This is what Whittlesea looks like. Gorgeous, you gotta admit. We’ve been here two weeks, Jen’s father just informed us. Neat!
Things are going alright. Have there been difficult moments? Oh, yes. Have there been times when Jen and I ask ourselves and each other what in God’s name we have done to our lives? There have, sure. There have been times where all I want to do is lay in bed and stare out the window and tell everyone to leave me alone until I feel better. But, luckily there is always stuff to do, and I feel better much faster than I would have had I stayed in bed. I’ve tried the stay-in-bed method. It’s not super successful.
And anyway, there has been a lot to feel good about. Yesterday we found an area in which we might like to live. It’s called Carlton. My wife and I both felt a good vibe driving through it, a sort of Brooklynesque vibe. I saw what looked to be a nice bookstore from the car. A nice bookstore is one thing I look for in choosing a place to live. Others include access to movie theaters, places to do standup, a good coffeeshop, restaurants, maybe a vinyl shop. I don’t buy vinyl, but I will go into vinyl shops and say “Do you sell CDs?” and sometimes the vinyl guy will point to a lone cardboard box on the floor and say, “Dig around in that box.” And then I get on the floor and dig around like a dog, finally settling on a dusty, broken copy of a R.E.M. album I don’t even want.
We got out of the car and went inside the bookshop. Everything was 40% off. I asked why. It’s because they are closing soon. The fellow at the register said ten Melbourne bookstores have closed recently.
“Oh no! Why?” I asked.
“Well, it’s very sad, mate,” he said, “but the truth is…Australians can’t read.”
“Really? None of them?”
“Not a one.”
“So…you can’t read? And you work in a bookstore?”
Pretty sad story, if you ask me. Anyway I didn’t buy anything. Wasn’t that great of a bookstore.
Next, we ate at one of the cafes there. We both ordered burgers, only to be told by the nice Asian lady that they were all out of buns. “You should try the mushroom toast,” she told me. She didn’t say it just like that, but in a more Asian phrasing, which I won’t type out because of all the controversy surrounding that new SNL cast member. My opinion on the matter is the same as it always is when something like this happens: comedy is bad. Anyway, I tried the mushroom toast. Not that great! I could take the bookstore closing and the no-buns-having-restaurant as omens that Carlton is not the place for us after all, but I won’t. Jen’s into it, I’m into it, let’s freakin do it.
I have my first Melbourne comedy gig tonight. I hope it goes well.