Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I take it all back! I love, love, LOVE Melbourne! The weather certainly didn't disappoint...always cold and alternately overcast, drizzly or blowing a dog off a chain but it mattered naught. I've been back in Brisbane for three days now and I still can't stop thinking about the experience. I was amazed at the architecture and how much of the 'old' Melbourne has been retained in comparison to Brissy which seems to have torn down most of its treasures. On the first night in town Mum and I caught 'Chicago' at Her Majesty's and it had me yearning for her equivalent in Brisbane that was ripped down years ago. Also I'd heard that the shopping and restaurants were excellent but nothing prepared me for the sheer volume of choices and quality. Some of the highlights:

1. Eating a Kransky in pastry bought from a hole-in-the-wall for $3!
2. Spying the homeless guy from the ABC show 'Choir of Hard Knocks'
3. Riding the trams and people watching. Check out the slideshow.
4. Haggling for a fabulous hat bought at the Queen Victoria Markets.
5. Wondering why the hell everyone in Melbourne wears black.
6. Chatting with a guide about Cptn Cook and molesting his statue.
7. Admiring the cyclamen at the conservatory in the Fitzroy Gardens.
8. Getting lost in Brunswick. (thanks to Brad the Dickhead Navman)
9. Spying 'Metrosexual Man' in the Young & Jackson pub on Flinders.
10. Being cracked onto by an Italian barrista half my age! Woohoo! Some of the lowlights: 1. The amount of homeless people. They're much more visible in Melbourne than Brisbane. One morning I heard a noisy row occuring in the St Pauls cathedral thoroughfare and later saw a cleaner dispose of blood stained cardboard that had obviously been used for bedding.
2. Not enough Merlo coffee.
3. Having to pay for parking at the hotel and lug my own suitcase.
4. Being charged for a mini-bar item that I didn't have. Grrrr.
5. Not being able to get a life-time supply of goat's cheese pizza from an Italian place on Lygon Street. Simply the best I've ever eaten!


Natalia the Russian Spy said...

Oh and the homeless people observation was by no means a criticism. Just makes you more aware of the amount of people doing it tough. Melbourne winters are fierce.

I thought of you Melbourne Burgers several times.

Dr Yobbo said...


Lou said...

Only been to Brisbane once so am not qualified to compare but I do love Melbourne. I try and get there for a weekend shopping at least twice a year with girlfriends, we eat, drink and shop 'til we drop.

Nautilus said...

You missed Saturday, it was 29 degrees!

The only things I don't like about Melbourne are the weather in winter and the freezing Antartic water. Other than that, it pretty much rocks.

We only all wear black in winter, it's so we can absorb the minimal amount of sunlight we actually recieve. Outside of winter it's Hawaiian shirts galore (or maybe that's just me).

Getting lost in Brunswick would have been great.

Come down over a weekend next time and we can show you some of the bar life (I would have to ask GuruBob as I don't get out much anymore).

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

NAUT: What really impressed me about Melbourne pubs is that they had dedicated roof top areas for smokers...with a real bartender and heaters and comfy chairs! Unlike Brissy where you're made to hang out on the footpath or in some concrete enclosure off the kitchen...and yeah...Brunswick was a real stepping back in time. As for the black...yeah but EVERYbody??? I felt positively radiant standing next to some of those people ;-)

LOU: Ah Brisbane will always be my first love but ol' Melly rates a damn fine second!

YOB: I'm crushed petal!

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

Oh yeah...and what's the go with turning right from the left-est lane??? Nearly came a cropper attempting that manoeuvre.

Nautilus said...

LOL!!! Sounds like discovered the infamous hook turn. Even us locals have no idea WTF that's about. Something to do with trams I think.

Dr Yobbo said...

ROFL Naut - finally someone from Melbourne's admitted what everyone else in Straya was hoping.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good trip Nat, I think the Melbourne Burgers need to be selfish and demand some of your time on the next trip.

As to the black it's slimming, a bit of extra padding helps with the Melbourne winter.

PS the hook turn gets every visitor.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

This is my girl's new blog...please visit! :)

Steve said...

When visiting NYC 2 weeks ago, I was amazed at the LACK of homeless. Mayor Giuliani really did get them cleaned out of certain areas 10 years ago. I'm surprised he found the time to do so, in between nailing his mistress and running for the Senate.

Anonymous said...

HA! Small World! CHICAGO is playing at the theatre across the road from my hotel. The Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden. Bit pissedy now so bette r go.



Steve said...

Chicago is playing here in Atlanta right now. Jerry Springer is in the lead role.

No, I'm not kidding.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

STEVE: Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

ABE: In Atlanta, London AND Melbourne? Whodathunkit?

BANG: You're on.

NAUT: Well I'm glad the locals have no idea either. Makes me feel much better. What are you supposed to do anyways? Run the red light? There never seemed to be a turning arrow.

Steve said...

I somehow think that if Chicago is in those three cities, Atlanta's is probably the least-cultured of the bunch...and, ours is part of a touring company, so it was only here briefly.'s got Jerry!

Bondiboy66 said...

I'm with you on the architecture Nat - so many beaut old buildings still there. In Sydney (and Brisbane you say - dunno haven't been there for over thirty years)anything old is fair game for developers to flatten.

But the big question remains: You got to Victoria Markets (I loved the old stylee food section)but did you get jam doughnuts????

idoru said...

They wear more black cause they're GOTHS!!!!!

Be careful, I hear Melbourne has a Melbourne Below, like in the book "Neverwhere" :P

... so when you moving there? :P

Samwise, Turkey Sub said...

You suck, mother

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

SAM: Bite me!

ID: I'd only move there if I could take the weather up here babycakes.

BONDI: No I didn't get a doughnut from the markets but I certainly gave Krispy Kremes are run for their money.

STEVE: Oh I don't know...isn't Atlanta the home of coke ;-)

Steve said...

Atlanta is the home of restaurants where, if it stands still long enough, it will be deep fried and served with sweet tea.

And yes, coke.

idoru said...

Dunno which would be worse, having a blog which your parents read or having a blog your kids reads? Thankfully I have neither problem :P

What? I have to feed the pet ravens something! and they are partial to eyes ... so, these babycakes - made from real babies?

yankeedog said...

Sorry-late to the party. A nice write-up here. I'll go check out the slideshow! Sounds like a good time was had by all.

It's amazing when you think about 'old buildings' in America or Australia compared to the rest of the world-something from the early 1800s is 'old'. In England or Italy that's practically new construction.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

ID: Ha! Yeah I'm gonna have to be super careful now ;-)

STEVE: Do they deep fry cheese?

YANKEE: Yeah I'd imagine the citizens of Prague would be laughing about now.

Steve said...

Cheese, sweet dough, you name it, we'll fry it.

The North Georgia State Fair is home to some of the unhealthiest people I've ever seen. Toddlers drinking Coke from a baby bottle are not an unusual sight there.

Which is why Jerry Springer isn't the most unusual choice to see on a traveling Broadway production here.

Nautilus said...

When you pull over to the left you effectively become part of the traffic stuck at the red light. So once the light changes it means you can go. Unfortunately it also means that only about 2 cars get to turn right with each change of lights.

It was put in place originaly so that right hand turners didn't hold up trams.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

NAUT: Thanks buddy. I kinda had a feeling that was the case. was funny when a truckie gave me this sad look...I was the third car in the queue and too scared to run the red light.

Steve said...

Red light tips when driving in Washington DC...the way they are timed, if you run one red light, every light thereafter will be green.

Comedy ensues.....

Natalia the Russian Spy said...


Post a Comment

Tell me something I don't already know :D