What would your last words be? It’s an interesting thought as I am sure most people don’t have any very well thought out last words unless they are being hung, such as Ned Kelly (who’s last words were, incidentally, “Such is life”).

You guessed it, my last day in Melbourne before heading back to the (semi) real world. I had a nice sleep until about 10 am and have decided that I never want to work 9-5. I’d happily do 11-7, or even 12-8. I am not a morning person and definitely do not want to do 9-5 though. So we were supposed to go back to Misty’s Diner for breakfast as I really, REALLY wanted french toast. Unfortunately, I was still full from the night before and Ivo refused to pay for breakfast since they had toast for free. Instead we decided to head to USA foods. A warehouse in Melbourne that stocks…you guessed it… AMERICAN FOOD!!! Now, normally I wouldn’t advocate an “average” American diet, if only for the fact that the “average” American is actually obese (levels are at 60% of the population and that doesn’t include people who are simply classified as ‘overweight) and my generation is actually the first generation in ages that is most likely not going to live as long as their parents, with a life expectancy of 3-5 years less then their parents.

While we are here I’m going to lecture on the importance of a balanced diet. Now, I’m a big fan of sugary cereals. Ivo can bear witness to me jumping up and down and screaming like a kid at Christmas when I spotted a box of Cinammon Toast Crunch. Australia has made a point of not having a vast aray of diabetes causing cereals. The only really American cereal that is sugary that I can get here is froot loops and I’m not really a fan of those. So instead, I have to get the food where I can (and my body is much happier for it I’m sure). These types of foods I definitely consider a snack food now and not an actual meal. Kids… stick to eating wheat toast and fruit and healthy cereals for breakfast (eggs is also a good option), healthy food for lunch and dinner and limit your intake of ice cream (but don’t limit the intake of Hershey’s on the ice cream) for your dessert.

Okay, back to USA foods. I walked into the store in a complete state of euphoric bliss. Jolly ranchers by the bagful, boxes and boxes of Cap’n Crunch Berries, Peanut butter crunch, Lucky Charms, Cinammon toast crunch…I was in heaven. I might also add at this point that I also bought Graham Crackers and Hershey bars (for s’mores), Jambalaya mix, Jambalaya seasoning, Sloppy Joe seasoning, California olives (I don’t like the olives in Australia for whatever reason), Enchilada seasoning, a giant back of Hershey’s kisses (which I left in the car when I got home and melted and had to wait another 3 days before they were solid enough to eat again) and I would have bought Snapples, but they didn’t have any Pink Lemonade. Aryn was a sad panda. I actually bought so much food I couldn’t fit it in my carry-on home so Ivo had to bring some back with him when he came back to Sydney. Oh yes, I also bought myself Sunflower seeds. If anyone ever has any desire to send me gifts (hint cough cough) I will happily take Fischer’s or David regular salted in the shell sunflower seeds. They will make it through customs.

After this we decided to stop at the old Melbourne gaol (jail for American’s). This historic jail (I’m going to use the American spelling as that is what I feel more comfortable with) housed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, including the infamous Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly was an anarchist and in today’s terms would probably be called a terrorist. Fair enough. Now I’m sure no one is disputing his criminal record and the fact that he definitely deserved to be hung by those days standards, however the dispute in his hanging was actually because of a lack of due process, mis-trial, etc.

When you go into this jail (note, if you are obese you probably can’t get in as the jail was built when 5’6″ was still tall for a man) many of the cells are open with information about the people who stayed in them. You can see their death masks (the molds of their head taken by the coroner), newspaper clippings about them and letters that were written while they were in jail. It also gives a bit of history about the person. Australia is extremely multi-cultural so it would say which country they came from and when, what their crime was, and a little bit about their lives. It was all extremely fascinating and we ended up spending about 3 hours in the jail all up. We also were able to see where Ned Kelly was kept, a timelined history of the jail and where they hung the prisoners. Apparently, prisoner’s were given 5 pounds (back when they used British currency) for doing the honours of hanging someone else. Not an insignificant sum back then.

There was also a bit of history about the women in the jail. It’s fascinating to see what people used to go to jail for. Women would be hauled off for anything from vagrancy (being homeless), indecency (cursing or drinking in the streets), stealing, murder, etc., baby farming (taking in children for a fee when mother’s couldn’t afford their children), prostitution and back alley abortions. You could also see information of all the women who had been housed in the jail and what for and you could also see some of their death masks.

An interesting thing about these death masks is they were used in phrenology. Phrenology is a psuedo-science that states that one can determine someone’s personality and whether or not they will be a criminal based on lumps and bumps on their skull. This made it a bit difficult to determine if women had been destined to be criminals as it was determined improper to shave the hair off the dead women so they had their death masks done with hair still on their head. What’s the point really?

During this self-guided tour of the jail they also had 2 other activity options. One was a re-enactment of the Ned Kelly (mis)trial and the other was the experience of being arrested. As I’ve already ended up in the back of a cop car once in my life (totally legit, I swear) and that was uncomfortable enough I really didn’t fancy being handcuffed and thrown in a cell. We chose the Ned Kelly re-enactment. It was interesting, needless to say, but probably not something I would see again unless taking someone who had never been.

All in all, the Melbourne Gaol was definitely worth a peek, and very reasonably priced at about $30 for non-students and $18 for students I think.

After that I was officially hungry so we headed back to Misty’s. I was able to order my French toast with bacon on the side and Ivo ordered more ribs. The bacon was AMAZING. No offence, Australia, but your bacon is crap. It tastes like ham and I don’t like ham. Misty actually smokes her own bacon. It’s amazing. I recommend getting it. She even came over to have a chat with us and we had a wonderful chat about the amazingness of smoked bacon dipped in maple syrup while Ivo looked on in disgust. My french toast was drowning in fruit syrup and maple syrup and whipped cream and butter and it was in a massive American portion. Deliciousness was enjoyed by all.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), I had to catch a flight (which ended up being a rather interesting flight if nothing else) back home to Sydney and so we left without dessert (though the french toast could possibly count as dinner and dessert). While it was nice to have a rest I did have Health law and bioethics the next morning at 9am and thus was back to my usual stressful schedule.

Pictures can now be seen here

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