Reality is an Illusion Created by a Lack of Alcohol – Day 145

October 23, 2010 1 Comment


365 Days to a Balanced Life Journey – Day 145


Quote of the Day

Australia used to be one of the world’s great drinking nations.  It is believed that during the Convict era, when rum was used as currency, the colony’s inhabitants drank more alcohol per capita than any other time in human history.  The rate of consumption is understandable considering that the first fleet brought enough food for two years and enough grog for four.

Did you ever notice that two weeks of your vacation fly by faster than two hours in the dentist chair? (I know as I spent several hours in that chair getting four crowns and dropping seven thousand dollars just before leaving for Australia)

I enjoyed my two weeks in my little apartment in Melbourne but I am ready to move on to the Gold Coast.  I was getting into a great routine of nourishing my mind with good books, writing, working out every day, eating good clean food, walking through the city and indulging my passion for the game of poker with some of the craziest people who have ever played the game!

I was consistent with a treadmill program that supposedly is ideal for those of us who have belly fat.  It takes only 20 minutes every day and seems to be working.  The workout involves walking at a good pace for 3 minutes and then 2 minutes at a very brisk pace.  Do this four times substituting one strenuous 2 minute segment with an incline walk (or backward walk if you are outside).  I followed this with a light weight workout and in two weeks I see a big difference.  I don’t recommend trying to walk backwards on the treadmill though.

With all my soul searching and health regime, I still found time to explore.  Melbourne is a beautiful city and the people are generally friendly and welcoming.  I was interested to see the excitement that horse race season has on the general population. It must be said that the Australians like their drink and their gambling and from my observation they are reckless with both.

As this is the beginning of their racing season there is still a lot of energy to party.  I had the unfortunate experience of being trapped in the poker room until 6am on Saturday night after the big Cup Race.  I tried to leave at midnight but it was pandemonium outside and getting a cab was next to impossible.  So I waited until 2am, even worse.  At 3:30am, desperate to get home, I decided to try the hotel entrance.  I was swarmed by drunks leaving the nightclubs.  Fights were breaking out.  Couples were crying in corners.  It was bedlam.  I took a wrong turn and ended up outside but it was ok because I wasn’t alone, there were about 2000 drunks out there as well, some fighting, some crying.  I tried to hail a cab but was unsuccessful so I made my way back to the safety of my sober poker buddies. 

The whole experience was excruciating because I had the worst run of luck for 4 hours (winning only one hand and losing several hundred dollars).  It was like some Gambling Addiction Therapy forcing me to play poker exhausted and luckless for hours until I screamed “Enough, I quit the game!!”  Of course we know that won’t happen but I was close to it in those desperate early hours of Sunday morning.

What I won’t miss about Melbourne are the cab drivers.  These have to be a collection of  the most derelict, rude and probably dangerous drivers I have ever seen in all my travels.  I constantly had to negotiate with them to take me the short distance to my apartment with the promise of double the fare but even then they were rude, unresponsive and drove dangerously. 

If you want to see an example of incompetence just watch a casino security guard acting as temporary doorman try to direct a group of drunken Australians into cabs.  I stood in line one night for 30 minutes in the cold with plenty of cabs there to take us but either the cabbies were being difficult or the drunks were.  As for the doorman directing this fiasco? He appeared to have given up.  One cab almost slammed into the back of another and before his third passenger could get completely into the cab started to take off.  All of us watched in horror as this poor girl tried to avoid injury. 

In my opinion, this is a black mark on Melbourne tourism and they need to do more than just talk about the problem.  I question if some of these foreign drivers even have licenses and definitely some of them are on drugs.  One particularly scary and unresponsive one had the dead eyes of a serial killer.  I almost took my chances walking home late at night; at times it seemed like an equal risk.

Thank you to my young friend Zac (also known as ZaZa) for being a wonderful guide and companion during my stay. 

Of course, what I didn’t do enough of in Melbourne was meditate.  I do not know why I am so undisciplined in this area.  I have all the best intentions but yet never seem to be able to calm my mind enough to do it.  Oh well, there is always the Gold Coast beaches to sit and meditate on right?

One Comments to “Reality is an Illusion Created by a Lack of Alcohol – Day 145”
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