Sunday, April 6, 2008

Heading to the Hills

I've been feeling antsy lately about the fact that I live in Australia yet have no idea what Australia is about. I don't leave Melbourne. That's partly because nature is some nasty shit and also because part of me is afraid of Australia. Sharks eat people here.

But lately I've been thinking, at some point I'm going to be stuck in some gray, shitty-ass apartment in an inconvenient area of New York and think FUCK MAN, I used to live in Australia! but have no idea what that actually looks like, aside from what I've seen in Wolf Creek and Rogue.

Way to go Tourism Australia.

So anyway, enough of me being a pussy. I've been here a year and a half (next Wednesday, but who's counting?) Time to check out some cultcha.

The first thing we did was go to Sovereign Hill on Easter. It's a recreated gold-mining village in Ballarat, where 1/3 of the world's gold was found during the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s.

Here is a photo of me in the welcome center, recreating real history by stealing the chinaman's gold. I play the role of Whitey.

It was your typical family/tourist destination. We, of course, were stared at like we were circus performers; at one point while standing in line for the underground mine tour, people were staring at Ed's tattoos so blatantly, he offered to do a little jig for them while we all waited. Luckily none of them spoke English so conversation wasn't actually necessary. I'm just kidding. Some of them spoke English, but it sounded like "SHANE STOP HITTING NARELLE!" so I just tuned out.

As with all places like this we got tired and dusty, and since I was intelligently wearing a dress and heels we proceeded to whine to my mother in law until she fed us sandwiches to shut us up. Yes, we're 30 years old.

But here were the things I did like:

1. Oooh! Type! Ye olde printing presses!

2. And, curiously, all the things named after America. I guess the American gold rush was probs going on around the same time but I can't be sure because who can be fucked going to California to find out? I played plenty of Oregon Trail in 8th grade, I don't need no education.

* * *

Another thing I did recently was go to Luna Park, Melbourne's version of Coney Island.

I'd been wanting to go and I was in a shitty mood on Sunday, so I decided to ride my bike there. I figured it's impossible to stay shitty when there are terrified children on rollercoasters to laugh at. Also, I figured going on the old ass rollercoaster is a rite of passage like Coney's Cyclone. But when I got there the coaster wasn't running, so I took a seat, bought a crap coffee and people watched. After a few minutes I started wondering whether being there by myself was bad, so I texted my friend Matt to ask.

ecs to Matt: I'm at Luna Park by myself. Is that weird?

Matt to ecs: That depends if you are on acid...

ecs to Matt: Not on acid but it's interesting people watching. Scared kids' faces are hilarious.

Matt to ecs: Are you scaring children?
Matt to ecs: I like the idea of you frightening children.

ecs to Matt: Okay well let's go with that then. You should see my makeup today. It's disturbing.

Matt to ecs: That is why they are crying. Plus you are stamping on their feet as their parents look the other way.

ecs to Matt: And poking them with needles that are taped to my fingers. Uh oh security guards. Gotta go.

* * *

Tomorrow I head off to explore yet another corner of Australia: Sandy Point, about 2.5 hours outside of Melbourne.

Beach, ocean, house. I'm turning 30 on Saturday. Stay tuned.


Colleen said...

I am so with you. Haven't done nearly enough exploration here, or snatching of the gold from Chinamen.

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BundyGil said...

Good to see you getting out and about, finally. You have much more chance of getting run over by a bus right outside your front door than getting attacked by a shark.
There's so much more to see and do in Oz.