Monday, November 22, 2010

A tale of two cities

For the last two and a half years, I've been torn between two lovers. One overwhelmingly handsome, familiar and associated with hundreds of happy memories; the other cultured, exciting and almost too trendy for its own good. Their names are Sydney and Melbourne.

When I first started thinking about moving from the harbour city south of the border, I flew down for a long weekend to check it out. While I was here, I started a Sydney vs Melbourne list. Of course, there were the obvious: Sydney scored points for weather, beaches and the fact Jason Dundas lives there, while Melbourne won out when it came to cool cafes and bars, the relaxed pace and the availability of $4 pizzas.

Some of my points were dished out for reasons a bit less obvious but no less important. I deducted a point from Melbourne because "city loop" isn't as catchy as "city circle", handed out five points because a 13-year-old hipster on pills agreed to perform the Melbourne Shuffle for me on the train, and took away the same amount of points after seeing a druggo try to steal someone's iPod before unceremoniously wetting her pants and having to be carried away in the same manner Marissa Cooper famously left the OC.

It took me awhile to settle into the Bourne. I made friends immediately, found a pimping beachside art deco flat in St Kilda and discovered Sunday sessions at the Espy, but it took awhile to feel at home. (Admittedly, this may be because all my perceptions of Melbourne were based on the first three series' of The Secret Life of Us and I had expected I'd immediately become enmeshed in a social circle that included Claudia Karvan and be seduced by a sexy, long haired, pot smoking landscape gardener.) However, with a new place north of the river, a new job which allows me to sleep til 10.30 and a newfound group of seriously awesome and exceptionally good looking friends, I'm officially in love with this city (and though I still ride a bike with gears and refuse to listen to Nick Cave, I think I fit in pretty well).

Then there's Sydney. It's where my family is, as well as the bulk of my best friends, and, despite what Melbournians say - it. is. RAD. It's sunny, it's beautiful and Brynne Edelston's not there.

So after a stellar weekend of ciders in Centennial Park, vodkas with fresh apple juice at Shady Pines, swims at Clovelly and pub-cha at the Annandale, I am in the midst of the mandatory week of inner turmoil I suffer after every visit. Inevitably, by 4pm Friday I'll be back in I Heart Melbourne mode.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Melbourne is small. Nay, tiny.

A few weeks ago, I met a guy at the pub. I'd spent the afternoon generously helping organisers at the Cox Plate dispose of a heap of champagne they wanted to get rid of, and so gave the guy my number without a second thought. We met up a couple of nights later for dinner and a few beers, made out for awhile, had an okay but not amazing time, and neither of us contacted each other again.
A couple of weeks later, I went to a friend's gig. A very handsome, very newly single male friend of hers who I'd always had a bit of a crush on was there. I've already noted in this entry how charitable I am, selflessly consuming flutes full of champagne as to save races bar staff from having to lug full bottles about at the end of the day, and in another act of monumental generosity, I suggested the hot friend just stay at my place rather than waste his hard earned money on a cab to a suburb which was pretty much the same distance as mine from where we were. Like I said - generous.

So on Saturday night, I walked into a party to find both the boys there. Not only at the same party, but actually involved in conversation.

Yep. Turns out they go waaaaay back. Childhood friends. In fact, Bachelor #1 even informed me that Bachelor #2 had stayed at his house the previous night. (I refrained from pointing out that he'd stayed at my house the previous week, though I of course internally noted and appreciated the irony.) I think the high point of the evening was when I later saw them chatting at the bar and looking in my direction, while being served by a guy I had a fling with last June. Not joking.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a character in Offspring. Not in a good way.

Oh, what an interesting morning

So the other morning I discovered first hand the absolute worst place to run into someone you sort of like.

The pool.

Firstly, you're almost certain to be clad in lycra (and not much else). If you're a girl, it's likely to be a fairly high cut number and unforgiving to any bikini line unkemptness, uneven tan lines or unseemly rolls of fat that might have developed over the course of three successive large weekends and the misfortune of living a block from McDonalds. And if you've just finished your laps, you've probably got some extreme red marks from your $12 Target goggles and the muscleback one-piece you're wearing probably does little to flatter your Libby Trickett sized shoulders.

All you can hope for is to be the one who first notices the presence of the other, so as to have the power to retreat without notice, but also the chance to check out the body of said crush and, of course, judge their choice of swimwear.

My first instinct was, obviously, to run far, far away as fast as my bare legs would carry me. But given said crush has the painfully irritating habit of taking up to 48 hours to respond to a text message, and I was about 18 hours into the response period, I decided to use my position of power and approach and confront him over aforementioned lack of text etiquette. Thankfully, I had the foresight to strategically place sunglasses over horrendous goggle marks and casually drape a towel over my hips/love handles.

I won't go into the details of the exchange - there were a few dramatic phrases bandied about, such as referring to "digging oneself into a hole" (him), talk of "wanting to pursue something but not wanting to mess anyone around" (him), referring to oneself as a "dick" (him), and ending with a conclusive response which was essentially a slightly longer winded and more senstive version of "neeeeeext!" (me).

I might have felt sad were it not for noticing his very minimal swimwear had "Speedo" written across the bum in multi coloured font which, through fading, appeared to say "pedo".