I recently spent four days in Melbourne. This next statement is a bold one considering how many places I’ve seen and how easily a strange city can win me over, but: I’d rather live in Melbourne, Australia than anywhere else I’ve been. New York is still my favorite place to visit, Alaska a close second, but if I had to permanently relocate, I’d waste no time adding the word “mate” to my list of cool shit to call people. I’ve truly not been to a place more accepting of free expression, and I’ve actually grown to hate that term. Expression. But it’s true. Everything from its brick walls to the trains going up and down its busy streets – and most of the people who walk them – are intricately and elaborately decorated. The architecture reminds you how close we are to getting hovercrafts. Kids play in fountains. People spray paint wall murals and the police stop to compliment their work. Even the trees wear colorful knit sweaters. People smile at you. Cops, bums, suits, construction workers, hipsters, and junkies alike all smile at you.
While walking through a dark alley we crossed paths with a young mohawk’d punk rocker with an angry face and “fuck you” painted across the back of his spiked leather jacket. This guy was clearly not to be fucked with, so naturally my friend Nay asked if he’d pose for a picture. I’d expected a punch, a “fuck off” at the very least, but instead he smiled and said, “For like a buck, mate. Sorry, I gotta get drunk somehow” and laughed as he went to shake our hands. Nay gave him whatever Aussie change he had left in his pocket and the guy threw up the obligatory devil horns. We took the train to the beach and then to the Australian Open. We walked our standard one billion miles and we met Terrell Owens at the casino where Nay won $50 we used to support our alcoholism.
As soon as I heard I was going to Australia, there was one thing on my list: Kangaroo. I wanted to meet one, and if I couldn’t meet one, I at least wanted to eat one, and I couldn’t very well do both with a clear conscience. Well, I didn’t get to meet one. But the picture of the “steak” toward the bottom of this post? Yeah. If more Americans knew how good Kangaroos taste, there’d be no more kangaroos, which the Aussies would thank us for because, according to them, “roos are cunts.”
I really can’t say enough good things about this place, so I’ll say no more, just buy a plane ticket and go. You’ll see.