Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Economist's No 1 City (Not Vancouver)

Oh Gods, was it something evil like salmonella hidden in a McDonalds Cheeseburger or Campylobacter jejuni in the foreskin of a Chorizo at a swanky Melbournian tapas bar?  I don't know but it caused havoc at the tail end of a trip down Melbourne way.  It's been a while since I've had to endure the dehydrating effects of gastroenteritis (that horrible gagging which strains every muscle in the body but has the benefit of totalling ripping your abs) but at least it happened on the Sunday and not on the Thursday.  It's also particularly unpleasant to hit with a hangover as you can't even keep an aspirin down to quell the headache (although it does purge your body of most of the undigested wine).  An interesting sojourne to the slightly less good capital of Australia - great accommodation (abused from a local union chapter!), great transport (from both public options as well as infrastructure for the preferred two-wheel option - always a good idea to take a bike when you're visiting a foreign city) and great entertainment - the Writing Festival of the UNESCO's latest City of Literature (interesting to note that if you want to get your city named a city of literature all it takes is hiring the guy who got the last city of literature named - he's incorrigible - he'd get Broken Hill named the City of Lit if you posted him there for a month).  Saw a fairly decent showing of shows - some of books that I knew (Chris Master's Jonestown was a very interesting chat and is a very interesting book, which is written by a very interesting and very gentlemanly man), some that I didn't (Shakedown (about East Timor) and something about press freedom's in China - did get drunk with the authors so I think I'm pretty much obliged to read these now) and one that I really have a half cocked view of - Germaine Greer is one of the most fascinating Australians ever - she writes pretty interesting articles that I always half-agree with and she was pretty much the figurehead of a feminism for decades before she (or the movement, depending on who you ask) went mad. 
Seeing the fambly, eating Crocodile, driving in a FIAT 500 and getting a jacket (which I barely needed) rounded out a weekend.  Leaving the confidentials aside may have been inopportune but it was definitely worth it.

No comments: