Grapeshot Travel Story: Jed roller-derbies through Melbourne

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Name: Jedediah Ebert

Place Travelled: Melbourne

What was your favourite place and why? 

Revolver upstairs. I didn’t know what to expect, I made friends with a boy named Jack who took my hand for the weekend and exposed me to Melbourne’s unique and wild nature. The music was a combination of progressive deep house and psychedelic trance. Wearing something different was encouraged and for the first time in my clubbing career I felt more accepted for me than anywhere else before.

I couldn’t tell what was more difficult: climbing the never-ending stairs to the entrance arriving at 12pm Saturday night, or stumbling down the steps and being greeted by the sun at 9am on Monday morning. Something you can’t do in Sydney clubs anymore. Everyone was friendly and I danced for 21 hours straight.

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Five items that were absolute must have on your trip? 

  • Dr Martens, I always travel with them. It just makes sense. Stylish, comfortable, supportive and classic.
  • Portable charger. I spend too much time on my phone and need a back-up plan if I’m out.
  • Service station Harley Davidson sunnies. Cheap, so if I lose them I don’t care. Plus, behind them I can hide from the mistakes of the night before.
  • Wind-breaker jacket. Victoria in winter is not the warmest of the states, so it’s essential to have a light jacket that does the job.
  • Disposable camera. I love capturing strange shots of people and hoping for the best when it’s developed.

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Did you find any sights or activities down the road less travelled? 

The reason I went to Melbourne in the first place was to visit my friend Kelly from our old school. After she moved to Victoria we grew distant, but had always promised each other a weekend together. We finally got around to catching up during my five nights in the wonderful world of Melbourne. On the first night I got to the airport, Kelly picked me up and expressed her concern for a prior commitment she had forgot was on that night.

She drove us towards the city and explained that she just needed an hour of my time to watch her in a new sport she had just started: roller derby. After spending an hour watching my old friend participate in an aggressive and hands on activity, she asked if I wanted to try it. I signed up for a beginners class running later that night and, embarrassingly, failed. I walked away from it sweaty, bruised and dizzy. Not recommended for myself again.

#TBT to the weirdest thing to happen to you on the trip? 

I was at a house party in Fitzroy at 3am on Saturday morning when I noticed yelling coming from my friends lounge room. I walked through the long hall of the crusty old town house and discovered a group of randoms all having the same acid trip. The group of friends all had their eyes shut tight and asked if I could help them see again.

Due in part to the large amount of alcohol consumed, I had no real idea as to what they were saying or how to cure them of their blindness. They explained that there was a wizard in the corner of the room that cast a spell on them. So I retrieved a glass of warm water, dipped my fingers in, and brushed all of their eyelids. I told them the spell was lifted and discovered my friend watching from the back window the entire time while wearing a Donald Trump facemask.

Mandatory student austerity question: What was the budget like? 

Considering I had just driven back from Splendour a day before I flew to Melbourne, money was already non-existent. I borrowed $400 from my mother and survived five nights. I suggest staying with friends or family if possible.

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Through researching cheap food spots and bars, I managed to stay alive. Fly with Tiger or Jetstar, stay in a hostel or a mate’s bed and eat 2 minute noodles. The the rest is up to you… (cheap alcohol). The Art Gallery of Victoria is free, which is one of my favourite things to do every time I’m in Melbourne, and all the trams are free within the CBD. Ultimately Melbourne is cheaper than Sydney, but the nights last longer, so be prepared to spend more. 

#Foodbucketlist: Best eats? 

SOS Café, Top Paddock, Kettle Black, Hammer and Tong, Naked for Satan, Auction rooms Café.

 What advice would you give to other people who are traveling?

Research accommodation around the city and flights; make sure you’re paying within your means. Save lots because more is always safer than less when it comes to money and travel. Go to Revolver and dance until you’ve seen the sun come up twice.

My travel mantra is…

Remember to wear protection, eat and sleep regularly, and always try to be up for something new.


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