Today we are off to see the final tennis match between Djokovic and Nadal, courtesy of Franco’s tickets.
Even at this early hour in the morning, the weather seems especially inclement so I grab my wide-brimmed sunhat and just in case, a warm cashmere scarf.
I feel it is a good choice as I step off the boat as it is a typical Melbourne day—freezing cold rain-squalls, followed by brilliant, warm sunshine.
“Where is this tennis centre?” I ask Bill.
“Apparently it’s across the border in France,” he says, consulting his phone.
“Are you serious? We have to leave the country?”
“Well, it’s not a very big country,” he says with a smile.
He’s right, as we walk, the distance on the GPS is gobbled up quickly despite it being all up hill. I occasionally catch glimpses of my reflection in windows as we walk. I look more carefully and it dawns on me that my absolutely favourite purplish Motto outfit doesn’t quite match my absolutely favourite red-toned cashmere scarf, and neither of them match my favourite blue-striped wide-brimmed sun hat.
It also dawns on me that some of my friends, who were nagging me about the need to pack a couple of days in advance of the trip, rather than leaving it all for the day that I was flying out, maybe had a good point.
Unfortunately, their wisdom is too late for today.
It doesn’t take long before we arrive and mill around the entrance with the rest of the crowd.
I can’t help but feel uncomfortable. The men here are very open about giving me a once-over glance that could not be more salacious if I was standing naked in front of them twirling condoms around my little finger, which I feel I am doing every time they catch my eye. I am sure this type of look is against the law in Melbourne.
Just to make matters EVEN worse—yep, of course there’s down from down—two great big, disgusting, in-your-face cold-sores took up residence on my lips last night, which combined with the residual swelling of my eyes from a flying Easter egg that I missed catching after it was playfully thrown at me by my daughter on Easter Sunday, make me look like a guppy-faced monster.
More than one man gives me the once-over, then gets to my face and physically recoils in horror.
Serves them right, I think. I tell you, this living the life of Riley isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. But the match is great! Still, I can’t wait to take advantage of our free lunch tickets.
“I’m sorry Madam,” the waiter says when it is finally our turn to be served. “This ticket does not give you entrance to this restaurant.”
“Oh,” says Bill. “Which restaurant will it give us entrance to?”
The waiter wordlessly points to the other side of the grounds, then looks past us to the people waiting behind. I feel we’ve been dismissed and none too gently at that.
It seems to take forever to walk to the other side of the grounds and I’m glad I wore my hat. The sun is quite hot now and I’m quite hungry.
We join another queue. When we arrive at the entrance, Bill hands our tickets over.
“I’m sorry Sir. This ticket does not give you entrance to this restaurant.”
Bill looks incredulous. “But we were just told it did.”
The waiter shakes his immaculately groomed head, his eyes starting to glaze over with insolent disinterest.
Bill sighs recognising he’s not going to get anywhere by arguing. “So which restaurant does it give us entrance to?”
The waiter points behind us to the restaurant we’d just come from.
“But they just sent us here,” Bill bursts out.
The waiter shrugs and once again we are dismissed none-the-wiser.
We buy a sandwich from a food van instead. It is delicious.