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Things That You Learn to Love in Melbourne

December 8, 2009

Things That You Learn to Love in Melbourne

I may have been a while but today I found myself on Elgin Street in Carlton. I miss the old streets where I used to tread and unsteady path back to my car after a late night. Whatever happened to all those people with multicolored spikes in their hair? They have been replaced with clones with hair that has been dyed black. The Goths? Where are the Goths? I am not so naive as to believe that the punks are still about. Yet we still have those old green triangles with The Greens written in the middle of them.


I feel as if the whole bohemian thing is getting rather passé when it too has been commercialized to the nth degree. How quant it is to see Emo’s being the targets of mass marketing? Do you have your Emo tee shirt yet and is it a genuine brand name?


Melbourne City always reminds me of Bladerunner at night, even if it is daytime. You have to lurk in the dark and dingy lanes where the old record shops and exotic food places battle for turf. Noise and steam. Leaking storm water drain pipes and crumpled drunk sleeping happily. If only a random replicant would pop up. That would be cool.


You have to love the crazy people too. They are ones who through no fault of their own snap. The was a man who stood outside Parliament Station in his scruffy clothes and begged with impeccable English for a few coins so that he could travel home. Sure enough he was there again the next day and the next and the next. After two weeks I was tempted to ask if he lived Northern Queensland because he would have collected enough for that trip. He is gone now. Bless him. So too is the drunk who stood in the centre of Peel Street and directed traffic like a trained policeman. I miss him. He made the city interesting. I miss the scrawny old lady who go from shop to shop asking to make a phone call because she did have the change to go home. I ran into three days later and she was still asking for just a few spare dollars so that she could make a phone call. I wonder why all those people she called never came to collect her. Yet now she is no more. So too has the suburban equivalent of the Crazy Cat Lady, the one they called Granny Chrome. With her paint stained plastic bag and paint stained wrinkled face she kept shouting to invisible men who taunted her. She was taken away by the police one day and she never came back. They have all gone and with I feel as if I losing my treasured city.


However today as I walked down Elgin Street passed The Music Swop Shop a heavy set Goth / Emo lady came from the other direction. As she passed she offered me the Hitler salute and shouted, “Get F*cked!” I watched as she went up the road and did the same to another man standing by his car.

“What did she say?” the man asked with some degree of indignation. “She has no right to just come up people and yell ‘Get Effed’. ”

“Let her go,” I said, “Let her. She is beyond what you would call help.”

She kept going giving Hitler salutes to all the men she encountered but none to the women.

So now I feel that once again I have connected to the true spirit of Melbourne because a random young person will once again fill our desire to be surrounded with village idiots.


I wonder if I can encourage her to start a Blog.


I love Melbourne.


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