We have officially visited our very first ‘seven-eleven’ convenience store. Now THAT was a new experience. Seriously, would it kill the Aussies to build a Waitrose? They only stocked one type of Champagne. What’s so convenient about that?

In a promising team-effort the three of us have cooked our first Aussie breakfast and, despite having to queue for over an hour and a half to use the kitchen, the resulting fry-up totally put everyone else’s own-brand porridge to shame. It was even worth the fist-fight Rachel got into over the microwave. Unfortunately, with all the benches taken, we had to sit on the bean-bags and eat off our laps like the worst kind of chav.

“It’s ten in the morn, daahlings,” Bev drawled in her ‘posh’ voice. “That’s Champers o’clock in my book.”
She expertly popped the cork from our bottle of fizz, and filled some plastic beakers Rachel had found at the back of a cupboard.
 “Shall we toast our toast?” I suggested, raising my fried-bread in one hand and my drink with the other. “To Australia!”
“Bottoms up!” toasted Bev.
“Up ya bum and no babies!” cheered Rachel.

It’s occurred to me that this backpacking malarkey is the closest thing I’m ever going to get to living the student lifestyle, and I am determined to make the most of it. Yes, skipping the Uni experience and going straight to work may have had some financial rewards, but I’ve always felt like I’ve missed out on something. Some kind of Rite Of Passage. The lack of rules and responsibilities. New experiences. Threesomes. This is my chance to sleep in, drink booze from mugs at breakfast-time, and generally do whatever the hell I like. I’m living the dream! Ok, so there’s no sign of a threesome, but I don’t have to do any studying either so I guess it all balances out.

6pm

The beach is only a few stops away on the train, so this afternoon we braved public transport and headed there despite grey and stormy skies. After a brief but decadent shop amongst the yachts and glamour of Port Phillip (I enjoyed myself more than my wallet), we headed further around the coast to St Kilda, where we experienced a full-body sandstorm exfoliation by sunbathing in a passing hurricane. Or ‘sunbaking’, as Bev insists on calling it, as “there’s no bath involved”. I agreed to join them in order to build on the glimmer of self-confidence I gained from yesterday’s attempt, though it meant psyching myself up and whipping off my t-shirt in front of the only two people who know me on this side of the planet. They politely said nothing as all my flesh was revealed, but I’m pretty sure I saw their eyes widen in horror. The shock at least helped Rachel dislodge a few things, as she came back from the toilets in a great mood proudly revealing she’d had her first Australian poo.

“It were like someone emptied out a bag of Revels!” she exclaimed happily.

Girls are so gross.

The whole topless thing was a lot more stressful this time, partly due to having people with me and partly due to the blast of wind that forced me to chase my towel down the beach, man-tits a-bouncing. Proper cringe. It’s made me determined to do anything I can to tone up and lose weight whilst I’m here. Well, anything apart from eating healthy and working out, of course. That’s WAY too much effort. The unfortunate moob-jiggling put me in a bit of a grump, so when Bev asked me why all the photos on her camera were looking “well dark” I didn’t give her my usual tactful response and instead opted for, “because you’re looking at them through your fucking sunglasses, you moron!”

Bev sometimes requires a little patience and sometimes I don’t have any.

 

10.50pm

Wow. Jet lag totally exists. That was the quickest pub crawl ever. Technically, it wasn’t even a crawl. I barely managed a single drink before the coma set in.

We’d headed into town with two fellow Friendly Backpackers, ‘Cocaine Man’ and ‘Lesbian’. I’m pretty sure those aren’t their real names, but I’ve not asked. Being a back-packer is kind of like being a kid again, in that you can chat to anyone about anything and things like names don’t really matter. I’d been totally up for it an hour ago, fifty minutes ago I was a bit drowsy, and forty minutes ago I was comatose on the floor having toppled off my bar-stool in my sleep. Thirty minutes ago I’d woken up, still connected to the chair via a string of drool, peeled an empty crisp packet from my cheek and retaken my seat at the bar. Twenty minutes ago, in some semi-conscious daze, I found myself demonstrating the perfect method for pleasuring a man, using a bottle of Budweiser as a substitute penis. It’s not the kind of thing I’d normally do, but seeing as the photos are all over Facebook already I’m hoping ‘jet-lag’ will be a good enough excuse for those wondering why I’m deep-throating a beer on the internet.

Now I’m in bed, I am both wide-awake and stone-cold sober. Sod’s Law I guess. It’s left me proper gagging for a decent cuppa and a choccie hobnob, but neither appear to exist over here. Some air-con wouldn’t go amiss either cos I’ve an awful case of Clammybuttitis, but the room only stretches to a small barred window near the ceiling. Despite the chill of this morning, tonight was far too hot for the sweater I’d worn to the pub, sweat-er being an appropriate word. No one likes a soggy pit-stain, especially me when it’s mine, and it can be mortifying if a burly Aussie catches you in the toilets squatting under a hand-dryer with your top off. I’d imagine.

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