Thursday, July 16, 2009

B4: Melbourne

(Picturesque Melbourne. [South Bank and Yarra River])


My travel book, “Lonely Planet”, raves about the things to do in Melbourne, like the bars, clubs, shopping at Victoria Market, visiting the bay, spending money etc. Well, I haven’t done any of that yet. I have looked for housing.

I arrived in Melbourne on Monday, stepped off the plane and said “Now what?”. I took a shuttle with some international students to my hostel. I chatted with some California kids until their designated stops.

Kids from New York, Mexico, and England were there as well. Before arriving at my hostel, the New Yorker (“New Yoka”) offered me his floor to sleep on. Because I am a cost efficient (cheap) guy, I obliged. We got the England girl’s number and headed to the New Yoka’s campus affiliated housing. Naturally, after his 14 hour flight, his frisking in the Sydney customs checkpoint, and his hour and a half flight to Melbourne, the New Yoka wanted to go out. The England girl laughed at us when we didn’t know what apple cider was (think apple + champagne + sugar + headache). We met some Bostonians and Aussies at the apartment complex and went to the pub. It was $10 per pitcher (pot) night.

The next day I met with a Berkeley (Go Bears!) friend from the Sydney Orientation because she didn’t have housing either. She helped me look for housing… actually, she did most of it for me. Our housing adventure took us all over Melbourne, from the Italian strip of Carlton, to the bar scene of Brunswick, from the lifeless Parkville, to the outskirts of Fitroy. We met students from the university (uni), adult professionals (employed), fiscal landlords, desperate homeowners, and even an exotic dancer. I finally found a place in Fitroy, half a block from Brunswick St with a local Aussie student from Wollongong. Lonely Planet says “Brunswick St is probably Melbourne’s liveliest street and where you’ll find some of the best food, weirdest shops, most interesting people and unique clothes.”

(The kitchen of the place. [Hanover St., Fitzroy])

Right now, I am living on Berkeley girl’s floor, avoiding her landlord. She hasn’t kicked me out yet, so I guess I’m still welcome. (Mom, don’t worry, I bought her dinner and groceries… I’m not overstaying my welcome).

Now I introduce a section called “I now know”.
I now know:
- … that everyone jaywalks in Australia despite the fact that none of the cars ever slow down.
-… that light beer is only 2% here.
-… that no one cares about baseball. Actually, when the England girl explained cricket, it seemed pretty simple. Cricket matches can last days! Literally.
-… that dryers are a HUGE convenience (I guess Australians hang their clothes on a rack).
-… that the 2 flush buttons are for conserving water.
-… that if I am lost, all I need to do is pull out a map and some random Aussie is bound to come over and help.
-… that some bathrooms are in the backyard in an outhouse (ew!)
-… that really good people are out there.
-… that walking the streets of a city is more enjoyable that using google earth.
-… that having a positive attitude can help make terrible situations (being homeless) less terrible.

That’s all for now.

Until then,

Mikey Doo

(The George Adams Gallery, I think. [Southbank])

(St. -----'s Cathedral. [Fitzroy])

(Michaela: I found the candy (lolly) shop! [Carlton])

(Me at the river. [Yarra River])


  1. how much did u spend at the candy store? haha

  2. Doo - this is your Auntie Moody. I am enjoying your blog very much. The two flush button comments made me laugh. I will be looking forward to reading more about your adventures! Sorry we missed you in Colorado! Take care, have fun! Love, Auntie M.

  3. Hi MIkey,
    Glad you're finding your way. Great that you are getting out and that you found a place. Great blog.


  4. Hi Mikey,
    I think your "Dino Birds" are Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca.
    In recent years the Australian White Ibis has become increasingly common in parks and can be found in the heart of Brisbane and the Gold Coast where it makes a nuisance of itself scrounging for scraps in garbage bins and around people having outdoor lunch. At one stage, the Brisbane City council resorted to birds of prey to drive them out of the city centre. Photographed at Sandgate, Brisbane.

    Love, Dad

  5. Dear Mikey,
    I wrote a lengthy comment yesterday and couldn't get it to go through. I talked with Mary and now I know how to do it. We are so proud of you and glad you decided on this adventure. We love hearing from you..I sent your blog address to my brothers so they could share, too.
    Love you,
    gpa and gma

  6. Hey Mikey-
    Uncle Mike and I posted a comment (accidentally) on your test blog...its there with gma and gpa's. Loved the fact that your dad actually knows the genus and species names of the dino birds...I learn something new each day ;) Glad you found housing and that the people there are so nice.

    Aunt A