie food is crap but this wasn’t too bad and I eat far too much considering what was to follow….

Me & some workmates, Phuong & Gam (Viet girls), Leo (Macedonian) & JT (Burmese cat), went to a Peking duck restaurant for a kind of leaving dinner. You order by the duck at this place & at $50 a duck, we got greedy & ordered 3 of the wee fellas!
They bring out the whole duck to your table, chop him up and you fill up your pancakes. After about 50 duck pancakes each and an unbuttoning of the trousers, I congratulated the gang on a job well done. To my sheer horror, & the others amusement, 2 more courses of 3 ducks followed! Never seen 4 people (Leo excluded) eat so much and no wonder the Viet girls are the envy of all female white trash when they can eat a whole duck & have the bodies of 8 year olds.

Thursday: Another leaving dinner with some of the Jocks as it was the last night out with John and Emma. We chose Mrs Parmas in the city. A ‘Parma’ is a bit of a cult thing in Australia. It’s basically a chicken schnitzel with napoli, ham, cheese etc. Way overrated things if you ask me but it seems to make a good talking point about where you’ve had your best ‘Parma.’
Being the size of the plate, I was for the 2nd night on trot feeling like I was gonna give birth to a fat child.
As always with the Jocks, a few drinks and a good night were had.

Friday: Free booze & drinks after work. Me, Gam and one of her Viet mates, who had a name that sounded like Taiwan, kicked on to KFC! We bought a big box of chicken and Gam got out her gin which we had with KFC’s free tonic water. We eat our chicken whilst the two of them continuously mocked my Pommy accent.
Special mention goes to Gam who I would love to pack in my rucksack (and she’d fit!). She’s quite possibly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. She’s always innocently speaking her mind, which is very refreshing in the world of corporate bullshit.
Met Maz for beers in an Irish bar after that where I did my usual over analysis of ‘life.’
Then on the way home I popped in to the best local pub I’ve ever had, The Retreat, to meet Craig & one his new housemates.

Today: Had a bit of a lie in, well as much as you can sleeping in the living room. Went into the city to do some shopping. Bought my 3rd camera of the trip & did my usual lame bargaining of getting 10 bucks off & a free tripod. My next purchase was some thermal underwear in preparation for NZ and South Argentina. I went for the camo long johns which I can scarily one day see myself dancing around in. Last buy was a rice cooker for Kirstie. She’s an impeccable cook and has kept me alive but the big spastic can’t even manage to boil a cup of rice.

Now: Just off to out to watch my joke of a footy team, Fremantle play Mark’s much superior Adelaide. Then it’ll be “Socceroos” Vs Japan in the Asian Cup quarter final.

I do stress, not all weeks have been this action packed. I just wanted to share a bit of the brilliant Melbourne life & some of the cool people I’ve met whilst I’ve been here. Mwah.