In the legal precinct (William Street between Little Bourke and Latrobe Streets, for non-Melburnians), there are three distinct groups of people that strike me as common, but whom you don’t see much of in other areas of the CBD:
1. Young men looking uncomfortable in shirts and ties (and sometimes suits) — eg defendants and witnesses… there are women and older men too of course, but they don’t stick out as much. Most of them seem to smoke (at least, most of those standing on the street), and the tattoo count seems to be above that of the general population.
Sometimes they have an entourage who are similarly dressed-up, and sometimes they have an entourage who are in their usual clothing, which makes the defendant stick out even more. None of this demographic knows where to stand on the Flagstaff station escalators.
2. TV crews hanging about the entrance keeping a lookout for some of those defendants, especially in front of the Magistrate’s Court.
3. People in capes and funny wigs (various legal eagles), who in this neck of the woods, don’t raise an eyebrow.
It seems to happen in degrees.
Case one: At lunchtime yesterday I passed one guy in the street who I knew I knew, but couldn’t quite place. He knew me too; we exchanged grins. Thinking about it later, I’m pretty sure I’ve worked out where he’s from.
Case two: Then on the way back I passed another guy who greeted me by name, but I can’t place at all.
Case three: Someone else I ran into a few days ago said “Hi Daniel, how are you?” and all I could vaguely say back was “Good thanks!” as it took my brain a few seconds to register who he was. Gary. Oh, he’s gone.
Case four: passed a guy in a lift lobby. Ah, at last someone I can positively and instantly identify and greet. Hi Jim.
1 out of 4 isn’t a great hit-rate. Maybe someone can come up with a pair of sunglasses with a heads-up display and face-recognition software of some kind for this type of thing. Wouldn’t that be handy?
- Some people I have no trouble in recognising