A Week in Melbourne

This week is not by any means like every other week, but it definitely has many similarities to others. It seems like the less I plan things, the more fun I end up having!

It is a public holiday, since it’s the Grand Final of Aussie rules football (AFL) the following day. Wait, what? So no work on Friday, and everything has weird opening hours. I am lucky enough to have a friend lend me his bike since he bought a new one, so I need to learn how to a) ride a road racer and b) learn how to obey the rules. Luckily enough there are heaps of bike lanes in the city.

I go to South Melbourne market, have a bike ride, and spend the evening with a friend in a huge artists’ market browsing through all the wonderful things that would be cool to have but I cannot afford. It’s about 30 degrees warm during the day, so I can easily walk home at night with just one shirt.


The Big Game Day, and I have no clue what to do. A nice bike ride in the morning sun, Southbank-Albert Park-Saint Kilda-Prahran-South Melbourne-Southbank. I do stop at Prahran market as well as stock up on Questbars in the awesome hidden gem, Prahran convenience. Afterwards I decide to join a friend to a pub in Richmond to “watch the game”, more like observe all the interesting Aussie spectacle sports behavior. During the game we come up with plans for the next steps, and decide to head to a random house party in Fitzroy. We take a pitstop in Little Saigon to fill ourselves for the ride and the night. The party turns out to be in a massive dream house that has a sweet sweet pool, and we leave only when we can’t keep our eyes open anymore at 2am. First bikeride in the dark, empty city feels good, probably because it’s again t-shirt weather.


Picnic day. I spend the morning baking stuff (not smart to keep the oven on in the heat), and head to the Carlton Gardens around 2. All other people are pretty much late, so I get pretty frustrated with all the lying down and not doing anything. All in all I end up spending 5 hours at the park, hanging out with friends and meeting new ones. Afterwards we go to St. Kilda to a funky party with singers walking in the crowd while singing. Decent end for the long weekend. And I didn’t even burn in the sun!

After work I have a dreaded dentists’ appointment, and they suggest they take my wisdom tooth out. Half an hour later I walk out to the heat with one less tooth that they refused to give back me due to Australian law (wtf), and stitches in my swollen mouth. I have banana ice cream for dinner, and wonder if the numbness wears out by the next day.


After work I go to a bar to work for a few hours, after which I spend the evening with a friend who always makes me want to improve myself in many ways. I miss my wisdom tooth, physically. It hurts.

Free coffee in the park after work, yay! I feel sluggish after not working out for 3 days, so I decide to go to a TRX class. I love the sneaky burn with no jumping and running around.

I work 10 hours and find out my F45 class I was looking forward to is cancelled. I get frustrated, go to pilates instead, and don’t feel like I’ve done anything. I take a “little” detour on my way home and decide to bike trough South Yarra and Prahran to Southbank.


I have a PT appointment after work and have to ride on some scary roads and a bridge to get there. Worth it, though! I rush to the city to go the Asian food truck festival in Queen Victoria market. What a summery night – warm, good music, loads of people, food!


And this was just the beginning of the weekend! (Ok fair enough I worked on Saturday so weekend was just Sunday for me, but I did manage to have a swim, dinner date, and go to a Japanese festival where I wore a kimono and did tea ceremony. Success.)

AFL aka Footy aka Aussie rules football

Friends, I have a confession to make: I have never been to any sort of public sports event (kiddie soccer league games don’t count), until yesterday that is. I didn’t start my spectator sport experiences by watching ice hockey, soccer, baseball or football, but AFL: Aussie rules footy. Of course I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but luckily I had a patient friend explaining the rules to me. Apparently it’s a lot about shouting obscurities and drinking beer, and for girls rating the players.

General admission tickets, better than going to a comedy show.
General admission tickets, better than going to a comedy show.

The following is what I gathered about the rules of footy. These are by no means absolute truths, so if you know better, feel free to correct me. Like other team sports, footy game consists of two teams of several players, who run around in an oval field hitting each other, trying to get an oval shaped ball between one of 4 poles that look like they’re from Harry Potter (creating 3 goals: the middle one worth 6 points, the outer ones 1 point) by kicking or throwing it in. One is not allowed to run with the ball into the goals, and running with the ball altogether is prohibited; however it is possible to run the whole field-length if bouncing the ball on the ground every now and then – I witnessed this in the enticing melbourne vs. Essendon game. If a player catches the ball from the air, they get a free toss. If there is a big rumble where the ball gets stuck, the referees get to throw it to re-start the action. There are quite a few dudes in yellow shirts, who toss the ball back into the game, backwards, after it’s gone outside the field (perhaps to the audience). A couple of pink shirted people also run around, providing players with drinks (water?) and strategy tips from the coach. There are 4 quarters, each lasting something between 25 minutes and 32 minutes, and in-between the quarters the audience can enjoy entertainment such as little kids playing footy (and mutilating each other).

In an oval shape stadium, it is rather challenging to keep up with what's happening all the time.
In an oval shape stadium, it is rather challenging to keep up with what’s happening all the time.

For me, the best part of the whole show was hearing the cheering and other shouting from the crowd. Stuff like “C’mon melbourne, they’re not even a real team” and “Josh, take off your pants!” surely kept us entertained. At first I felt bad for the players who kept on smashing to the ground, but after a while I got used to it. Apparently neither melbourne nor Essendon are any good, but at the end the game turned out to be very interesting. It was a tie until 2 mins before the end of the game, when Essendon scored the winning goal. Suspension at its’ best!

Selfies at the games.
Selfies at the games.