The Toff in Town

We arrived in Melbourne mid afternoon and immediately set out to explore the city. Our hotel is right in the center of town, and all we had to do to be in the midst of things was to walk out the front door.
Melbourne is very different from Sydney. It feels like a big city. It is more congested than Sydney, but in a positive way. This area teems with restaurants, coffee shops, and department stores. We are right next door to Chinatown, but this Chinatown is more westernized than those in New York and San Francisco. Also, half of the restaurants are other than Chinese types of Asian cuisine.
Next to our hotel there are shops of top European designers, but I have no clue who buys the stuff. People here and everywhere we have been in Australia are either clad in T-shirts and sneakers or wear cheap chic. Overall, both Sydney and Melbourne look slightly provincial, colonial even. There is an attempt on European architecture, but it failed. Can’t call either city beautiful. It seems that Australia is not yet sure about its identity.
We passed by the Supreme Court building and saw barristers walking out in droves wearing wigs, like in England. But funny, these wigs were abbreviated, looked more like hats. Especially weird they looked on women’s long hair.
In one of the alleys, almost entire wall of one building was covered with words of the official apology to the aboriginal people issued by the Australian government in 2008. Another wall featured the words of the official apology to Canadian Indians issued by the Canadian government the same year. How come the US government never issued any apologies to American Indians?
Not that Australian aborigines or Canadian Indians are likely to see these huge apologies – you don’t see representatives of either group around. It’s more likely for the white people to pat themselves on the back for being so righteous. Yet, it’s better this way than no apology at all.
We were due to meet Lisa’s former classmate at a fusion Thai restaurant called Cookie. When we found the restaurant, it turned out it was located in the same building as another venue called ” The Toff in Town.”. We went up to the venue and told the people at the desk that we are the Toffs we are indeed in town. They didn’t believe us at first and asked for an id. When we produced an id, they got all excited, made a fuss around Kenny, and wanted to photograph him next to the numerous posters of different toffs. “The Toff in Town” is now a restaurant and a performance venue, but once, it served as the Communist party headquarters, then as a squat, and finally, as a porn shop.
After all this excitement, we went down to Cookie and had a superb Thai dinner. I had drunken noodles. Dunno what they do to Asian food here, but the flavors and texture are sublime!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s