Sunday, July 23, 2006

Snapshots of Melbourne

Melbourne is a city of a thousand quirks. There are just so many different, unique, interesting things to see here. Especially while walking on the street. Instead of the mundane benches, dustbins, streetlights and people, there are pieces of art, sculptures, flower boxes and street performers dotting the walkways. There lies so many undiscovered secrets that can only be stumbled upon if you are looking for it. If fact, Melbourne city is so full of magnitism and allure that you just can't be bored with it. After one and a half years here, I still find some refreshing but delightful sights.

I was strolling along the streets of Melbourne doing some retail therapy today when I discovered some new sights of Melbourne and rediscovered some old ones. First, there is this big chess set on the pavement along Swaston street. I swear it wasn't there two weeks ago. About two dozen curious onlookers are congregating around the chess board, observing two Chinese ah peks having a battle of wits. Some were even enjoying a few leisurely sips of hot coffee while observing the match! The only place in Kuching I've seen this kind of chess board before is in UNIMAS.

Second is this sort of trough just off the main street (Swaston Street). Never knew it was there till today. It looks so peaceful, so tranquil, so European, especially which an ancient looking church as the backdrop. Romantic.

Then of course there are the omnipresent horse-drawn carriages which are always a sight to behold, especially as they travel on the main street of the city together with cars and trams. And the driver of the carriage wear medieval clothings too.

In Melbourne, my favorite street is Flinders Lane. It is a sort of a backlane between two main streets, but tucked in this seemingly innocuous place are five star hotels, university buildings, a police station and the city library. My favourite fixture on this lane is the alley eateries (pic), or whatever you call the narrow space stuck between two high rise that are converted into quaint coffee houses and watering holes. I just love the feel of the place. Unexplainable.

While on Flinders Lane, this caught my eye:

Wondering what those eight bell shaped things that are hanging on the wall are?

Yeah, I'm sure you guessed it wrongly. These are public phones in Melbourne. Now wondering how to use the top ones which are at least 7-8 metres off ground? Levitation? Invinsible stairways or lifts? If you think so you read too many fairy tales there-lah... Melbourne people very advanced or canggih one... when it's so high up, we don't use it-lah. Crazy-meh? Find another phone-lah.

Actually it's a piece of art, smacked right in the middle of a deserted alley, straight up a wall. In fact, it came complete with a sound system (you can see some speakers in the first photo of the phones) that produce eerie, random ringing of telephones. The temperature of the alley seems to drop a degree or two when I venture nearer to the phones, and a gust of wind also conjure out of nowhere suddenly. Deserted, eerie, cold and windy... it is just like I'm right in the middle of a horror movie. Spine-chilling experience. For those in Melbourne, I encourage you to see it. It's in Flinders Lane between Swanston and Russell.

Melbourne is always advertised as a vibrant city, and I couldn't agree more with the description. It has a heartbeat of its own. As I said before, it has a magnetic pull and allure that make you can't stop loving it. Just like a heavenly prefect woman if I may use the word. You just want to go back for more.

P/s: This is not a paid advertorial about Melbourne but a heartfelt tribute to the city planners who make the city so alive. If you are interested in my retail therapy, just like to inform you that I spent around $60 indulging in things as diverse as bubble milk tea, cute dining plates, flowers and clothings. To treat what? my current bouts of mild depression. Things picked up considerably after this treatment.

1 comment:

youngyew said...

Nice pictures, great descriptions! I agree with you heartily, Melbourne is really a nice place... (if you ignore the abudnant drunkards on the street)