On our last day in Perth we had to wake up really early. There were few cars available to transport all of us to catch the next flight, and I had the bad luck of being in the first lot. We waited for a couple of hours until everybody else arrived. Naturally, I got hungry. I was about to buy an overpriced salad fruit and a coffee when I remembered I had teriyaki beef nuggets (same brand as the jerky) and a sachet of Vital Greens.
The flight to Melbourne was again in Qantas. It got a bit delayed (the luggage belt broke down) but that didn’t harm our schedule. We were served lunch; by the time the attendants hit my row there was no more chicken, only beef casserole. I didn’t mind it, as I eat virtually anything as long as it’s tasty. The beef was tender, the gravy was flavoursome, and it was served with potatoes, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. There was also a bread roll, biscuits and butter on the tray, which I didn’t touch, but I did eat the thick slice of Tasty cheese as dessert. I also had water and a cup of coffee.
We arrived at Melbourne around 6 pm. A bus took us to our hostel in St Kilda, The Base. The place was full of drunken kids. There was loud music coming out of the speakers of the bar in the ground floor. We were shown how the card keys worked and walked our way up to our rooms via the staircase with carpets that I suspect haven’t been vacuumed since the hostel opened (the lift was out of order).
I was assigned a 4-bed room with 3 people I didn’t know. Two of them were girls that I haven’t seen awake yet, they’ve been lying on their beds making occasional noises (sleeping noises, not farting).
Guests at The Base are entitled to free breakfast and dinner. We didn’t have much time before we had to leave, so we just had dinner there. A guy behind a hot display served us what looked like a cheap but decent fried rice with chicken. Just looked like. I have had my share of bad meals during my lifetime but this was ridiculous. It tasted like leftovers of the leftovers. Apparently they had thrown some corn, plus overcooked peas and broccoli with week-old rice (felt undercooked but I think it was the unpleasant crunchiness that appears after a few days of sitting in the fridge). The pieces of chicken were the only half-decent ingredients in the “dish”. There were also a few pieces of a weird-tasting sausage. Seasoning was a bit of ginger, and I suppose a tiny bit of salt. I had to drown the thing in BBQ sauce (which I don’t really like) to make it more palatable.
Free dinner at The Base
After eating we were to the Buddhist centre for a Q&A session with our lama. Then we stayed there for drinks (again, none for me) as long as we could to avoid going back to the filthy hostel.