The days back in Melbourne have all blended together in my mind by now, so I hope you’ll forgive my inability to remember every detail of what I did and when. I would usually run small errands, or spend time at the library with free wireless internet access.
Ray, Kieran and Owen were leaving for Perth on Monday morning, so that night was a goodbye celebration on Fitzroy Street at the Prince of Wales pub.
The jugs were pretty cheap, something around 7 dollars, so the entire Jackson’s Manor clan came out to say goodbye. Valerio, Rosanna, Andrea and Jillian were there after a lukewarm night at Vineyard, which quickly became Valerio’s favorite hangout; Michael, Sven and Simon the Germans (well, Simon is Bavarian, not sure what the difference is); Jonna (say “Yonna”, and spell it differently because I probably got it wrong) from somewhere in Eastern Europe; Francesca from Italy; and Owen, Kieran and Ray, of course. Sophie and I arrived last with Steffen in tow, who had just stepped off the Spirit of Tasmania ferry that morning.
The pub was great fun, everyone with a beer in their hand, refilling each others’ drinks and recalling old times. The party rocked until about 2, when the bar started to shut down. We headed back to JM for a little post-party party in the dining room. Everyone was rather peckish, so we pooled together our bread and peanut butter resources, as well as whatever goon was left over from pre-partying, and dove into some traditional backpacker drunk tucker.
I went and got my honey, the good honey, and invited everyone to try a peanut butter-and-honey sandwich, oddly unknown to everyone. Except Steffen, who had never had one either until he took my advice and made it for himself in Tassie. One was all it took to hook him, he loved them after that.
Simon was immediately accepting and very much enjoyed it. Both Jonna and Francesca liked neither peanut butter nor honey so they not only abstained, but started to denounce them. Ray had quietly made and begun eating his sandwich when, through a stuffed mouth, he exclaimed “Oh, that’s just a world of taste!” We all started cracking up. “It’s really good!” After he crammed the last bit of bread into his mouth he gave his final blessing, “That’s just the tastiest thing I’ve ever had!” He even said he had never really liked peanut butter or honey separately, but the combination was beyond compare. This prompted both Jonna and Francesca to try a small bite, but I think they had long since made up their minds, and couldn’t be swayed. Ray went back for seconds. And thirds.
Owen and Kieran came back from the bar and, since Kieran was doing the driving in the morning, headed to bed. We said our goodbyes, and promised to look them up when we got to Perth (Steffen set a date of Thursday for our departure to Adelaide; he had not found any additional travelmates yet).
The rest of us stayed up until 4, when Barry the hostel owner came in and told us we couldn’t drink in the dining room anymore. Tim was easy to dodge and push around, but Barry was not one to question. I used that as my cue to leave, and I turned in for the night. The others moved into the TV room and kept the party alive.