Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Melbourne with Tung, Ned Kelly, and Friends

Mornings in Melbourne were kind of chilly but it was a small price to pay for the lack of mosquitos or stray dogs. I had to take malaria pills while the rest of this lot were I assume off hugging koalas and so forth.

We took one of my beloved free walking tours. The tour began at the State Library of Victoria which is gorgeous. Zoe and I popped in briefly but Lydia was too scared we would miss the tour. Sad.

This is the the Royal Exhibition Building which was built to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. World's fairs are just the best damn things ever. You can bathe in the glory of EXPO Milano 2015 if you wish. 


Parliament House.

The Old Melbourne Gaol which opened in 1845. Here we talked quite a bit about Ned Kelly, who was hung here. I was first introduced to Ned Kelly in the form of the crappy Australian themed Applebee-esque Ned Kelly's Steakhouse in Springfield, Illinois. I had thought that this was a national chain but apparently there were only 4 in the central Illinois area. Anyway, Ned Kelly was awesome. He was sort of a Robin Hood type of outlaw who robbed banks. He and his gang went down in a most excellent fashion. Facing overwhelming police opposition, he fashioned plows into a suit of armor and went all RoboCop. Bullets were just bouncing off of him while he I imagine danced the robot. The police eventually figured out that his legs weren't covered, so they shot him there repeatedly before capturing him. That's really the most interesting story I've heard of involving Australia.

Melbourne has alleys that are specially designated graffiti zones. They made for some very cool pictures.

This one has some Simpsons magic happening as well as four Ned Kelly heads up there in the top left. The Ned Flanders tribute band Okilly Dokilly wore those blue ski suits at the show I saw. Heavenly.

I don't think you can really grasp the extraordinary nature of American culture until you see it through another nation's eyes.

Then it was time to go see Tung. Tung is my buddy from back in the Japan days. We were both English teachers in Ashikaga. I visited him in Melbourne in 2009 and haven't seen him since. Unacceptable! I dug up a few Tung greatest hits from the archive.

And phoned it in on Halloween with some really terrible beetle Halloween costumes.

Where was I? Oh so Tung used to have some state government job but a few years ago he opened the North Carlton Canteen.

Finally going there was surreal because I've seen posts about it on Facebook for years.

I have a sad story to tell you. I've had a couple here and I think I can definitively report: Australians think that milk shakes are just shaken milk. There's no ice cream in them! If you see an Australian and they look sad, give them a pat on the back, they're going through a lot.

Tung invited us to do bar trivia with him later on. He still had to work for now though so we ditched him and did some shopping.

The girls got a little overly excited that I was back and there was some violence.

Australia apparently has a ripoff Target of their own with no relation to ours. Sneaky little Australians. They only have clothes there though. No food. This company of trolls also runs its own version of Kmart!

We did some classier shopping later on in the the Block Arcade.

Tung got off work and joined back up with us that night and we hit some amusingly themed bars.

Our first stop was the Croft Institute which was awesome. It had a creepy laboratory theme happening.

Some of the cocktails came with syringes.

The Berlin Bar had an East/West Berlin theme. It was divided in half and you could pick which side to hang out on. We picked East Berlin because it looked cooler.

West just looked retro Western.

East was really drab and militaristic. We sat at the table where one row of seating was this barracks bunk bed.

Melbourne has a large Asian population and their China Town is really solid. We stopped at a really good steamed bun shop. They only accepted cash so things got desperate.

It was nearing trivia time so we hit the road.

Funky Bunch Trivia was being held at the Great Northern Hotel.

I ordered my first meat pie of the trip. So meaty. So pie.

In addition to the normal question-asking that happens during bar trivia there were lots of special events. This was the highest production valued bar trivia I'd ever seen. One of the little interludes was they asked for volunteers and then the teams bet on which of us they thought could chug a beer the fastest. I of course, volunteered.

I thought I was good at this but I got dominated. I did get a free beer out of it though. Everybody's a winner.

There was one where each team bet on which sumo wrestler they thought would win. It was fun.

Our last stop was definitely not least. Holey Moley Golf Melbourne was a really cool indoor miniature golf bar. The staff had fun Caddy Shack looking team shirts on and there were funny golf references all over.

There was a Game of Thrones throne made out of golf clubs.

It also served as a friggin' impossible final hole.

Upstairs they had a whole additional course that we didn't have time to play on but we poked around up there a bit anyway.

I think Zoe was pretty impressed by my golf score.

I said farewell to Tung once again and we returned to the apartment after a long day of funness.

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