Birthday girl

In the end, this trip has less been about the places that I have been to, than about the people I have met there and along the journey.

I am amazed how many great people I have met along the way…

There are Radio DJs, musicians, cooks, bloggers, casting agents, chefs, managers, Japanese teachers, nurses, bankers, IT specialists, consultants, curators, students, social workers, doctors, travelers, gardeners, diplomats, writers… the list goes on and on.

Nina is one of them. Meeting her when I met my friend Clint in Auckland, we instantly hit it off. Throughout the year, we stayed in touch over Facebook and an occasional message.

She did an exchange with Austria years ago, and her German – and Austrian twang – is still impeccable. She’s such a joyful, and wise woman.

She came over to celebrate her 40th birthday here, coincidentally a day before mine. Out friend Clint from Perth also flew over, as well as a bunch of wild ladies. The scene for a good night was set.

We had drinks at home, and a greet Italian dinner in a restaurant on the Yarra waterfront. From there, over to Fitzroy. We wanted to go out to the Peel, my favorite bar, and dance the night away.

Unfortunately, as a gay bar, they have a limit to as how many women can be in there – so sometimes you have to queue up if you’re a mixed group.

What we didn’t know was that we were not enough men (twice as much as women) to get into at all. Bummer.

I do understand that, despite their general success, they want to keep the venue a place for gay men, but in our case that killed the mood.

After a quick stint in a neighboring bar with really weird industrial music, we ended up in The 86, a little venue a few blocks down on Smith Street.

They seemed to have some kind of retro evening going on, with the guys wearing braces, and the music some classic 30s and 40s tunes.

Fortunately, they had some strong drinks!!!