Late Night Melbourne Adventure

Throughout the trip, I had a knack of getting myself into adventures late at night.  This is partly because I oftentimes become separated from the rest of the group while out at bars while talking to local people.  I also think it’s because I enjoy being on my own, especially when you’re around the same people 24/7 for weeks at a time.  No offense, guys!  Y’all are a ton of fun, but after growing up as an only child I need my Andrew time.  I usually got this time off on my own adventuring around cities late at night, meeting new people and having unforgettable experiences that would only otherwise happen in a John Hughes movie.

This was one of those nights.

I was with Stephen, Nate, and his crew at about 10:00pm on a Tuesday in Melbourne.  We were looking for a cool bar to go to, as usual.  Also as usual, our large group was practically stranded on the sidewalk staring over a map trying to figure out where we were in the massive city (Melbourne is like the New York City of Australia).  Lo and behold, a scruffy-looking Aussie approaches us.  He’s carrying a trashbag full of all sorts of goodies, I’m sure, and as naturally as any American would most of the group huddled together for safety.  I, on the other hand, walked up to the man and saw this as an excellent opportunity to find a good bar to go to.

“Ah, ye got to go to Cookie if they’re open tonight, Mate!”  He chortled, quickly adding “It’s a rooftop bar!”  Stephen immediately shot up a Got ‘Em, remembering one of our other adventures late night in Sydney a few weeks back.  We quickly received directions and made our way 5-6 blocks down the street to the elusive rooftop bar.

No elevator, so we had to climb 8 flights of stairs.  It was totally worth it, though!  The bar had an unforgettable view of the Melbourne cityscape, right in the center of the city.  We ordered beers and found our spot in the back corner, away from the rest of the Aussie regulars.  The drink was good, the music was great, everyone was laughing and having fun.  Got ’em.

I went to the bar at the other end of the roof to order a beer when I heard a girl at a table behind me pipe up something in a strong American accent.  By that I don’t mean any sort of American dialect, just the fact that she wasn’t speaking with an Aussie or Canadian twang.  I whip around and inquire, “you American!”  Everyone knows if you’re an American by the way you pronounce your “r’s.”  Aussies say ’em like “ah,” while Americans pronounce the letter the um…proper way?  Anyways, before I even received my change I had joined the group of Australian uni students, swapping stories of America and abroad.

Before too long my group had come looking for me, explaining that it was about time for them to leave.  I look to my newfound Aussie mates and wave my group on, insisting that I was alright and would see them in the morning.

I ended up clubbing with the Australians all night, which mainly consisted of brief moments of intense dancing and then retreating to the back patio for drinks and talk.  The talk far outweighed the dancing, by all accounts of the evening.  I was fascinated to have learned that even a few of the people in the group had toured America!  We talked and talked and talked until sunrise, which was the symbol for everyone to start heading home.

That’s when I saw it.  I was crossing the bridge in the middle of the Yarra River in the center of Melbourne when I watched the sunrise.  Being mainly from the suburbs, I had never really seen a mega city come to life before.  It was beautiful, and unfortunately words cannot describe the experience.  I guess I’ll just have to write all of this into a movie one day, because honestly it’s all so much better in my head than it is on paper.

-Andrew Riley

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