— Brunswick Street, Joe’s, Gypsy Bar —
Anji had to open at Joe’s today, so she left before 7am. As soon as she was gone, I grabbed the pillow I was sleeping on, and dumped it on her bed. Ahhh, soft and comfy. Snug like that, I slept through til 12pm. Sleeping in is a good thing. Yes indeedy it is. Anyways, It was gloriously sunny when I got up, so I took a leisurely shower and stuff like that, shaving my legs. Then I got dressed in my blue skirt and new velcro top. So I was feeling pretty. Possibly even zesty. Needless to say, I sashayed my way down Brunswick Street. I stopped in at a store called Fun to buy clips with feathers on, a sparkly green claw clip, and a gold glitter lipstick. Yay, cheap stuff IS fun. So ahuh.
Finally I got down to Joe’s, where Guy directed me to the Staffage table, and Anji rushed up and mushed on my cheek. She was just finishing her shift, so I ordered a chicken salad (vegetables are good) and settled down to enjoy the atmosphere. She came over with a vodka lime and soda, so I decided I should have a drink too. Dennis the manager was sitting with us by that stage, and he suggested I have a malibu & pineapple juice. Well, you know what they say about pineappple juice, so I took his advice. And it was really nice. He suggested some places for Anji and I to go see, but we’d done them all, so we decided to have another drink instead. I was very indecisive over my drinks. Richard rolled his eyes at me a lot every time he came back to take my order and I still hadn’t decided. I took his advice to have a banana daquiri, and I’m jolly glad I did, cos it was scrummy and really stong. I was talking to Anji about how my velcro shirt and front hook bra made me really easy access, so she was like “next time Guy walks past, I’m going to tell him that you want him to rip your clothes off”. So I was like “fine, you do that then.” She’s so lost the power to make me blush. At Mihn Mihn’s the other night, she was teasing me about my ‘title’, so when Richard asked what it was, I told him without blinking an eye. But yeah anyways. Eventually she called Guy over to tell him, and then went to me “well, show him” so I ripped open the top two bits. He made take-off-his-pants type moves but then had to go clear someone else’s table. Anji was greatly disappointed that she’d embarrassed neither of us.
When Guy finished his shift, he came over to join us, so I got some of his cake. Tommy came along too, and suddenly Joe’s staff were everywhere. I had lots and lots more drinks. I know the toilets at Joe’s intimately now, from needing to pee every hour. Tony bought me another drink, as did the head chef Jaime. Jaime decided we all had to go to the Crown for a roast dinner. Ick, but Anji agreeed. So eventually, me, Anji Tommy and Jaime managed to pour ourselves off our stools and make to leave. I had to take photos of the bar, natch, seeing as how I’d spent so much time there, and everything. People were surprised cos they’d thought I’d be there for two weeks – which obviously wasn’t so. They all gave me big hugs and kisses and told me to come back soon. Anji told me that I should have convinced Guy to come out to dinner with us, but I know he had to go home to call his kid. Mmm… But I extended the invitation to everyone to come stay with me in NZ. What a nice bunch of people!
We went up to Jaime’s posh flat first, where him and Tommy extended lots of invitations to smoke pot, but I knew I’d just cough my guts out, so I declined. Gosh I’m so good! We started to watch Xena, but then Jaime’s sister showed up, so we left for the Crown – his local pub. The eating room was all full (gee, what a shame) so we had a round of drinks instead (Jaime paid) standing in a hallway by the cigarette machine. Gosh, how classy! But yeah, anyways, then we decided to go find another place to eat. I didn’t think there’d be a shortage of cafes along Brunswick Street!
Lots of places were full, so we ended up in a tiny place called “The Gypsy Bar” with brown paper on the tables, and a very black interior. Staff were super friendly, and bread arrived with a bowl of freshly grated parmesan to heap on top. Mmmmm. I had risotto with roast duck, and it was heavenly. I also had to keep pinching snow peas from Anji’s plate. Mmmmmmmmm! Goddam it was good, as was the bottle of red that accompanied the meal. I was flirting with Tommy a bit, cos I thought it would be ironic if I scored what Anji and Guy didn’t, but he kept bumping my grazed knee. Then, Jaime addressed him as “Thomas” and it was so all over, red rover. Jaime’s sister was nice too. Dinner was fun, even if Jaime did seem super seedy. He ended up paying for it all too, dinner for five, wine and night caps. I guess he’s pretty well off, judging by his apartment, but still, it’s weird to have people I’ve only just met buy me a goodbye dinner! Anji’s a trifle annoyed now, cos she’s going to feel in his debt now, which might have been his point. Or maybe he was just being nice, and trying to make up for being a grumpy chef. I think we’ll go with that option.
