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Melbourne

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

MelbourneAustralia, Australia, Australia. It’s good to be in Australia. I can’t believe I’m actually here. It’s the final destination on my journey after 4 and a half months of living on a boat and 10 months away from home. I would have liked to spend more time here but responsibility calls and I need to get back into the swing of a normal life.

I decided to fly from Brisbane to Melbourne; it just made more sense. Beacho convinced me that I wouldn’t be missing much by traveling over land and this way I’d get to see more of Melbourne. Sydney is expensive, he said. I’m staying at his place on Separation Street, in the Northcote neighborhood, with his bandmates and his girlfriend. I parted with Mike and Vick on Island Buoy and left them to transport the boat from Brisbane down to the Gold Coast. We spent our last day together cleaning the boat from bow to stern. Mike got a working visa is going to look for employment in Oz before he gets on another boat heading west. Vick’s plan is to stay with his dad around Brisbane and eventually return to South Africa.

Beacho’s had a pretty tight schedule but he’s been making time to show me around. I don’t mind because I just wanted to see him and how better to see him than in his everyday element? He’s been going to the gym in the morning, then practicing piano, then teaching guitar. In between he’s been working on his upcoming solo tour, booking shows and making posters. He’s always been disciplined about his music. I’ve been looking for jobs and revamping his website. Although I missed his Brisbane show (by one day!), I was lucky enough to catch Electric Jellyfish’s last show last Saturday in Melbourne. He also took me to the Northcote Social Club where Adam, the bassist, works and Hayden used to work before he passed. On Monday morning, Linda, his girlfriend, and he took me to see Bridget and Hayden’s memorial bench in the Royal Botanical Gardens. Afterwards we checked out the Salvador Dali exhibit at the National Victory Gallery. Last night we went to a pub quiz and I won a free jug (that’s Australian for pitcher) of beer for guessing correctly that Honolulu is the only US city with a Royal Palace.

I’ve also been hanging out with Andrea, an Aussie girl I meet in Mexico with Canice with whom I’ve stayed in contact. She’s been excited to show me around Melbourne, which is good because that means Beacho doesn’t have to play full time tour guide for me. She’s relatively new to the city, too. She showed me around downtown and took me to the restaurant where she works and her local neighborhood pub. Bars and restaurants, she says, this is what we do in Melbourne. You’re getting the real Melbourne experience. I’m fine with that I said, I don’t feel the need to touristy stuff just because. It’s what we do in San Francisco. I just like to have a good time. The best way to see a place is by visiting someone who lives there.

Tonight is my last night in Oz. I’m going to go with Beacho downtown and meet up with Andrea at her bar after she gets off work. My flight leaves Melbourne at 3:00. It goes to Sydney then I hop on another plane for a 13 hour flight to LA. Then I go from LAX to SFO, landing at 10pm. Since I’m crossing the International Date Line, I arrive in California the same day that I leave.

I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends and family at home.

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