A Travellerspoint blog

What If I Were a Jockey??

Currently Playing: "Bamboleo" -- Gipsy Kings

sunny 21 °C

Horseracing has its own unique sub-culture in Melbourne. Attending the races is considered the place to see and to be seen. We were kindly invited to the Melbourne Cup Preview Races at the Flemington race track, a beautiful and impressive venue. The day was so lovely and we had heaps of fun! We got all dressed up, and sipped on champagne whilst having no clue about the races.

Spanx a lot
PA030041.jpg

Having some fun
PA030049.jpg

Roomates
PA030051.jpg

Bratpackers and lucky James
PA030044.jpg

It is customary for men to be dressed in suits, and women to don their classiest dress, heels, and a behemoth of a hat. I thought the hats were a joke, but apparently they’re all the rage. I couldn’t get over seeing women in their beautiful suits and dresses... and then they have what looks like a dead bird on their head. It’s quite funny actually! I am laughing as type this, recalling such.

Spring Carnival in Melbourne is always the first week of November, and it is what Melbourne is famous for (along with hosting the Australian Open every January). Melbourne Cup is actually considered a statewide holiday here in Victoria. Too bad I don’t work for the government, but who knows, maybe Little India will show me some kindness and let a sistah get her Melbourne Cup on. The locals have informed us that over 100,000 people come to Melbourne Cup every year, and it's one big celebratory drinking festival-- I hope I fit in.

As for wearing a hat to Melbourne Cup, I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars in order to look like I am attending a British Royal wedding. I can’t seem to justify such an expenditure when I love other things far more, i.e. food, good wine, Tim Tams, Violet Crumbles…

I have decided upon 3 alternatives to wearing a hideous hat:
1. I will buy my own materials and make the most shiteous hat one could construct. My muse will be a dead bird.
2. Attaching a single feather in my hair (I know, different kind of Indian...)
3. Raging against the machine and going hat-less, feather-less… b-a-r-e

Will keep you posted.

P.S.

My first Australian Mullet
PA030062.jpg

Posted by NoreenA 23:58 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Ace of Base: The Musical

Currently Playing: "It's a Beautiful Life"-- Ace of Base

semi-overcast 19 °C

Great news everyone!

We've decided to write, direct, and perhaps star in... "Ace of Base: The Musical" (working title).

For those of you unfamiliar with Ace of Base, were you born after 1998? They're a 90s pop group from Sweden. I used to live for them, rocking out in my Mom's huge van. Apparently they are not broken up, perhaps on a mere hiatus?? Nonetheless, it is time for their own musical, written by "The Bratpackers" and Lauren Monahan.

Snippets of the script to be posted soon.

http://aceofbase.com/

Posted by NoreenA 23:48 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

"4 Seasons, 1 Day": Clearly Not Rubbish

Currently Playing: "Singing in the Rain"-- Jamie Cullum

all seasons in one day 15 °C

Sometimes I think things will be different, just for me. Yes, I am a middle child.

In this case, I never actually believed anyone when they said Melbourne is notorious for its "4 season, 1 day" phenomenon, or as I like to call it: a meteorologists nightmare (especially the meteorologists in California, as they can't even predict 1in. of rain). Alas, I was wrong, dead wrong. This phenomenon exists every damn day.

Yesterday I hardly slept all night as the wind was just like the Santa Ana winds, which like Sarah Palin, I do not miss. And then when I awoke after some bullshit sleep, it was pouring r-a-i-n, and g-l-o-o-m-y. So, whilst getting dressed, I piled on the layers, my Ugg boots (which are NOT common in Australia, even though they claim to be from Australia-- one should see the ghastly stares I come across whilst trekking in my Uggs), and a scarf and set out for the day. An hour later I was drenched, not from rain, but from sweat, because the Heavens cleared, and the hole in the Australian ozone layer was beaming down on my over-dressed body. So then, I decided to de-layer. And then, on my way to the gym, it was frigid and brisk, like a Boston fall day, and I was wearing basically nothing. Schizophrenic weather, indeed.

Everyone: the alcohol filled care packages would solve this problem. I would either a) have a booze jacket on or b) feel so elated from your gift that I wouldn't care whether I was roaming the Artic naked or wearing a faux fur coat in the Sahara. Either choice would be a suitable option!

Off to play in this rare, beautiful Melbourne day!

Posted by NoreenA 23:25 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

I'm Huge. Te Amo Tiamo.

Currently Playing: "That's Amore"-- Dean Martin

overcast 17 °C

As per request I have decided to start a food section of the b-l-o-g.

As I said in the previous entry, the bratpackers and I have taken to exploring Melbourne. April and I decided it was time to go to Carlton, the university hub of the city, and Italian mecca. Whilst wandering up and down the famous Lygon Street, we encountered Tiamo, a charming Italian restaurant and coffee shop. Reason enough to come to Melbourne: Tiamo.

