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The Melbourne Sneeze and All Things Illin’

We arrived in Melbourne around 10pm Thursday night and spent the following three hours wandering the streets with our backpacks looking for a place to stay. Preya and Shrey (I’m still not sure who’s responsible for this one) made reservations at a hostel in Sydney for the weekend and by the time we got to Melbourne, literally every single hostel was booked to capacity. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise as we ended up staying in very luxurious (by hostel standards) hotel rooms for merely $10 more a person.

Melbourne certainly has character. Lots of public art, some architecturally interesting buildings, narrow, hidden alleyways teeming with cafes and chocolate shops…We toured an old gaol (“jail”), sampled cheese in the massive open-aired Queen Victoria markets, walked through a Newtown-y area, and lost our balance gazing up at the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere…But Sydney is prettier. It just is.

I feel mostly indifferent about Melbourne. Probably because I was allergic to it. As a collective unit, we absolutely could not stop sneezing.

Public art in Melbourne.
Public art in Melbourne.

Last week was my final week of classes at Sydney Uni and I had a 3,000-word essay due. For approximately 36 hours I locked myself in my room with some Rusko and chocolate-covered coffee beans. I ate slices of buttered bread, avoided showering or changing out of my pajamas and, admittedly, went a bit crazy. But I finished my essay. Jordan and I explored the housing developments in Surry Hills to celebrate. Then we bought pizza and ate it on a cliff overlooking the expansive Pacific Ocean with its native phosphorescent plankton.

I’ve been feeling a bit crazy ever since what I like to call my “Kirk Franklin” stint (a wildly successful urban gospel artist featured front and center in my African American music report), which may be transparent in my writing. I’ve also been feeling really sarcastic ever since I begrudgingly dressed up as a schoolgirl for Halloween. What I really wanted to be was an ibis but I never got the chance to pull a bird costume together. Ibises are hilarious. Schoolgirls are lame. But have you seen Colin’s costume? Wish I’d thought of that.

I went dancing at a club with my housemates Saturday night dressed as the schoolgirl, then wore Colin’s wig and a lab coat to Shelby’s party last night with Rich and Rebecca. Highlights include group sing-alongs outside, discussing the perks of nipple covers (pun intended), and watching a bit of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Halloween with roommates
3 Creek does Halloween.

Jordan and I spontaneously walked across the Harbor Bridge one night. We sat in Luna Park for a while watching the confused seagulls swarm the top of the bridge. Jordan ate some chips and smoked Gouda cheese from a convenience store. We witnessed the aftermath of an inevitable collision between a duck and a swimming rat…

Yesterday was bittersweet for 3 Creek. Colin and Magdalena brought home Polish sausage to celebrate my Brazilian housemate, Vitor’s, final day in Sydney with a barbecue and billiards. I was already feeling emotionally fragile the whole day – in fact, I had spent a fair amount of time sitting and dwelling under a tree in Harold Park listening to Sufjan Stevens – so seeing Vitor go just reminded me of my looming, dooming fate. I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to leave…

I don’t know why things have gotten so silly with this post. Apologies for my poor organization skills. We can’t all align our footsteps with the cracks in the tiles, as they say.

Walking across the Harbor Bridge with Jordan Sernik
Jordan reppin’ the eastside during our nighttime bridge trek
My running trail in Sydney
The way to Harold Park and well-trodden running trail near my house.
Barbecue in Sydney
Vitor and Thomas at Vitor’s farewell bbq

Here: some karaoke from a few weekends ago. Not my best but worth the watch for Jess and Ying-Sun’s sweet dance moves.


  1. Peter says:

    36 hours without a shower… THAT explains the smell wafting up from the southern hemisphere. And here I thought it was just New Jersey…

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