Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Checking things out and an outrage

From the train I viewed an old building, which I assumed was a backpacker hotel. The very knowledgeable Hels corrected me, saying it was quite a nice hotel and indeed it is from what I saw.

No, this is not it. This is just a gratuitous photo of a nearby building. Nice, hey. Could we divide buildings by date by whether they had lifts or not? I think this one would have had a lift when it was built.




This is it, Rendezvous Hotel in Flinders Street.


Looks nice enough.


I swanned around with the confidence of a hotel guest.




OMG, this is a total surprise to me. I have been there before, down in the basement. Marie in London does terrific and no doubt very time consuming research when she writes her blog posts. She shames me and I should do more research about places I see or visit. I just googled Rendevous Hotel and I am gobsmacked.

Rendezvous Hotel used be called the Commercial Travellers Club, a place where politicians and VIPs once stayed. As I said, OMG, in the 90s that was where the gay venue The Commerce Club was, downstairs in the basement. Within was the nightclub Tasty.

When Dictator Premier Kennett was elected in the early 1990s, the police thought they could do anything and get away with it, and they often did. While I had been at the Commerce Club a couple of times, I was not there on the night of the Tasty Raid, Tasty being a name for the nightclub which came about for no good reason that I know of. Police raided the club, strip searching patrons in front of other patrons, humiliating them and generally behaving disgracefully. Patrons were eventually compensated for the disgraceful behaviour of the Victorian Police, something like about $10,000 each, quite a sum back in the 90s. I recall a female workmate who was there on the night received that sum. Drifting off topic, I am starting to forget people and the names of people from 25 to 30 years ago. I remember she and I used to banter each other with me singing the praises of the male body and she singing the praises of the female body. We both wore Doc Martins, mine black, hers purple. So long ago.

I feel myself getting angry at the memory of the Tasty Raid. Not too long after a policewoman asked me directions. Yes, that is right, police asked me for directions. The attractive young policewoman thanked me. You know the times when later you think of the perfect thing to say? We are often wise after the event and know what we should have said, but for once in my life, the words came to mouth immediately and I am quite proud of myself. I said something like, no problem, I can be nice in spite of Tasty. Her eyes rolled upwards, her head tilted upward and a grimace came to her face. 

Well, who would have thought that this would have come from seeing from a train what looked like a backpacker hotel.

14 comments:

  1. Funny you should post this as the news here in Toronto just covered the anniversary of the Bathhouse Raids in Toronto.
    The current police chief is going to apologize tomorrow.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/bathhouse-raids-apology-1.3645082

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    1. Thanks Jackie. Interesting. I will have a closer look at the links in the article. I wonder if the those raids in 1981 were the last. It went on here much later.

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  2. How lucky to think of the perfect reply at the time. A rarity. And, if the damages were in the order of $10,000 each they had been very rough indeed.

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    1. EC, it was easy money for some, but others really deserved compensation for what they went through.

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  3. Oh my, you said the perfect thing, so it is not forgotten, so hopefully will not be repeated. I guess I could be strip searched in public for 10k. Bring it on. I've had terrible things done to me, by police, when I was in the mental system, for sport I believe.

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    1. Strayer, although what happened to you is less likely now, it can still happen.

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  4. The police like the general public are now enlightened thank god

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    1. Mostly John, mostly.

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  5. Wasn't there a rumour that a Premier's son was hustled out the back door as the police came in the front?
    The ABC made a very good documentary on this raid.

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    1. Not a rumour I have heard, Jah Teh. No doubt I saw the doco.

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  6. Being stuck in "backwater" country, I've never heard about any of this. I had heard something about Vic Police getting to big for their boots, but never bothered to find out more.
    Here in SA such a building would never be mistaken for a Backpackers. Our Backpacker Hostels look like what they are, cheap and slightly grubby (graffiti) accommodation. I've heard of the goings on in some of them and would never ever stay in one.

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    1. River, Adelaide had is fair share of harassment of gays. Remember Dr Duncan? I don't really remember why I thought it was a backpackers. I did only see it from a distance. I wouldn't stay in one either.

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  7. Haha! I had a similar thought to Strayer :) could have a wonderful time in Paris with 10K 😋 only kidding! Well done on having the perfect response, must admit I'm getting much better at that :)

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    1. Grace,I am not so sure you are kidding. I am envious of people with a quick wit and tongue.

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