Monday, June 21, 2010

Three Dollar Mystery Bets in Albury

Today Mitchel drove me around the town of Wodonga, and the town of Albury. We headed out to “The Mall.” Ohh! The Mall!

It reminded me of the mall in Huntsville, Ontario – except it had a Target. What is this place doing with a Target when Canada doesn't have any? Canada – we need more Targets! Aside from that, there wasn't much going for the mall, except for the great EB sale pricing video games way down. I wonder if that's happening back in Ontario, too – because these sales? Fantastic. Half price for all.

I also discovered just how small town this place was, as Mitchel knew everyone we walked past in the mall.

From there we headed to Albury where the main street was bumping, and shops were worth taking a little gander at. I was also told of which clubs and bars had the best scene. The answer? None. There are cougars, and sketchy places (feral), and then an Irish pub. That's the best of your choices, from what I could make out.

From there? Off to the University of the Future. The roofs are grass, and the buildings look like the future – just like Shanghai. Those roofs that are not made of organic substances were covered in solar panels ready to keep the environment clean. An as if that wasn't enough to convince people to keep looking after the planet, they had many dips in the road, waiting and hiding to crunch your front bumper.

As if future university wasn't the highlight, we then headed to what has been called Australia's most recognizable war memorial. It's a white tower on a hill. It offers a great view of Albury, and an acceptable view of Wodonga.

It also offered views of children running down the hill, “that one's about to spill!” exclaimed Mitchel. About three seconds later, the small child was flying through the air, landing moments later, in tears.

And that was that. Back at home Mitchel's dad was about to head out to watch a minor league footy game. Not being one to turn down live sports, I headed out with him. This may have been a mistake. But probably not.

Watching game with Mitchel's father, and two of his friends, we saw quite possibly the worst team in the minors. Now, I'm not saying it was bad, because there really is no bad AFL game. Even at its worse, there are still solid plays, and individual moments that can pull you back, despite losing by eighty points.

Half way through the last quarter it was declared lost. We left for the bar.

Rounds were bought, and I was introduced to the Australian pastime of gambling.

We all threw some money onto the bar, and took turns heading over to the betting machine and buying three dollar mystery bets, which would pick three dogs, or three horses, in whatever the next race was. You need those three to come first, second, and third. In any order.

Each race? A minute or two. Every race, another bet. This would be a good way to go broke in a hurry, but with each person taking a turn, the money was spread out. I'd also like to note that my ticket was the only that won – bringing thirty two dollars back into the pot. Of course, this was soon thrown back and lost to the world of more three dollar mystery bets.

At some point this started and we headed back.

A JB (local beer) hat was placed on my head, and there was cream cheese and crackers. Then lasagna. And then I seem to recall saying I was going to sleep at seven thirty, to wake up at midnight to watch the Australia v. Ghana (Ghana, Ghana!) World Cup game.

Against all odds, I did wake up for this.

And then found myself online at three in the morning.

And then I was sleeping. And then awake. And then sleeping. And then awake. It was a mix between being very hot, or very cold, and drinking many a delicious can of Solo lemon.

Three dollar mystery bets, and the world that surrounds them. These are no ones friends. Not on an empty stomach, anyway.

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