Friday, 23 August 2013

treasure: the fine art of “winning at Melbourne”


Taken on arrival in Parkville, on the way to the uni. Effects added for, well, effect.

The thing about Armidale is, I didn’t always live there. My first 5-odd years of adulthood were passed in Melbourne, as a broke Arts student. In amongst the drama, angst and excitement of it all, I made my place in the city.

So when I go back, not only does it mean that I already know how to brace myself if I’m standing on a moving tram, but (more importantly) I have all these wonderful people to see, hug and giggle with while consuming inordinate amounts of coffee and having the conversations of our lives.

The way these folk love and care for me is always a beautiful surprise; sometimes I feel very out of the way from things in little Armidale, so it is nice to be met with such happiness. I've visited 3 times already this year, and I’ve realised it’s about quality time. Less stress is key.

I arrived Tuesday afternoon. People watching/admiring at University of Melbourne turned into talking about growing into my own personal feminism with Bethany. As well as feasting on African deliciousness, we took in a midweek Alt J show, shortly followed by a lot of 'I'm an old bastard' complaining about our legs and backs from being on our feet so long. Uber-hip, us kids is.

Come Wednesday morning, I snuck off to breakkie at Pope Joan in Brunswick, and awkwardly held Mat and Tash’s newest Louis- btw Tash, “just hold him like a football” is not the best advice for someone that’s never held a football. I lunched and talked love life with the very handsome Dave Barry and pretty-face Bethany on-campus (feeling like a quasi-student), got to see Dave's office building with the moving doors (things are so fancy in Melbourne), laughed, love and got gifted the bestest happy socks ever in the city with Thea (plus heard about her new dentist!) and moved along to Fitzroy-side to sample Bourbons while solving some commonly-held problems of the world with lovely lovely Laila. I also got a sneak-peak at what she looks like when she’s inside a doona case, and not everyone has that privledge. Let me just say it was funny, but also important.

ALL of the bourbons ... Bookers is best, by the way.
 Thursday brought Green Refectory breakkie and opshop gold with Mr Michael Hanley; a Canadian film for Melbourne International Film festival with McGregor, followed by tasty beers and tomfoolery at the bar with Yanni, and beef pho at 9:30pm with Beth, not a little full of beer.

Friday the weather turned windy and wet; perfect for breakfast with the lovely Sarah, an advanced screening of The Bling Ring at Cinema Nova and a late lunch with Vaughan Circus (the name my brain files him under) at A Minor Place, home of cute bespecled waiters and tasty, tasty haloumi-eggplant combinations.

Happily, the hot waiter vibe continued at our spectacular Friday night dinner on Smith Street with Aaron, Ned, Bethany and lovely friends; sadly, Hot Italian Waiter’s preference for men limited our chances to run away together, but he did recommend a delicious wine and provide witty, Italian-accented banter in a most adept fashion.

Bethany and I left the boys to pop into Bar Etiquette for more of that Yanni-tainment and a few drinks, passing a little more time with Mr McG before falling into bed. Saturday brought a rather late breakfast with Sylvia, a Vietnamese coffee dragging me into a state of articulation necessary for covering feminism, blind dates, Tina Fey, the romantic failings of our various men, curling and the beard of Sylvia’s new favourite economics reporter. Bethany and I window-shopped me into the conclusion that I would have to check some luggage on the flight home. I hit it big at opshops and bookshops this visit; a whole bag full, and I’m not even sorry.

My final night in Melbournetown was spent with Mat, Tash, Iggy and Louis. There was Kake di Hatti (my favourite Indian takeaway request)- garlic naan worthy of breaking my stance on gluten, and spicy tasty curry combinations. Also featured: cheeky pots at Atticus Finch and organic Tasmanian cider. I got to hold Louis again and look more casual about it. He even cracked a smile for me the next morning!

The thing is, all the chats and giggles that filled the visit were real ones, heartfelt and happy. The one-on-ones gave us all a chance to remember why we loved each other, and a sense of where we’re all at. The roughness of the past 6 months had diminished into the background, and so I got to think about someone other than myself a bit and I tell you, I love the lot of ya.

Until next time, Melbournetown.


I heart Green Refectory coffee

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