The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pulling a Survivor Twist on Stevivor

Day 434, February 4, 2011.

The overnight train from Sydney to Melbourne was not too bad considering I just had a seat and not a bed. I got lucky that for the most part because the seat beside me was empty for most of the journey so I was able to stretch out a bit. That doesn’t mean I got much in the way of sleep, but it was better than nothing.

Southern Cross Station, Melbourne (img via Wikimedia)

After arriving at the Melbourne Train Station downtown, I hopped one of the infamous Melbourne trams to the suburb of Richmond where the hostel I had booked was located. Once I was settled, the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring began to take shape.

Back in Sydney, I had picked up an old cell phone and gotten an Australian number in order to keep in better contact with people. Specifically, I was using it to talk with Matt, my friend Steve’s boyfriend. Steve, as I have mentioned previously, is one of my closest friends from back home in Saskatoon who had moved to Australia a number of years ago. Now, along with his regular job, he is owner and operator of, a major video game review site. The Saturday I arrived was his birthday party.

Melbourne Tram (via Wikipedia)

With Matt aware of my arrival, and the party not until later that evening, I took to walking around Melbourne. The area of the city I was staying in is well known for two things: for being the centre of many of the drug trade(which I didn’t find out until too late) and for being the place to go outlet shopping. Every store was advertising sales of anywhere between 50 and 90%. And I’m not sure whether it’s just an advertising gimmick or an actual sign of hard economic signs, but many were also showing “Closing Down Sale! Everything Must Go!” signs.

Bargain Shopping! (img via

In my walk towards downtown Melbourne and the party, I passed by the famous Melbourne Cricket Grounds. And good timing on my part as when I arrived, just beside the MCG, the Australian Cricket team were practicing in the practice gardens.

Cricket players are hot. Add in that sexy Australian accent and I am melting.

From there, not too far away, is a large pedestrian bridge. This particular bridge is one I had never heard about in any of my research of the city. The bridge is covered in speakers along the walls that constantly play traditional Aborigine music as well as mythical stories spoken in the traditional languages. It was really cool, and a little disorienting, to walk along the bridge. With so many speakers, certain places sounded like your were surrounded by dozens of people all speaking at the same time.

Melbourne Singing Bridge – (Via Google Images Search)

Eventually I made my way to downtown Melbourne and amused myself by watching the tram cars roll by while I waited for Matt to get a hold of me with further instructions. In a way, it was like we were conspiring in a manner like on the TV show Survivor. Steve knew something was up but wasn’t sure what.

When the time came, I arrived at the hotel and Matt met me in the lobby, having told Steve he was going down to meet a different friend. Dear Steve, you done good on this one. He is CUTE! And super friendly. We took the elevator up and Matt led the way into the hotel room where the pre-party was happening. He stood aside to give a clear viewing path to Steve. I think it took a couple seconds for Steve to really register who he was seeing, but when he did it made the last month of deception completely worth it.


It was definitely a surreal experience to be hanging out with a friend from back home in Australia. We hugged and laughed when he said that he knew something was up because I was a little too adamant that I was in Bali. I guess I need to work on my lying and deception skills if I am to ever go on the real Survivor. Nah, Amazing Race is my game.

The party moved downstairs where Steve had pretty much rented the whole bar. Along with having an open bar(a backpacker’s dream come true), he had also rented a mechanical bull. I ended up being a little too tipsy to try the bull out. I did try hitting on one of his friends, Hammond, but I utterly failed in that attempt. Open bars tend to have a bad side apparently.

The Birthday Boy2


The cute couple, Steve and Matt4

It was a great night, being able to hang out with Steve again and to meet a bunch of his friends and his boyfriend in particular.

Though we’ll just ignore the fact that Steve ended up getting sick from people buying him drinks and shots. But is it really people buying the drinks when it’s an open bar, paid for by Steve? I’m not sure how that works. I only heard “Free booze!” and everything else was ignored.

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