Not Touristing In The City Again

Do people who live in countries that drive on the left side of the road automatically walk on the left? And does the reverse apply for those who live in countries that drive on the wrong right side of the road? And is that why people kept walking into me on my city walk today?

I was back in the Big Smoke to do the hospital run for a friend and while I waited I took myself off to a different part of the city.

Warning: This is another ‘I am not a tourist’ excursion so there will be no photos. Well, maybe one. If you’re lucky.

I didn’t walk any great distance today because I was wearing my holy socks. No, they do not help me walk on water! What are you talking about? Oh.

Take 2: I didn’t walk any great distance today because I was wearing my holey socks.

Kids, spelling is important.

Anyway…

Lygon Street – known as Little Italy – is the mecca for Italian food and good coffee. Well, one of the meccas. There’s one thing to be said about this city – you can always get a good coffee pretty much wherever you go.

It was too early for the restaurant spruikers to be out so I had a peaceful walk down the street.

One of the last truly independent bookshops is on this street. Overheard inside:

Father to Young Son: You don’t need a bookmark. Just bend the page over. That’s what everyone else does.

Some people have no business having books. Or children.

I went to Brunetti’s café for coffee and cake. It’s almost illegal not to go to Brunetti’s if you’re in Lygon Street. Unless you’re a student at the nearby university. Then it’s a) boring to go all the time and b) you can’t afford it anyway.

Brunetti's - Cake Mecca

Brunetti’s – Cake Mecca

From Lygon Street I headed into the city proper. This is where I encountered the walking directional problem. Maybe we need arrows on the footpath to show tourists where to walk.

For a little while, I followed a small group of four women and one man. The women were carrying music stands but only the man carried what looked like an instrument case (but I can’t say what the instrument was).

“Singers,” I thought.

“Or harmonica players,” said Musician Me.

“What?”

“They could have them in their handbags. Or piccolos. Tin whistles.”

Sometimes I worry about Musician Me.

“They could be a Kazoo Orchestra,” said Always-Takes-Things-Too-Far Me.

Actually, when you think about it, there are all sorts of instruments you could hide about your person or in a small bag.

Ooh! There could be a Hidden Orchestra! No, listen, stay with me. Picture this:

One of the world’s great concert halls. On the stage are the seats and music stands of a great orchestra. As the lights go down, musicians in all their penguin-suited finery walk in and sit down. The audience is confused. Where are the instruments?? The conductor walks on to hesitant applause. She steps up to the podium, raises her hands and, as one, the musicians reveal from about their persons, small instruments – harmonicas, mouth harps, maracas, etc – and start to play.

Cool, huh?

I’m claiming copyright so no stealing the idea.

It was another warm Spring day but there was no lying in the sunshine today. I got my first quota of sunburn for the season last week so I was avoiding the UV. But a walk is always an endless source of writer’s fodder, eh?

And one last observation for the day:

It is very hard to watch a friend struggle against enormous odds and know there is nothing you can do to make it all right.

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Not Touristing In The City Again

  1. It is, H – terribly hard. But we have to admit our helplessness, sometimes. Reluctantly. With love.

    Brunettis’ ? – are you completely mad ? Or do you have more money that you know what to do with ? In which case … [grin] One time when Stringer and I went down to see our very dear friends, they met us off the train and took us to Brunettis’ for brekky. The joint was jumping like fleas on a hot shovel. The staff were so rude that had it not been our friends’ treat, we would have simply walked out. I do hope it’s changed management: that was a long time back …

    As for being walked off the pavement – happens here, too. People are INSANE. They know perfectly well that if they stuck to the left, everyone would get to wherever much faster and with less pavement rage. But no: they think it’s their right to walk wherever they want. Pathetic.

    So much for today’s spleen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brunetti’s is sublime! Thanks for that lovely post, walking us through the city with the jostle and snippets of conversation. Only sorry that you are facing and dealing with the sombre situation your friend is facing. It’s wonderful that you are there to support her. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. And the patient is enormously grateful a) for the car ferrying, b) our capacity to laugh at stupid things whenever we get together even when I’m having a shitty day and c) most importantly, the constant resources of care, good vibes and moral support that you so generously offer! Puts it all in perspective. 😇

    Liked by 4 people

    • Barbara, it was all I could do not to go and buy a bookmark, give it to the poor child and beg him not to bend the pages. And then give his father a talking-to.

      I’m finding it endlessly fascinating to discover what is peculiar to Australia. When you grow up with a language, I guess you just assume everybody knows the same words. I love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been in that situation with a friend. It is the absolute worst place in the world…you’d do anything in your power and that’s the moment you realize exactly how powerless you are. But you know, there are things that make a difference, being there, being supportive, being interested, not becoming awkward because of the illness/situation, being the calm in the storm, being understanding, being the place they can go to forget for a while, so many things that only you can do….really, it all matters more than you will ever know. I admire you for being that Being-a-True-Friend You and I know your friend does too!

    Like

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