Day 143 - Charcuterie and Street Art

August 28th, 2015

Look at that fine Charcuterie
Note the top right sign. Now I dare you to find the Cafe itself.
Yes, it is contained within this picture.***
Last night, Luke said that Roommate Leo would be having people over tonight, and had asked us to clean the living room. I wake up before Shimou (as usual), shower, clean the room, make coffee, and settle in before having to wake her up. It’s my fault she’s still not awake - I tucked her in when I got out of bed. Apparently they don’t do that in China. I had to show her what they were missing.

The plan today is to grab a bagel from Manchester Press, as Shimou had said that she wanted to try another one of those bagel sandwich things that seem popular here. We also wanted to check out Queen Victoria Market (where the night market was) to see what we could find there. We both thought it was only a Wednesday night thing. Apparently it’s also during the day, everyday. Google says it runs until 5, while the coffee shop closes at 4 (like all coffee shops here). Since they close in that order, we figure we’ll hit the bagel first, then the market.

How Amusing
The Cool Truck
Manchester Press is nice, as usual. I get a Rueben Rachel Bagel, while Shimou gets a smoked salmon one. Luke isn’t hungry. When coming back from the washroom, I slammed my hands down on the table to get their attention to see if we were ready to leave. It was over the top on purpose, which gave Luke a jump. He didn’t like that, calling me rude. I guess I’ve found his line. As it’s been said, only those who go to far know how far they can go. Not the best to push people like that,* but I thought this sort of thing would be within his zone of acceptable behaviour. The more you know!

The featured art of the day, complete with velvet rope
Tram over to the market to find that it’s closed. Google LIED! The market actually closes at 3pm during the day. Guess we’ll be coming back tomorrow. The nearby stores don't seem to offer much in regard to what we're looking for. The shops are nice, however, and one local cafe has this cool idea of a Coffee Club. Every 2 weeks get freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door! Neat. We vamoose. Free trams within the main parts of town, meaning this excursion cost us nothing but time. I did find a cool truck with street art on it, too. 

Which was then painted over. Some people tried stopping it.
The idea of checking out another one of those street art laneways came to Luke. I didn’t expect one as prominent as this one to be overlooked until now, which happened to be right by Flinders. We walk in just as a free tour is coming through. It’s swarmed with tourists. I find it interesting to see what people flock to. The ones that had people around it would attract even more people, and the ones that the tour guide pointed out would also attract attention, but the rest would largely be overlooked. I take my time, checking every nook and cranny. Street artists sometimes seem to choose the most obscure locations, which helps me find some overlooked gems. Having mined the place** of all the art, we head over to the Library.

...But they seemed part of the act, as well.
"Lush," in case you're wondering, is the artist's pseudonym
Shimou wants to shop, and Luke doesn’t want to watch me work. Time to Split. I head to the library while they go into Melbourne Central shopping centre. I dig into working, and am ripping through it since I think I only have an hour and a half to catch up on all of the writing. Silly me! As declared over the PA, I only have 10 minutes!

Five story street art picture of an
aboriginal girl
Time’s up. Translocate to Gloria Jeans Cafe, knowing it should still be open until 7:30. They continue shopping until around 7, when we have to leave to see the fireworks that we missed the first friday, and forgot about the second. I’m not actually a big fan of fireworks, but we might as well see it while we’re here! Shimou shows up with a surprise gift (a sweater) with Luke in tow. She thinks the one i’ve been wearing is falling apart and that I need a new one. For some reason she thinks it’s not warm enough, though I am the last one to complain about the temperature here. The new sweater isn’t warm enough either, but we have no time to return it.

Apparently there’re fireworks every friday in Melbourne during the winter season, much like the Night Markets on Wednesdays. We have missed the first two and want to make sure we finally see the last one, both of the season and of our trip window. Off to the tram with a half hour to make it a 15 min tram ride away!

Oh hey, someone forgot their wallet/purse thing
This particular tram stop, right beside the State library, is literally standing on a small piece of sidewalk between 4 lanes of traffic, protected by a tiny metal fence. A little unsettling, given that we arrive to find dozens of people already waiting and spilling out into the intersection/rail line. Occasionally people walk off - doesn't look like it's coming. At 25 after, we call it. The fireworks are at 7:30, it’ll take 15 minute stop get there. Most firework shows don’t last long, particularly if they’re a weekly occurrence for months. As we walk away, the tram pulls into station. Too late to be of any use to us.

Nope, nevermind.
It's actually made of metal and fixed to the spot
Well, we have time. She bought the shirt from Uniqlo, which I had thought to be a bank associated with Target. Apparently it’s Japanese, though you can't tell. They do have a broad selection of stuff I could actually see myself wearing. Neat. It’s a two-story store in the Melbourne Central shopping plaza. I didn’t realize just how big the center was until coming here. They even had a ball pit and live, semi-nude models in some stores.

Creepy Corner Face
Back home, we stumble across Housemate Leo hosting a mahjong party. It seems that mahjong is treated like poker in some circles, and I have no idea how to play. We leave them to their game in the living room, while we make dinner in the kitchen. By “we,” I mean Luke and Shimou prepared food while I wrote.

I have been itching to play more tabletop games with people, but those require either the actual game, or strong language skills. After Sunny gets home, I think Hell, let’s give Everyone is John a whirl and see how far we make it. Not far. In fact, I don’t even finish explaining the rules before Shimou declares that she’s too tired to play.

We hang out until Luke and Sunny skedaddle off to bed. Shimou and I spent the rest of the time enjoying each other’s company, as we only have a few days left.

Editing Music: La Gitane by Tchan-Tchou Vidal

*Not on purpose, at least
**Hosier Laneway, which is said to change on the daily. I also hear that the cafes and tapas are supposed to be good.
***It's the second white door just past where that girl is leaving the first white door. This is an alley off of a small side street.

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