Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas in Collingwood, Australia

I have never been away from home over Christmas so it felt really weird to wake up half a planet away from my family and friends. It was also weird because it just did not feel like Christmas at all.

Back home the run up to Christmas has every radio show playing nothing but xmas songs. Every store and house is done up with tacky decorations and every commercial on TV is for toys and gifts. That sort of thing just does not happen in Melbourne. Yes, most stores have some sort of decoration and there are some commercials on the telly and some songs on the radio but not nearly as much and not nearly OTT as back home.

I received one present - from my sister. Well when I say a present it was really more like a red cross parcel which consisted of chocolate bars, deodorant and white underwear. I think she thinks I was in deepest darkest Africa not Australia (WHITE underwear on a round the world trip - what were you thinking Deborah!).

In the run up to Christmas various attempts were made to make the hostel more festive including Jamie:
(yes he is)

putting up decorations and Jamie and Ailish:

having everyone pick names out of a hat for secret Santa gifts ($10 max). We even tried some festive type DVDs such as Back to the Future I, II and III and even Mary Poppins!

Still when it came to the 25th it just did not seem like Christmas. For one thing it was 30 degrees outside! Paul, the owner was going to do a BBQ for anyone who wanted it. Everyone had also stocked up with as much alcohol as possible as nowhere in Melbourne was open for drink. I had ensured I had a good supply of drink and had bought a varied selection of beers.

The first order of the day was Secret Santa. I had picked Adam, another Irish guy in the hostel to buy for. While on the Ocean road trip I racked my brain to come up with an ideal gift and in Torquay I finally found it. A stubby holder to keep your can of beer cold while you drank it. Not just any stubby holder either but one with Australian culture written all over it - a naked woman with a big bum! I.C.U. Baby, shaking that ass!

My secret Santa gift was even better! A plastic nipple to place on the top of your beer can. Everybody said I looked so cool drinking through it. (well they really shouted things like 'yuck! that's disgusting! stop doing that! - I liked it anyway).

At around about 2pm Paul fired up the Barby and started throwing on the meat. For $10 it was a bloody good feed - there was even cheap wine to wash down the grub with. Soon everyone was eating and drinking. I could say that a great days entertainment ensued and there was partying throughout the night but to be honest that was not the case. As I said it was weird - after the barby everybody wanted to go out and do something to celebrate but there was nowhere open. There was no point going to any beach either as you couldn't drink on them anyway. So everyone just sat around the hostel, drank and talked - just like many other nights before.

My Can-Nipple - the perfect present!

(photos nicked from Ailish because I can't find mine! Hope you don't mind Ailish)
Paul (in hat) doing the BBQ in courtyard

bog off I'm eating!

Drinking on the balcony - deja vu!

At around 9pm I was slightly drunk and also starting to run out of beer so I decided that now was a good time to phone home. So I called my sister to wish her, my brother-in-law, niece and nephew merry Christmas and ask how everyone was doing and what they got for presents. Then I tried ringing my dad but without success. Finally I texted just about everyone else I know to say merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My drunken mind figured if I did it now I wouldn't have to do it on New Years Eve.

Then it was back to the balcony to continue with the drinking until I went to bed very drunk and slightly bemused by the whole days proceedings.

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