Wednesday, 9 January 2013

treasure: melbourne

in 2004, the year after i finished my HSC, i got the hell out of armidale and moved to melbourne. melbourne held the promise of adulthood, change and challenge, the glamour of artists and poets and philosophers.

i was there 5 and a half years. there's plenty to reflect upon, but i found it very telling the past few times around, visiting after having left 3.5 years ago, how i felt about the beloved city and the people in it that i saw.

perhaps it's just that i've distilled my friendship group into the Very Best of Melbourne. perhaps it's that the buzz of city has finally become exciting again; full of promised inspiration and movement and sparkle. it's nice to visit a city and already know your way around; your favourite bar; your favourite dish at tom phat; the ways of the trams.

i had a beautiful time. during my 'just-home' tour of july 2012, i hung out at beth's house and we sat on the upstairs balcony and enjoyed winter sunshine and the ambient sounds of deconstruction, as the old Royal Children's got unceremoniously trashed by a wrecking crew. i drank at Bar Etiqette, hung about at the bar and giggled happily at yanni and mikey's antics, marvelled at the crowds and the hipster population. i met friends and missed friends, filled with generosity of people who'd only had facebook as a means of following about what i'm certain seemed like a very silly and decadent life of snow and drinking. they bought me drinks, they let me stay, they asked good questions (some people, none of whom i am good friends with, have nothing in the way of curiosity or comment about your recently different lifestyle. they have nothing to say and nothing to ask and it's all very awkward and boring).

aaron and i have recently returned from the 'everyone meet my boyfriend' tour of early 2013 and yup, i still love melbourne. despite the heat i drank plenty of coffee, cottoning onto the concept of iced coffee on saturday morning for a win. i took him on a tour of what i think of as my Melbourne, with a bit of shopping, a few bookstores, some very good eating and this time round i could afford $18 cocktails, so we had some of those too. we hung out with iggy, the coolest kid i know, we feasted on indian and thai with mat and tash, i drank ciders at bar etiquette with beth, sylvia and laura, which turned into a bottle of wine each at Gurkha's Nepalese next door to the bar.

there was a lovely picnic in carlton gardens and some attempted frisbee by joe and laila, picnic rug fun with thea (and amazing gluten free passionfruit melting moments), wine, cheese, smoked salmon and olive tapenade from the Queen Vic Markets.

there was a 44 degree day where we stayed inside, windowshopping our way up the 4 levels of Melbourne Central where i bought 4 dresses for $140 (what a bargain!). we perused fed square's NGV bookstore longingly, scoffed a big pile of dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling House in Chinatown, saw some great graffiti and biggest bonus of all, got to drive mat & tash's mercedes benz about the place, feeling like a pretty big deal as we cruised around with a breeze blowing through our hair and a devil-may-care attitude.

it is The Life, Melbourne, and i hope one day i will have the chance to live there again- i feel as though all the things that pushed me away from it and into the arms of a willing whistler are manageable, and that perhaps there is more for me there that i have no yet discovered. perhaps i'll  do a phd at University of Melbourne one day, perhaps i'll only ever visit for holidays from now on...

it might be far away but it's never forgotten.

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