Travelogue: Seriously Coburg

After leaving India I find myself missing the seedy side of life sometimes. There are only a few places in Melbourne that allows you to be around people who aren’t caught up with being sophisticated too much.

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Sydney road (in the area of Coburg) is a very vibrant and practical place. It has shops filled with the things you actually need, restaurants cooking the food you really miss and outdoor sitting areas occupied by people who talk about problems or juicy bits of gossip that are really pressing them.

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It’s also a district with a concentrated population of people from the Middle East, Turkey, Lebanon and Pakistan.

Sydney road can also be a little rough. I usually only carry my camera to click people, but after a few attempts I got yelled at, scolded and cursed pretty badly.

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One gentleman sitting outside this repair shop was decent enough to ditch the company of his old friend (who didn’t want to be photographed, which was a pity, since he was impeccably dressed) and came around to talk to me. He was really adamant that I didn’t get his face in the frame – I guess for reasons that I should be a little concerned about… Nevertheless he let me in on his life, which was charged with a tale of a great journey about hard work.

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Below is a sound byte of his story which you can hear if you have 5 minutes. In the middle of this a guy absolutely high on ‘ice’ (a drug that is consuming Melbourne by the hour) comes about and offers to get some ‘German cousins’ over for me to click, I would like to warn you about the crazy number of time he drops the F word; in any case it is a glimpse into what kind of people you bump into at Coburg.

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It was pretty nice talking with ‘Mr Venice’, who gave me some career advice as I walked away. He is a strong supporter of women in construction and this was a nice thing to hear as I went to treat myself at this amazingly scrumptious cake shop I don’t know the name of. The sign was in Greek and the lady behind the counter didn’t think I would remember it if she told me.

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And this was for $3. The chocolate was rich, cream – fresh and cold, bun – soft and spongey. I wanted this yoyo to adopt me.

The trip was eventful, overall. It’s not a swift ride if you travel by public transport from the east, but it’s a small distance to cover if you want a taste of a different world.

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Travelogue: Melbourne Alley Ways

A while ago, I had been experiencing little ‘phlump’. Nothing catastrophic, it was more like a cloudy Sunday… that lasted for three weeks. I was very relaxed, had (A LOT of) time to think and met some people I didn’t expect to shoot the breeze with. What also happened was that I kind of stopped thinking about the future. As in, no planning, no goal-setting and no cover letters. I was employed by a Social Research Centre, which got me doing what I love most; talking to strangers and asking them personal (read: intrusive) questions about the umpteen number of issues our present society is shoved with. In another post I will be generous enough to reveal some jaw-dropping comments I heard over the phones, but for now I will tell you what kind of person the phlump and research job turned me into….

An ‘Alley- Ambler’. The alley ways in Melbourne are cozy spots where people can quickly turn into and have a little breather. You don’t find drug peddlers here (yet)… (where the heck are they and do they think they’re too good for alleys now?) and they don’t smell like old urine. Obviously with these factors mentioned, alleys are practically the best places to hang out with cronies and chums.

Melbourne alley ways are pretty and serene. It’s as if the city has these little arms waiting to embrace you, when you need it.

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