Night Out Receipts

Night Out Receipts: Negronis, Fare Evading, the Wrong Bus Home

Who knew such a standard Sunday night out in Melbourne could cost this much money and dignity.
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Nina, 27, Abbotsford

Sunday: I’m starting my night out in the green after a beautiful afternoon with my boyfriend made even better because I didn’t spend a dime. We went to Yum Cha in the CBD for lunch and I excused myself to the bathroom when it was bill time, which is my number one money saving hack when dating men. Don’t even offer to pay. Just disappear. The bill was about $80 and parking was a grotesque $16, which I did try to pay for, but this time it was stone-cold chivalry from my angelic BF that saved me. 


5:30pm: Feeling grateful and smiled upon by divine angels everywhere, I wondered how little I could get away with paying that evening. I wouldn’t usually go out on a Sunday but I’ve been put on the door for an event in the CBD. I ponder that if I’m not down with a plus one, I’ll split my friend’s entry, or buy a drink in return. I think I can get cheap drinks too but I also have amyl in my purse so I might not even need a drink at the club. Delicious. 

I fare evade my way into the city via bus. I don’t do this on trains because the likelihood of getting dogged is 100% if you have no balls. And when it comes to Metdogs, I am a neutered coward.


6pm: Arriving at the bar, I am flooded with joy to see a friendly face. My thrifty will goes off the goddamn balcony once I decide I’m in the mood for a negroni. Now I’ll have to stick to a 24-fucking-dollar-cocktail all night or pay with the worst hangover imaginable. But wait, my beautiful friend behind the bar charges me $4.40. The angels are going wild!


6:15pm: My party friend arrives and we get drunk. I think I have another negroni, served by someone I don’t know – a tragic full-price moment. I’m still basking in the glow of the $4.40 cocktail so I don’t mind, but looking back on my bank statement it says $42.35… OK, I remember, I bought my friend’s drink, and then convinced everyone working to have a shot with us. So the total was a negroni for me, a beer for friend, and a couple shots. The math isn’t mathing so maybe there was a little discount, nice!



7:30pm: I haven’t had dinner and I'm feeling woozy so we get some food. We order a giant basket of fried chicken from the bar. You’re goddamn right it was giant, cause that shit was $19.90. When did bar food get so expensive? I don’t really eat meat, I had no idea it could be so pricey. It was good, but 20 bucks?? I find out it’s because there’s a Sunday surcharge. The maths is mathsing now.


8pm: My friend buys me one more drink and we hustle another free shot. 


9pm: We’ve drunk a lot of spirits and my friend is tired so we decide not to go to the event. We’re both bussing home so we part ways and I congratulated myself on an excellently cheap night. 


9pm: The Sunday schedule means so I have to get a bus that’s not on my usual route. It’ll be fine though. 

After about 20 minutes I can’t see anything outside of the window but the way we’re turning, in this tight little spiral, feels…odd… It almost feels like we’re turning onto the freeway…

Oh good, yeah we are. I check Google maps and the next stop is about 14km away on the side of the freeway overpass.

Here I am, sitting on the bus watching suburbs pass by and all I can think is I could have been in bed by now. 

I finally get off in the middle of nowhere and my phone is on 20%, of course, so I see I have a choice: a $34 Uber ride home, or walk for 20 minutes and then wait for another 25 for the next bus back.


I start walking. Then I think, no, buses are so unreliable, what if I miss it and my phone dies and I’m stuck out here by the empty freeway as the terrible night wears on? 

I walk back to the Uber pick up point. Then I baulk at the egregious and terrible inflated Uber price, picture a free bus ride home, turn it around in my head slowly. I walk towards the bus. 

I stop in the middle of the road and turn back. I get the $34 Uber.

Total: $100.65. From 0 to 100 in full effect. 

At least it’s a nice, clean $100. I like that.