Sunday, February 28, 2010

Confessions of a bruncher.

I recently relocated to North Melbourne and have already found my nook for the essential morning double espresso (there ain't a X in eSpresso). It's called Schön, which apparently means 'beautiful' in German, and is an excessively awkward hospitality training cafe with a customer, staff ratio of roughly 1:5. This place has prompted me to list the most ridiculous, infuriating or hilarious instances I have witnessed while brunching, lunching or dining. I'm getting my hospitality snob hat on in a big way.

1. At Mitte, a breakfast/lunch cafe in North Fitzroy, my boyfriend and I had the most eccentric waiter one could imagine. I'm not sure if he just had a real passion for his job, or was bored shitless. As we walked in the door he pointed direct at us, flamboyantly crying 'I'm going to sort the both of you out! Come with me.' And with the curling of an index finger, he invisibly yanked us to the only free table. Watching him deal with other customers was the most squirmishly amusing thing I have done in a long time. The highlight was undoubtably his clearing of an outside table. Upon picking up half full water glasses he flung the contents over the bruncher's heads onto the road in a ballet like swoosh. Unfortunately for the balding gentleman at the table, his aim was not-so-good.

The aforementioned waiter was pretty much this dude, but with cups of water in his hands, shooting the water onto the ground over the top of a very surprised, balding 40 year-old-man.

He also continued to call my boyfriend 'fancy' with a high-pitched posh/pseudo-eighteenth century English accent. It was weird.

2. Every time i go into the aforementioned 'Schön' there seems to be five people doing the same job. They have a little coffee terminal set up out the front, which makes it easy to pick up the ol' coffee and muffin deal ($4!!!) on my way into the world. Yesterday morning there was: three people at the coffee machine, one person bagging muffins, one person standing at the door occasionally rearranging the newspapers and one person hovering over the till. There was NO ONE in the actual restaurant. Zero. I know it's a training facility, but seriously, I would feel too intimidated and watched to want to sit down. I'd have 10 eyes on me at all times. AH. Not only were there five people within a metre of my person, none of them knew how to do anything- and i see the same people there every day.
The first time, I taught this 45 year old student to use the Eftpos machine. It's just not that difficult.
Second time i did a taste test so they knew what flavour the cookie was. apparently of the ten people in the vicinity, no one knew.
I shouldn't bitch, it is cheap, it is close and they are training, but hospitality isn't that confusing. It just isn't.

3. I've only been to Lorne once. The plan was to buy alcohol, get as crunk as possible in 12 hours and drive back the next day to work at 6 pm. An integral part of this plan was to find the greasiest food and strongest coffee for the next morning. Undoubtedly we failed. I believe the delicately named cafe was called the Arab. According to the owner the only solution to the equation Great Ocean Road + pit stop cafe can only = a word which conjures the word 'terrorist' into your average Australian mind (not I dear sir, not I). Anywho. Coffee? Weak as hot milk, but with bubbles I could pop it and get a moment of bubble wrap joy. For the record, when I think of an Eggs Benedict, i like to conjure mountains of creamy hollandaise, burst-in-the-middle poached eggs and crispy english muffins, but no. A meagre tablespoon of hollandaise, closer-to-boiled eggs and soggy toast. WHY MUST THEY TORTURE MY HUNGOVER, GREASE NEEDY STOMACH, not to mention the ramifications for the rest of my body!

God, one year in Melbourne and I'm already under the impression I have foodie status.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm awake at 8am and I do not like it.
Student Timetabling, the system referred to as STS. It's simple, every RMIT student who is in Communications must log onto STS at 8am and make their timetable work. BUT WAIT, the system will crash, and although it's not meant to, STS will allow your classes to clash.
Claps for the STS, really.
Not only this, the system is smug. It's all 'HEY YOU, yeah you little University student, i just wanted to make sure that after making you wake up at 8am and having you refresh to avoid error messages about 50 times, get reeeeeaaal frustrated with the system, yell a little and vent on facebook, YOU HAVE A NICE DAY.'

I am aware computers, software and STS may not actually be that vindictive. By creating that persona, it's easier to hate them.

God, I'm not ready to go back. One more week.

With regard to the title, i was never good at acrostic poems or comebacks. Ta Da.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

apple is right. there is an app for everything.

