Avalon Airport is a Melbourne airport in the same way as Stone Temple Pilots are a grunge band. Like, technically, and you have to admit it for lack of any better description, but it sure takes a long time to get from the vaunted promise to actual reality. Specifically, this long time is spent driving through Nowhere, which has been thoughtfully plastered with matte paintings from Crocodile Dundee. The sky is very huge and the clouds don't move at all. This is not how clouds work in New Zealand!
While the international terminal of Sydney Airport features a prominent focal point delineated in Comic Sans, Avalon goes the classy route and welcomes visitors in Marker Felt. I feel like James freaking Bond.
Approaching the city, the motorway is walled off from its suburban surroundings like they're keeping "cars" and "burbs" secret from each other. There are little windows every few hundred metres though, to pay respect to folk clever enough to work out that there's got to be SOMETHING on the other side of that wall, and it's probably a suburb. The city, however, looks the way a proper city ought to, with an actual Skyline and actual Buildings and the like. Which is a nice change.
There's a water shortage in Melbourne so they give you little blue sand-timers to stick to the wall of the shower. On one end it says, "our water", signifying that "our water" is "running out". On the other side it says, "our future", signifying that your future is falling through a little bottleneck and you're just wasting time in the shower. If I had to spend the rest of my life in one place, it might be the shower. I can think a lot better when I have no way of acting on any thoughts more involved than "I ought to wash that".
My hostess tells me about a party she went to in Perth called the Spinsters And Bachelors Ball. You arrive and young men immediately are cavorting about spraying you with food dye out of a water pistol. It's a badge of honour to get as much as possible on you. They give you two condoms and tie a cup to your wrist so you won't lose your cup when you get shit-ass drunk. You then begin your drinking by throwing your drink all over everyone, drink till you can't stand up, and fuck a bunch of people you don't know. I tell her that sounds like some sort of "backwoods Dionysian fuck-party". The way she describes it truly sounds like something out of James G bloody Frazier.
I am amazed to find that the only thing that triggers in me mild feelings of unanchored panic, drifting far from home, albatross about my neck and all, is the realisation when watching television that I cannot get to TVNZ Channels 1 or 2. I would never have guessed that would be the case.