Katie’s Birthday

Saturday I didn’t do much at all… cleaned up a tad more, watched tv for a bit – music really sucks these days – and eventually went to vote. Dad & I went up to the school just up the road on his bike, which was fun, although I’d forgotten just how fast it feels on a motorbike. Not that we went all that fast anyway, really, but we did go the long way back – over and down the hill then back via the freeway/highway/whatever.

I really should try riding a motorbike again myself, especially if I’m going to seriously consider getting a motorbike in the U.S. My dad still has his dirt bike sitting in the shed, rusting away… although whether it actually works still at this present moment is uncertain; dirt bikes seem to need a lot of maintenance.

After all that, and chatting with dad & Jens for a while, I finally got together the motivation to head back to Preston. Dad & I decided to move things out on the trailer on Sunday, given he was going out to Geoff’s 50th Saturday night, and I still had a few bits and pieces to pack. Plus, I’d been invited to Katie’s birthday (Katie being Rob’s younger sister, just turned 19), which being at the Pancake Parlour was a hard invite for me to refuse. :D So I didn’t, and went along. I was a bit late arriving, as I’d started packing things up when I’d gotten home and lost track of time a bit. Plus I had it in my head that it started at 7pm, not 6:30pm as was the case, which I didn’t realise ’till 6:10 or so. Whoops. :D

As it turns out I was hardly late anyway; only one other person had arrived, aside from Katie, Jess & Rob whom of course came together. Others trickled in steadily over the next hour or so, and the feast began. :D I had the Chocolate Strawberry Jubilee, my 2nd favourite behind Bavarian Apple, which was as delicious as it was unhealthy. :D

Aside from dinner though, there weren’t any concrete plans for the rest of the night. Katie wanted to go out, because she was feeling bad about the idea of not going out for her birthday, but was rather lethargic after dinner, and nearly didn’t. Luckily, as it turned out, we did finally get a move on, and headed down to Brunswick street to the nightclubs there. This was just my second trip to Brunswick street, and only three days after the first; I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of Melbourne (which is true enough).

The first club we went to was the Night Cat. Saturday’s they have a live jazz band, which was pretty cool. The place was pretty busy, even though it was early – it only opens at 10 or so, apparently, and we got there not long after that. It became progressively more and more busy as the night went on, ’till it was pretty much standing room only, and there wasn’t actually much room for dancing.

And I did actually dance, shock horror! :D I surprised myself as much as anyone, I think, but I thought – hey, we’re here for Kate’s birthday, and I for one am not going to be the one that drags her home prematurely on her own birthday. Plus the music was good, being jazz, and I figured I’d probably look more of an idiot standing against the wall than actually dancing. So, I danced. It took me a while to get into it, given I’ve never really danced before… I think the only other time was the deb, all those years ago, where I perfected that meek shuffling thing that all people who can’t dance do. :D

I started off that way Saturday night, I guess, although I became progressively more adventurous. I also really got into the music at some points, and forgot almost where I was and what I was doing. :D

Kate & her friends went off to Perseverance, another nearby club, fairly early on; I guess they didn’t go so much for jazz. Jess wanted to stay at the Night Cat a while longer, and I thought – probably unnecessarily melodramatically – that I should stay with her just in case. But the Night Cat was a pretty good club, not sleazy or dangerous feeling at all – there were plenty of older singles and couples there, all dancing away happily, all completely oblivious to everyone else there, so it wasn’t a case of creepy old men trying to pick up, as I’d heard many tales of from others over the years.

Eventually the crowds became a bit too much, so Jess & I decided to head on over to Perseverance to join the others. Plus I figured it’d be good to try a few different places, while I was in the mood for such silliness. :)

Perseverance was a bit more spacious, due in no small part to the fact that there were not nearly as many people there, but also because the layout included a lot of tables, lounges, a pool table, etc. I think that’s a bad thing, ultimately, as it meant the demographics of the patrons changed. At the Night Cat people were just dancing, enjoying the music, not paying too much attention to anyone else. There was a pretty even mix of sexes at the Night Cat, and no one was really that drunk. At Perseverance, in contrast, there seemed to be quite a lot of guys just standing around, trying to pick up. That’s kind of how I’ve always pictured nightclubs, and doesn’t interest me much. There seemed to be a hen’s night there as well, mostly older women, who were a little sloshed and at one point sent a drink flying my way, which dampened Kate, myself and probably others. :/

I don’t think Rob was too impressed with the whole scenario, though… he’s as much a natural nightclubber as I am, but didn’t have the unexpected inspiration I did, so I don’t think he was enjoying it much. He too I’m sure didn’t want to interrupt Kate’s fun, but given the three of us came down with Jess in her car, we were all somewhat stuck together in terms of when we left.

Anyway, as it turned out the night was cut short anyway, when one of the girls in our group realised her bag was missing. Much searching and question ensued, but there’s really no accountability in a packed nightclub like that. In hindsight, Jess realised she’d seen a girl pick up and walk off with a bag very much like the one that was taken, which presumably was the one that was taken. The bags were all sitting on a table against the wall, with a jacket over them… it’s hard to imagine anyone could have accidentally picked up the wrong bag – especially given once we started looking for it, we realised there were all of about three white bags in the whole place, none of which looked remotely like the one taken.

So, it seems unavoidable; it was stolen. This seemed to be confirmed by ringing the girl’s mobile phone, still in the bag; initially it just rang out, but then after half an hour or so was switched off.

It killed the mood pretty thoroughly, so we gradually filtered out of the club, and hung around on the street outside while the bouncers were quizzed and Rob & I searched the nearby side streets, on the off chance the thief had merely wanted cash or something and had discarded the bag. No such luck, sadly. While doing that we found there was a police station just around the block, though, which we then filed a report at. What they can really do we don’t know… the club’s manager had already agreed at that point to review the security videos from the time period during which the bag was taken, so maybe – fingers crossed – we can at least get a picture of the thief. But then, tracking them down would likely prove impossible. :(

Still, it’d be nice to have a picture of the suspect, just in case I ever do run into them again. That’s not a dark alley kind of proposition; while I distinctly don’t like criminals like that, I could think up many creative ways to make their life miserable.

But that’s not constructive, really, just a fantasy. The only item of true value that was taken was the bag itself – a rather expensive one, a present from the girl’s mother. But then it’s still a present, no matter what happens to it, so really it’s not as great a loss as most people seem to think. At least, so I think. The other things in the bag – phone, cash, bankcard, keys – can all be replaced. The locks might need to be changed at the poor girl’s home, given her license was in the bag and has her address on it of course, but I would hope we’re only dealing with a petty thief, whom wouldn’t be stupid enough to then go break into the house.

Of course, perhaps I should pray that we are, because that would likely improve the odds of catching the culprit.

Anyway, that all sucked, obviously. The girl was pretty good about it though, really, and could still laugh even while all this was going on, so I think it’ll turn out okay in any case.

From there we drove home (back to Jess’, where I’d left my car), and I then went to my home from there. I went more or less straight to bed; I was contemplating a shower, given I’d been rather sweaty from the dancing, but I didn’t smell that bad to my own nose, so I didn’t bother. :D

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to shower until Sunday afternoon, which did become bothersome, but ah well. :)

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