Instead of spending the little money i have on an expensive lomography camera, i got Hipstamtic. It's an iPhone application that lets cheat all of those Diana F+ users and seem like an arty hipster for the humble price of $2.50.
Check it:

Seen walking from North Melbourne Station to my abode.

A very proudly poached egg on rye bread with Aldi beetroot dip, red onion, parmesan and lemon juice.

My Hog. I know, it's red. And yes, it does go faster.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vometines Day.

Sunday, Valentines Day, was hideously busy. I worked breakfast, lunch and dinner at work (don't worry, i got breaks and food) shrouded by smarmy couples holding hands and being generally romantic. At times i felt like foreplay to their evening which (i imagine) would inevitably end in obligatory V-day sex. Yes, it was a little creepy, although it's very likely all of that was in my head.
But the couples were bearable, they were eating the heinously priced valentines menu, drinking the alcohol and generally throwing money at us.
It was the singles and tables of 3 and above who believed it was my duty to make them forget their lack of that 'special someone'.
I'm not one of those snide angry waiters who looks down their nose at you- not at all. I smile i make them feel the agapi; but when you would utter the 'v' word it was cringe mania.
I'm not sure what was worse, the single cringe or being part of the seduction narrative.

In Melbourne's Sunday Age newspaper, comedian Cal Wilson noted that if couples need Valentines Day to insert romance into their relationship, perhaps the (impulsive) romance has gone. I'm not sure if agree or disagree with that thinking, but I'm unsure that valentines day is now nothing more than a one day boost to the rose, restaurant and chocolate industries.

My father would declare it another day for the capitalist; mindless, pointless spending.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Federal Politics will make my heart beat this year.

I'm already excited about the federal election.
Joyce to the world, for Barnaby.
A man who will speak his mind, dislikes small breasted women and climate change.
Abbott? Who knew he could pull off a rise in the polls?
The budgee smuggling ex-Howard goofy lackey. Climate change is 'complete crap' (according to Tony) but still possible enough to present a low-cost, little-impact policy.
What will Ruddy pull out of his hat for a KEVIN07 sequel?
How will the Opposition sell their very conservative front bench?

Crickey set me off.


Who needs to travel when you've got Planet Earth.

Many of my friends have recently returned from gap year travels - mostly to europe. Goddamn they make you jealous. A joint and a picnic in Amsterdam, road-tripping in Greece and a white Christmas. It makes me want to not eat for a year, save up and catch the travel bug.

Luckily for me one of my new housemates happens to own Planet Earth, a TV series narrated by David Attenborough which has eleven episodes which range from caves to deserts and deep sea to mountains.
Yesterday, along with two of my globe trotting friends, I sat and spent an intimate 10 hours with David. He told and showed us what no tourist experience could.
We would ask a question at the television ('I wonder how many ____ there are') and David Attenborough's narration would answer 'there are only 40 ___ left in the wild' right on cue.
We saw the world's largest waterfall (Angel's Falls) and freakiest birds of paridise (still debated).

The bird of paradise pictured above makes the weirdest clicking noise to attract the ladies. Unfortunately this one was not bouncing high enough and got rejected.

The lengths that those cameramen underwent to capture the snow leopard were enormous. One man spent three years in the Himalayan wilderness to capture a total of 5 minutes of footage. Others risked land mines, gunfire and falling boulders in the volatile Afghan/Pakistani northern border to eventually see a Snow Leopard catch, kill and eat prey.

The series reminded me how Darwin's theory of evolution resounds all over the planet.
The world's largest cave in Borneo is home to over 3 million bats during the day, leaving piles of dung rotting on the ground. Cockroaches and other bugs live off this poop, which in turn feed the spiders which also inhabit the cave.
Without the insects the cave would have filled with dung and been uninhabitable by the bats.

There were so many examples of animals evolving to survive in their environment, and yet humans are unable to do so. We instead alter our environment to suit our needs.

Yeah, shit got deep until we saw the Desert Foxes. With an ear to body proportion like that, how couldn't it fit all five senses in their ears.

We basically ate toastie sandwiches and watermelon, watched Planet Earth, thus justifying a day of nothing.

A perfect day on the Univerity student scale.