Adelaide – Melbourne (- Sydney). The trip that makes you realise what you enjoy about life the most – except for good health and alcohol!
As most of our imaginary budget had been spent on our decision to stay at the Radisson hotel, I researched the free things to do in life! It IS possible to explore Melbourne on a budget contrary to popular belief; you just have to look for it. On Wednesday evening we went to a talk at The Wheeler Centre in the Victoria State Library called “Sex in Words”. I knew nothing about the centre or about the talk but it was a free literary event (my favourite thing) and it was held in the most spectacular building in Victoria. As we sat in the audience with our glass of sparkling I started to get nervous and my palms were getting strangely sweaty. The room was filled with women and here sat my poor boyfriend in all his masculinity awaiting the start of a talk on erotic literature. “He’s going to think I am a pervert”, I thought to myself. Then I had a thought; act normal, raise your eyebrow every now and again so he thinks you’re on the same page and he will think you’re thinking what he’s thinking. Well, I didn’t even have to pretend to be on the same page. As the authors discussed their erotic novels and gave us lucky listeners a reading it came to me that although I enjoyed Fifty Shades I think that is where I must draw the line. I am not a prude, nor have I fallen from the Victorian era, but I don’t want to read about an octopus caressing the nipples of a nymphomaniac, because quite simply it’s weird. She went on to discuss the places this bestiality obsessed woman could shove the fish she had just caught whilst the octopus caresses her inner thigh. I did feel bad because I tried so hard not to laugh, I mean I really did try. As she read one hilarious line about the nymph’s lady parts, containing the word lips, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Yes, this really is the epitome of childish behaviour. What I really didn’t find funny, however, was the overuse of the ‘C’ word.
The gasp from the audience caused a bit of a discussion on the use of such a naughty word. Apparently, dangerous art is the best art, but I can’t comprehend the excuse that the ‘C’ word is used as an art form, therefore it is ok. I mean that really is just bollocks. By saying it is an art form you’re justifying your use of the most shocking word in the dictionary to make your work shocking thereby hoping that people will talk about it. E. L. James didn’t have to repeatedly blurt it out to get the most from her novels. The gentleman author, who writes his fiction under a female pseudonym, was an interesting guy. He suggested that some of us are merely shocked by erotic literature and the descriptions of sex we read because we are accustomed to the thin and overprotective line that the media has in place on sex. He also said that the less we speak of sex or discuss our personal experiences the darker the topic remains. I am not so sure, however, that such experiences are something to be discussed amongst strangers. Surely some mystery needs to remain? Nonetheless, it was an interesting insight into the lives of the people that do like to share perhaps a bit too much…
After all this talk on sex and erotic readings we were starving, but with our imaginary budget still in place we had to find somewhere cheap. Just across the street there are rows of sushi and Chinese restaurants serving special dishes for about $7. For a total of $17 we had two chicken terriaki dishes with rice and two iced lemon teas. I don’t normally share what I had for dinner but this is just too delicious and too much of a bargain not to share! I mean look at what we had:
Amazing! We were the only English customers in there which is definitely a good sign of excellent traditional Chinese cooking. For after the sex talk I had booked us tickets to see the Michael Tortoni Trio at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. We hunted down the lane through the dark hidden streets of Melbourne and found our club at the end of a black alley, just as I had imagined! The room itself was dark and held an intimate audience of about fifteen. We all sat with our bottles of wine in the dark with a grand piano, a drum kit, and a double bass in front of us on a small worn-out stage. When the music started we were taken away by the sheer talent of all three musicians. They wrote their own music and they played some of the best music I have heard late into the night, which was amazing value for $15.
To squeeze in some extra Melbourne fun we saw Milton Jones perform for the Melbourne comedy festival at the Town Hall on Friday night. His one liners were just the best, but I just wish I could remember some. I didn’t want to look like a stranger with my notebook and pen stealing the talent. It is well worth catching an early show if you’re visiting this month because a lot of the staff giving out brochures want to sell the spare tickets for the unsold later shows and will often give you a magic password to whisper to the box office staff for big ticket discounts.
On the Saturday, after being kicked out of the hotel at midday, we thought we would be stuck for adventure having walked miles through the city and the amazing grounds of the Botanical Garden. Oh how wrong we were! We meandered through the streets that we hadn’t touched and later grabbed a sushi roll and sat outside the library listening to a man play his guitar. There are many entertainers and artists spreading their fun along the streets of Melbourne and it is brilliant to stop, watch and listen. To top our Melbourne trip off, and much to my boyfriend’s delight, we stood in a que for one hour and fifteen minutes just to be a part of the exciting new H&M store that opened in Melbourne’s GPO. I bought a black strap top for $7; well worth the wait I tell you and I got a free cardboard bag.