IMG_5971.jpg
We sat outside and had a celebratory lunch for joining the gym. In order to maximize our caloric intake, we decided to each order a main dish, and share. I ordered the most succulent homemade tortellini, filled with rich ricotta, and drenched in a savory mushroom cream and truffle oil sauce. I licked my bowl CLEAN. April ordered a breaded veal with a creamy pesto sauce, and plump, onion roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables. Also, they give you about 8 slices of bread, already buttered. Those were gone in 7.3 seconds. And then we ordered something that has really made an impact on me, an AFOGADO: Fresh espresso, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dash of cinnamon, and the best part… Bailey’s. Oh, I could have had 7.
P9300028.jpg

10,000 calories later we sat there in ecstasy.

It’s not over.

We decided to take the girls back to Tiamo the very next evening for dinner. Our incessant chattering of every detail of our celebratory lunch must have helped. The second time was even better! April and I shared a mussels and clam pasta dish and veal scallopine. And again I had another Afogado.

But wait, it’s not over.

I think the staff was so impressed by the amount of food we could eat within 24 hours and so they became friendly with us, even making us Lemoncello shots. And then the Chef came out to greet us. He’s a young half English half Indian man, and I think he was intrigued and delighted by 5 voracious American women. Thus, he so graciously offered to pay for our next meal at Tiamo. None of us have any interest in this poor slob, but who can turn down a free meal at Tiamo??? And what do you know, we went back the very next night, FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A ROW. Hey, it was free!

And let me tell you, the third time was even sweeter. More veal, more Afogado’s, champagne, and carb heaven. Well worth it. I think I might go back tomorrow…

HUGE.

Posted by NoreenA 23:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sarah Palin: I Do Not Miss You.

Currently Playing: "American Idiot" -- Green Day

Even in Australia I was able to watch the VP debate. Although anyone with a brain knows Hillary should have been the (Presidential) Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden gave a solid performance. And I said performance, because, while a seasoned debater, he was clearly a different debater tonight than he was during the primary debates. I did enjoy how he bypassed Sarah Palin in most digs, because, she is WORTHLESS. Watching her was like watching a manic in action. Her slang was RIDICULOUS! My 12 year old sister speaks more intelligently and eloquently than that pig wearing lipstick. And the fact that people 'relate' to her because of how she speaks does not say very much about our country. "Youbetcha" that Sarah Palin is a "gosh-darn-it" insult to female voters. She does not represent me, my views, or anything relevant in this life. I feel disrespected by the McCain campaign that they assume because she has a vagina and an original political narrative that I am going to vote for her. I would much rather vote for a hermaphrodite with a brain, and real, genuine, national AND international experience over a woman who speaks like a hick, and does not know what the Bush Doctrine or G8 is . I must say, it is nice to know that people in Australia think she's an idiot as well.

This is what I think the new McCain slogan/propaganda should be:

McCain. Because he suffered for our country, so we should suffer for him.

Posted by NoreenA 22:46 Archived in USA Comments (1)

St. Kilda Beach

Currently Playing: 'Weak Heart' -- Groundation

sunny 23 °C

Since I have last written, much has occurred. For instance, I am now a real waitress. I can no longer act like a bull in a China closet. I make drinks like a bartender, and will occasionally purposely over-pour, so I can enjoy my mistake.

On my days off, we’ve been exploring some of the many little districts throughout Melbourne. I was finally able to visit St. Kilda in the daytime. We were planning on living in St. Kilda, but we kept hearing the same bits of how parts of St. Kilda are dangerous and filled with drug dealers, and prostitutes. As exciting as drug dealers and prostitutes can be, we’ve steered clear of such in our little district of South Yarra.

Checked out the only beach in greater Melbourne, St. Kilda Beach. Felt wonderful to be near the ocean again. For the most part it's a nice beach, but kind of dirty, reminiscent of the beach in Barcelona actually. Once the weather starts to warm up, then you can bet my tanorexic arse will be on daaa beach.

Shayna, myself, and April on St. Kilda Beach
PA010039.jpg

The main drag in St. Kilda is SO rad. The street is lined with pastry shop after pastry shop. Heaps of little boutiques and bars can also be found, and we stopped into one pub for happy hour. Finally, some cheap drinks in this country! Everything here is exuberantly expensive. I was finally able to enjoy a vodka drink that wasn't more than $10. As my sister put it, they have a lot of the same things we buy at home, but since there are only 20 million people in Australia, companies must up-sell everything in order to make a profit. For example, my normal toothpaste I buy at home, which is a little more than $3 at home, is $7.50 here. A better example that is much more relevant to my lifestyle: food and drink. Yesterday I was hungry and need to grab a quick take-away before my shift, and I went into 4 different little shops and couldn’t find a sandwich for cheaper than $8/9. OY VEY! What’s a girl to do? (Eat the free curry at her work…)

If anyone would like to send me handles of hard alcohol as a "care-package," I would be more than okay with that. I'm serious. I will give you my address, no hesitation.

Over & Out.

Posted by NoreenA 22:27 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Local Housewives Encouraged to Apply.

Currently Playing: "Little Boxes" -- Malvina Reynolds

semi-overcast 18 °C

On a whim, or rather a joke, or perhaps a twist of fate, I asked for a position at the Indian restaurant, ‘Little India,' which is down the block from our house. I was intrigued to apply as the sign on the door read as follows:

“Local housewives encouraged to apply.”

