Saturday, May 13, 2006

The big city

Yesterday I took the train into Melbourne and met an office mate, Genevieve (GAI folks see this month's calendar) who is on exchange from Montreal. The plan was to meet her friend Max, a student also from Montreal, for coffee and then we were all going to go to Beertopia in the Royal Exhibition Hall. We set out on what seemed to be a march around downtown as we made our way up to Fitzroy, one of the trendy neighborhoods for coffee. Random directional changes aside, we made it to the appointed corner and found Max and the coffee shop.

Most of you know that I am not much of a coffee drinker. However, given the cost of diet cokes in this part of the world (I am sure crack is cheaper) I was suffering from caffeine withdrawal and gave in to coffee temptation... if you call an iced mocha coffee, anyway. Our drinks come out and Max's espresso is this tiny little shot (we're talking 2 tablespoons), Gen's cappuccino is this pretty little cup with designs in the foam (they have to take a barista class here before being allowed to make coffee!) and mine is this tall glass with ice in the bottom and a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge on top! Not exactly what I was expecting, but it was a tasty mistake.

We finished up our treats and headed to the Hall because it was getting cold outside. (The weather here doesn't really vary that much in temperature from high to low. It's basically a factor of how much you're moving and how fast the wind is blowing. Ask an Aussie though, and they will tell you it's freezing outside. I swear I see a parka at least once a day while I'm struggling with whether or not to keep my fleece zipped up.) There were at least a hundred people lined up outside the Hall when we got there at 10 til 5. These folks are serious about their beer. My favorite was the Bright Ale from Little Creatures out of Western Australia. I have no idea what Bright Ale means, I had been tasting a while when I got the explanation...

When we'd decided we'd had enough, we gave away the rest of our drink tickets and headed to the Portland Hotel, where there is a restaurant and pub that brews James Squire, another good Aussie beer, named after one of the PM's. I decided it was time to try some real fish and chips. It was a good decision, though expensive. $17.50 for pub food! And that wasn't even the most expensive thing on the menu. After dinner (or supper, I can't figure out what they call it, though I know afternoon tea really is our evening meal) we went our separate ways.

Today I was going to head back downtown for some photo taking and the Queen's market, but it's rainy today and somehow I don't think an outdoor market sounds that great.

1 comment:

K said...

Genevieve is a calendar girl? I'm not a golder folk so my imagination is running wild!