I was due to fly out of Melbourne on Saturday the 24th of July, and due to a comedy of errors (read: I am an idiot), I thought that my night at the Consul's place was on Tuesday, not Thursday. So, I had to push back the farewell dinner Hoops said I should have back to the night before my departure. Before heading into the city, I thought that I should probably only have three or four drinks at most throughout the night, because I still needed to do all of my packing the following day. This didn't happen.
I started the night opposite Flinders Street Station over at Taxi or Transport or Transit. I can never remember which of these three bars/restaurants in the same building is which. Anyway, while there I already managed to drink two drinks by accident because Steph Bower bought me a going away drink (what followed on might be linked back to this drink so I blame you, Bower!). From there, with a photo of the two of us and the Arts Centre spire in the background safely on my shiny new camera (thanks Dad!), I wandered over to Chinatown to a restaurant I'd never been to, and the name of which eludes me even now.
However, this is not to say that it wasn't memorable. Those of us there decided to go with a set menu banquet spread, with each person picking a different main course so that we basically had a buffet of 8 or so dishes to share between us. It was all pretty bloody good, if I do say so myself, and I think we were all very impressed by the Peking Duck. Brunner managed to turn up fashionably late and throw a spanner in the works for the exactly numbered entrees, but after that we managed fine with the great spread of food. Nicely picked, Hooper. And thanks heaps for making up for the fact that I'm a completely useless bastard and organising a going away dinner for me in the first place too, mate.
The impromptu speech session (where everyone told a story about something stupid and/or memorable I'd done) was also a nice touch, though the forced right of reply left me standing like an idiot for far too long, as I mumbled something about thanking everyone for turning up and saying that I'd miss them all. That, and the fact that I knocked over several glasses of sparkling wine throughout several toasts also meant that I had already left the 3-4 drink limit way behind me before we'd even moved onto our next destination.
Lucy arrived as we were almost ready to leave, and while Brunner had ducked off to some other seedy establishment, some of us decided to go to Ondergronds for another drink, which was the same place Hoops and I had his birthday and my going away drinks several weeks earlier. Irish, Rory, Brendan and Connie headed straight to Irish's, but I assured them I'd end up there later. Hoops, Kiel, Lucy, Claire and I wandered into Ondergronds and I got... a free shot with Hoops and the manager as we walked in the door to thank us for having our party there earlier. So much for staying sober the night before a flight...
The five of us had a great time at Ondergronds, with Hoops' random procurement of a giant jar of lollies from nowhere seeming miraculous, and the five of us taking over the d-floor for some ridiculous gyrating and flailing (at least on my part) being fond memories. From there, Kiel Hoops and I rejoined the others at Irish's, and it must've been about 1-2am by this stage. A good night's sleep and a day without a hangover were certainly seeming a lot less likely by this stage.