A "big win" at the Casino

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February 12th 2010
Published: February 19th 2010
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Went shopping on my own to the DPO center in Melbourne this morning. Stopped at Starbucks first (why does their coffee taste so crap!) then hit the shops. It was nice to stroll around, not in a rush to search for something in particular. Usually when I NEED to buy something (shoes to go with an outfit, or a birthday present for a friend) I have great difficulty. My current Sophie Kinsella book (Twenties Girl) is frustratingly boring, so I picked up a new one in the Mens section (fancied a change) and went to Gloria Jean's Coffee house to read for the rest of the morning.
Sat on a leather armchair by the window opposite Southern Cross station. I read a few chapters, then looked up to observe my fellow coffee drinkers: People reading the paper; listening to iPods; typing furiously on their laptops; and barking orders down their Blackberry's. Some old women in sports gear scuttled in for a caffeine hit before their morning Power Walk. There was one guy who was reading the paper with a permanent smile plastered to his face. Over the next 15minutes I kept looking up to check... yep, still smiling! I wanted to take the paper from him and find out, what, exactly was so amusing?!
It was a gray dreary day outside and my cup of tea had gone cold (don't drink coffee that often so if I have more than one in a day I get twitchy) and yet I still got waves of this tingling sensation in my lower back, a feeling I often associate with being totally relaxed and content. I let my mind wander, taking in the faces, the fashion, and the fancy cars. The contrast between the modern train station, and the old stone buildings was strange to look at, but it didn't feel wrong... just different.
'The Age' is the popular daily newspaper here in Melbourne, and their office opposite to where I was sitting was broadcasting snippets of today's headlines on their big screen: "Young boy impaled on Steak Knife"; "Former US president Bill Clinton recovering from heart surgery".
Some guy snapped me out of my daydream: "Chris?"... he looked at me questioningly. I blinked, hoping when I opened my eyes he wouldn't be there and I'd imagined it. Did I just hear him correctly? "Just run that by me again" I thought. As if reading my mind, he repeated himself: "Chris?". Outraged, I glared at him. Do I LOOK like a fucking Chris?!! To my relief, a tall brunette dressed all in black with knee high boots called out to him, frantically waving her arms. OK, my mistake, she must be a Christine or something. I watched them leave right away. Gutted. I didn't even get to find out why he was meeting a woman he didn't already know.
Walked to meet Ellie and Steph and had a quiet afternoon at the apartment. I'm still struggling with Jet-lag which is strange since we didn't get it when we got to Asia. Steph said her and Graeme experienced exactly the same when they did the trip from Manchester to Thailand to Melbourne in the middle of last year. Hit the Passion Pop while getting ready then walked to the Casino by 9pm. Changed $10 in to chips after deciding that was my maximum to gamble with. We were all glammed up in our maxi-dresses & party frocks, and turned heads everywhere we walked, which was a great ego boost. After backpacking for so long, you kind of forget you can look nice when you make an effort.
Not really paying attention after numerous glasses of wine, I put $2.50 on 3 numbers on the Roulette table, then clapped as someone won, looking round the table excitedly for the lucky winner. The dealer told me I was the lucky winner! Woohoo, I snapped back my $2.50 chip pleased I'd won this money back. Bemused, the dealer told me to put it back on the table, then stacked it high with other chips. Oh right, I've actually won more than $2.50??
Yes, $87.50 to be exact.
My Grandpa has always said "Gambling is a Mugs game" (despite him being a journalist for the Racing Post the majority of his working life), so I took his advice and walked away with $87.50 in my purse.
We went for another glass of wine in world bar, where we met a friend of Graeme's who looked like Tin Tin, then 'one for the road' in another bar. El got chatting to an Aussie on the way home, who said he'd been to England only once for a game of Cricket - to a place called Macclesfield! He wondered if we knew where that was. Erm, well you could say that. Steph even owns an apartment there.

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