Then it was back to Anji’s, to finish packing. I really liked her house, kinda Victorian with really high ceilings and ornate plaster and steep staircases. It’d be so lovely with a bit of renovation. And some more comfy furniture. I always had to sit on the floor to play Tekken. But still, the twisty tree branches in the lounge look fucking cool. Maybe I should do that in Garland Road. If I can ever find suitable branches.
It was so cool to see Anji again, and to fit so seamlessly into her world. All her friends are such lovely people and she seems to be happy in her job. She’s not saving much money for South East Asia, but she’s definatly living.
Tired and having drunk lots, I think I went to sleep pretty quick. No, wait, I laid awake coughing heaps. Stink. Ah well. The next day I was just going to be on a train for 8 hours anyways….
— Train Train Train & Kini —
I had to get up at 6.50am in order to get to the station at 8, and finish my packing. Sucked to have to slink out so low key like that. Anji walked me to the door and gave me big hugs, but still….. I dunno – it’ll probably be another year or so before I see her again. Wackschool. My young taxi driver had also gone to AIT, but I didn’t pay any more attention. I was so astonishingly tired.
The train station was dingy, and full of ugly looking people. I bought a muesli bar, and contemplated magazines, before realising I only had $10 for the whole day. But oh well.
Once the train finally got moving, I was really relieved to discover I had the whole 2 seats to myself. No spunky boys unfortunatly – Anji had told me I needed to shag on public transport. My carriage was filled with old people. I listened, morbidly intrigued, to a Texan compare real estate values with an Australian passenger.
The old man in the seat in front of me had a voice like the announcer, so every time he spoke, I took my earphones out to see if I was missing something. Which I wouldn’t have been. I don’t think I really needed to hear announcements about the availability of scones, or cards for the delightful smelling meals.
I listened to my walkman for the whole umm ten hours? When I was listening to my Move Mix tape, some Orb song – I think it’s called Toxigen, but I’m not sure, cos I taped it off the radio – made me want to jump up and dance all around the carriage. But I restrained myself. Likewise, I controlled my impulses to shout along with NIN – “I want to fuck you like an animal, I want to feel you from the inside” etc etc.
My time was passed dozing, writing my journal, Thinking (capital T), and starring out the window. We passed fields and fields of yellow flower topped plants, that I so wanted to frolic in. Kini wasn’t able to tell me what they were. She failed me. (My dadda told me they were probably Canola though).
Despite the long length of the day, I actually quite enjoyed myself I felt really in touch with my emotions, realistic and yet decades happier. It’s like I had total peace. I wanted to write down all my thoughts as I thought them, but I also felt compelled to get my journal up to date now. As it’s now Thursday, I’ve lost my minute by minute commentaries, but I hope I still have my feelings.
I finally got to Campbell Town around 6.30pm, and got off the train to an empty platform. Once I found my suitcase, I started up the stairs, and that’s when I spotted Kini. So I ran up, dropped my suitcase, and gave her a big hug. (Poor girl – she’d only just met me and already I was jumping on her!) and we went off to her car. Then, we were startled by some old guy in a uniform knocking on her window, and demanding to know how far she could go on a full tank of petrol. So she chatted to him for a while about mileage and cylinders while I sat in disbelief. Apparently, that sort of thing DOESN’T happen all the time. Yeah right! Or maybe it’s just that I really am a freak magnet. Who knows?
We went back to her (very nice) house, and had dinner with her family. I sensed a little tension. I checked my email (no, I’m honestly NOT a junkie. Well, not really. I didn’t miss it while I was in Melbourne, but with the ‘net so accessible at Kini’s…)
Then we watched a mini series on Joan of Arc. I was totally falling asleep. And yet, when I got to bed in Kini’s bed, I couldn’t sleep at all. Maybe I was a little too hot….. cos her electric blanket had been on, and I wasn’t used to that. She was sleeping in her brother’s bunk beds, so I got her swish bed all to myself. Yay!