Monday, 2 December 2013

Australian Journal #3

There are typically three reasons I'd head to the Central Business District (CBD):

1) Food; mostly brunches and dinners.
2) Shopping; I'd visit a Typo store every time.
3) Clubbing; partying, partying, yeah!

Today went a little different towards the end.

* * * *


I met up with Delia for a catch up, girl talk brunch session at Fandango. I was contemplating between heading there and Auction Rooms which was a couple of doors away. However, I've been hearing from people within my social circles that visits to Auction Rooms weren't very memorable which was why I decided to cross it out of my list; leaving me 6 more coffee places to visit before I depart to Malaysia in a couple of days.

My regular coffee: soy cappuccino [AUD4.10]
It was their house blend espresso they used. Unfortunately, it wasn't very memorable for me. Sure enough, it's a good cup of coffee but I think Axil Coffee Roasters at Hawthorn made me the best soy cappuccino I've ever had using their seasonal espresso blend (which has coffee beans from El Salvador, Costa Rica and Ethiopia). I guess I'm the type that prefers a more fruity and sweet touch to my coffee.

As for the meal, both Delia and I ordered the french toast. Most french toasts I've had are very flavourful by themselves or they'd usually come with a scoop of ice cream alongside some fresh fruits. Often enough, they'd serve either only two pieces of toast the most or one huge toast on a plate. With little expectations in mind, I was served this:

French toast [AUD17.50]
Four pieces of fluffy french toast with the right amount of eggy-ness in each, probably half a cinnamon baked apple with maple syrup alongside was already held so much happiness for me. But imagine this: perfectly fried bacon strips placed right at the top of the stack of toasts; in between lies a cube of maple butter slowly melting and making its way to the bottom of the plate through the stack. I cannot further emphasize how absolutely sinful and gorgeous that whole thing sounds. Also, as I'd usually take certain little details into account, I love their little green garnishing that gave the dish a bit of colour.

I'm not too sure if adding ice cream to the plate would do more justice to the dish or put the consumer in a chaotic situation from the many competing flavours but as for now - best french toast so far!



Fandango on Urbanspoon

* * * *

Walking around the city

After a little shopping at Melbourne Central, I decided to take a walk to Flinders Station in hope that I would find a couple of gigs or magic performances on the way. Unfortunately for me, I chose the wrong day to look for them as the sun was scorching and I started to sweat even in that sleeveless top, shorts and thongs. I believe it was about over 30 degrees that afternoon. Melbourne is clearly trying to prep me up for the Malaysian weather. Not a very kind thing to do.

Anyway, I spotted two performances:

Brandon Lewis.
Brandon, who was playing jazz music and teaches, has been playing the guitar for "a very long time". I was about to ask for how long has he been doing so but he refused to give me a number of years as he said it would give away his age. Of course, I respected that. I was very much taken by his skills despite the scorching Melbourne sun he was playing directly under.

I didn't stay long and as I continued to walk, I spotted a violin duet playing Christmas songs for a good cause. Unfortunately, I did not approach them personally.

Violin duet.

* * * *

An experience perhaps better than what I expected to discover

I was about to give up knowing that the unmerciful weather was a huge contributor to the absence of the performers and walk straight to Flinders Station when I spotted a man sitting at the corner of the building with a card board next to him which said something along the lines of "please spare me some change as I would like to stay in a room tonight". I don't know about you, but I was taught to ignore these people as some of them are said to be very dishonest and what not. However, I ignored that thought of mine and went with my gut. Instead of walking to the train station, I headed to the 7-eleven store nearby and bought a bottle of cold water. I then approached the man and bid him hello as I handed him the bottle and sat down on the pavement right in front of him being partially exposed to the sun. After introducing myself, from there he began his story.

His name is Trevor* and he lived in an area not far from the city before he was sentenced to two months in prison due to a fight with his mom and dad. His parents never supported him and I didn't ask precisely why as I didn't want to go too deep into that side of his story. Trevor went to school till Year 11 and has been working from the time he was 16 years old till his jail sentence. He has been out of jail for about a month and has been living along the streets for that same amount of time as he was basically released with no money on hand. Life has been hard with his drug problems still existing and also, most especially, when it comes to looking for jobs when he has to fulfill other basic needs first. To my surprise, he said he has been eating well. Only today Trevor was taken to Maccas by a very kind soul and had a few apples. He also told me that he'd often head to Queen Victoria Market and buy food from a food truck which is always there from Sunday to Sunday. Trevor then introduced me to Frosty, a snowman doll someone gave to him. I suppose that's the only company he'll be getting besides with the cops whom hopped into the middle of our conversation. I assumed I had to leave but one of the officers said it was okay for me to stay. I wish I did stay though. The officers were asking him plenty of questions in which I mostly did not understand. It seemed as though it was going to take a while so I decided to leave them to run their errands in peace. I said "bye" to Trevor and left for the train station, passing by a man who was looking at us the whole time as he gave me a weird stare. I wish I was given the opportunity to say more to Trevor like telling him to have hope and that all will be good soon.

* * * * 

Chatting with Trevor was probably one of the priceless experiences I will always remember as a part of my semester in Melbourne. Of the many days I've been spotting people like him sitting by the streets in the city with card boards of their stories next to them, I never once approached them as I was busy carrying on with my daily activities. I guess this experience serves as a reminder for me to always be thankful for the things in which I often take granted for and to always give back whenever opportunity knocks.

Thank you for reading and have a great day.

* name changed to protect identity

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