That did it for me! I marched right in, spoke with the restaurant manager, did not get very far…. Until, until, until…. I wrote down my information and he FREAKED out. He saw my last name and said (Please read in an Indian accent): “Oh my God! Are you Punjabi!?!” And I replied, “Yes, but only half.” And he earnestly stammered, “Well then, come in for an interview on Monday and we will go from there!” Gulab Jamun.

Thanks again, Dad. Even thousands of miles away from me and he is still helping me out. Oh, and for those of you who know big Rav, he's just thrilled with my new position, just thrilled.

Racial profiling in full effect.

And there we have it. I had my first day as a server at Little India Bistro and Tandoor today. And it is really quite a nice and upscale Indian bistro. And lucky for me, I live for Indian food, and they feed you after every shift. God love them. Or rather, Shiva love them. Although I do feel for my roommates, as I will surely reek of Indian spices from here on out “Dahling, dahling, dahling!”

This is where I now work: http://littleindia.com.au

Posted by NoreenA 02:24 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Honey, I'm Home.

Currently Playing: "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" -- The Rolling Stones

sunny 23 °C

Our new home is in the fabulous district called South Yarra. It’s in Melbourne and just a few minutes from the downtown area. We are between the city and the beach, quite lovely of a location indeed. The new digs consist of two stories, with two bedrooms, and luckily, two bathrooms. Even more lovely, I ended up with the master bedroom and lovely loo. Shayna and April are sharing a room and bathroom, and until they can find a place of their own, Lauren and Kelly are crashing in my room. Everything about the house is new, and clean, and … sterile. It smells like new paint, and is white, white, white. Thus our avid attempt at punching up the place with some color and style. Check out the pix after the jump:

Mi casa
P9250026.jpg

Shayna and April, and our shit-ton of luggage
P9250022.jpg

Our darling little street: Surrey Road
P9250025.jpg

Posted by NoreenA 02:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

I'm a Hustler

Currently Playing: "I'm a Hustler, Baby" -- Jay-Z

First few days filled with hustling. No, not the touristy hustle, rather the-fervent-quest-for-a-place-to-reside-hustle. Findings were limited or just plain wrong. All the while, we fit in the city tours and more importantly, the self-made pub crawl/tour/drunk-strut. And the food, god damn, I could write an entire b-l-o-g on the food alone. I’ve savored everything. I am serious about the food here.

P9240008.jpg

Hustle worthwhile as we landed our “dream town-house.” The new digs are in the described “high-end boutiques, top eateries and plenty of green space give this district a hip-bohemian village feel” entity known as: South Yarra. Melovesit already! Heaps of fun and trouble had and to be had.

Posted by NoreenA 17:08 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hostel Me

Central Business District, Melbourne

18 °C

I forgot how much I (do not) miss hostels. I was reminded of such by the friendly but SMELLY German bloke in our room. Poor slob didn’t know what he was in for: 5 girls, 10 suitcases, and 5 backpacks. I refer to our little army as ‘the brat-packers,’ (thank you Meg and Nic). In fact, the man at the front desk of our hostel said he has never seen a group come with so much baggage….

Although I would rather be at The Westin, we're having loads of laughs. I have laughed non-stopped since we have arrived.

Posted by NoreenA 17:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

I woke up in Australia

overcast 15 °C

Alive and well --- flight of all time. The land before time. Australia--- Melbourne: incredible! 7 cocktails and 1.5 sleeping pill(s) later: I woke up in Australia.

Posted by NoreenA 16:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Free Bird, Almost.

Currently Playing: 'Free Bird' -- Lynard Skynard

sunny 29 °C

DSC_1295.jpg

September 20, 2008 is rapidly approaching. WOOT!!! It's "almost hee'ya!!!" 11 more days to go until I begin the most exciting chapter of my life, thus far. I will be re-locating to Melbourne, Australia for the next several months, followed by significant time spent traveling throughout New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and wherever else I feel called to go. I'm not sure when I will exactly come home, but I am not focusing on that-- here is NOW. As I figure, this will be the most free time of my life. Some look at it as a another means to push back my complete entry into the drudgery that is the American work-force. I, however, look at it as MY time, something I will always treasure, another way to enrich this blessed life. I have the rest of my life to 'work'; thus, why not take some time to travel, and to just be? There's nothing better than really, truly, genuinely experiencing another country, its people, their customs, their culture, their FOOD, and a whole new way of life (Someone cue the Aladdin song "A Whole New World").

Melbourne-..-map200.jpg

In lieu of sending out mass e-mails, I will leave it up to you. I will update this little blog whenever I can and you can enjoy it as much, or as little, as you like. Expect little to no censorship, sorry parents :). You can still reach me via e-mail, but I figured this would be an easy way for you to keep up with my travels, and stories, and to also ensure that I'm still thumping and thriving!

I plan to celebrate my face off these next 9-10 months -- and I hope you enjoy reading about it!

Be well, be happy.... and VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN.

Over & Out.

Posted by NoreenA 02:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 27 of 27) « Page 1 [2]