Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Melbourne: The San Francisco of Australia...

Hello Everyone,
Ozell and I spent nearly three weeks in Melbourne, Australia.  Most of that was due to my hospital stay and follow up appointment as well as Ozell getting a root canal and a temporary crown for the tooth that was cracked back in South Africa.
We stayed at many different places.  Ozell stayed with a couchsurfer the first couple of nights.  I stayed in the hospital.  Then we both stayed a night with the couchsurfer before moving to another couchsurfer's closer to the city.  That place was very nasty so we went to a hostel in Fitzroy.  Then we stayed with a fantastic couchsurfing duo back in South Melbourne.
We both really liked Melbourne.  The weather was absolute shit most days though.  The coldest we had had on our trip to that point (New Zealand has beat it though) and rainy.  But Melbourne has excellent public transportation, parks, and cultural sites.  I spent most of my days walking around various neighborhoods.  I also happened to meet Bruno, the Brazilian flight attendant from Carnival, for a brief conversation.  Melbourne also treated me well with three good guys.
We went out to one bar more than any others called Sircuit.  It was like a classier indoor The Hole but with a sex-on-site area upstairs.  How come we are the only fucking country where we can't have sex-on-site bars?  I have come to really enjoy that option.  Goddamn puritan, christian freaks!  ;)
I also really liked their botanical gardens.  We visited the neighborhoods of St. Kilda, North Melbourne, South Melbourne, South Yarra, Windsor, Fitzroy, Collingwood, and a few others I am forgetting the names of at the moment.
The gay community appears to be relatively large and diverse in Melbourne.  They also seem to be segregated into two camps...  the trendy fags (think Mary's/Mo's, Universal, Bourbon Street) south of the river, and the alternative (which we don't have in San Diego, but think gay punks and artsy folks) and masculine and bears (think The Hole on Sundays) on the north side of the river.  I really liked that they had alternative fags there, and I met a really nice one named Miki my last day in town.
Melbourne is also known as the city of food.   Unfortunately, with my jaw surgery I was limited to eating a liquid diet for the period we were there.
Our couchsurfering hosts for the last week, Zhypeng and Bruce, were great people.  They were very generous with their home.  We also enjoyed going out to dinner and the movies with them.  BTW, we saw a very good Australian indy film called "Samson and Delilah".  If it plays in the States at all, I would highly recommend seeing it.
Well the pic attached to this post is not a very beautiful shot of Melbourne.  It does accurately portray the typical weather we experienced when we were there, but it is not a very flattering view of the city.  The city is actually much more aesthetically pleasing from most other locations, but this is the pic I had.