I was staying at the hostel, 'Elephant', in the centre of Melbourne. A strange place, it had once been a rather grand hotel, an out-of-use wood panelled elevator betraying its illustrious past. The very peculiar thing about the hostel was the absence of ceilings over the rooms. All the internal walls had been replaced by cheap partitions, so that someone standing on the top bunk of one room could look over into next door, just as well they were all dorm rooms really and no-one was expecting much privacy!
Melbourne is a grand city, the streets are criss-crossed with overhead tram cables that gives the appearance of a vast spiders web spun over the city. Spending the afternoon being entertained by an Aboriginal Elvis impersonator and visiting Melbourne Gaol, home to Ned Kellys battered home-made suit of armour - I can only imagine they shot the poor sod in the legs, the steel was 1/4 inch thick and barely dented by the bullet shots! That evening I met up with a mysterious 'chickster', Lou Cartright. A couple days in Melbourne turned into two weeks, as I was adopted by Lou and her house-mate, Sarah, into what I can only describe as like living in a sit-com for 2 weeks! With the battle cry 'Heard of India, get it intya!', we hung out at the grungy and sticky floored Espy bar in St Kilda's, and Robot, a manga themed Japanese bar, skulling jugs of beer and bottles of vino.
Lou, is quite the Renaissance woman, a musician, singer, ex-model and events manager, as well as being a full-time comedian. She was menacing with a joke cigarette lighter, electocuting passers by, and was armed with enough gags and sharp commments to entertain and shock anyone lucky (or unlucky) enough to cross our paths.
I really wished I had a dictaphone for some of those nights, but one moment sticks in my mind. One quiet night, sitting around a bottle of wine playing Trivial Pursuit, Lou accidentally sat on and squashed the Triv box, 'You've sat on my box', Sarah exclaimed, Lou replied 'and I've broken your flaps, oh no, I've sat on your box and burst your flaps'. The deadpan delivery, and innuendo worthy of Sid James at his filthiest left us screaming with laughter. Someone really should give that girl her own show.
Earning my keep, bringing the girls tea in bed, and being an eager audience to their barrage of wise cracks that someone out there ought to film and call the 'Lou and Sarah' show, two evenings descended into a merciless food fight, with microwaved potatos being shoved into faces, and Lou pouring half a bottle of ketchup over my face, until I resembled Stephen King's blood soaked 'Carrie', chasing her around the house.
Well, I couldn't just email everyone about the culture and ancient history of Australia. Drunken shenanagans are as much a part of Australia as the boomerang!