I think I got the travel bug during our US trip in April. It’s so refreshing to go somewhere different. But for small doses of that kind of experience, perhaps it’s not necessary to go flying off to different continents, and with it the risks of travelling – crashes, hijacks and the most dangerous, airline food.
On Saturday we went scooting up Sydney Road, Brunswick. From a distance it looks like just another bit of Melbourne suburbia. But once you’re off the tram and on the street, in little ways it’s like a different world. At least, compared to Caulfield.
The shops have food you don’t see much over this side of town. Weird looking beans in large quantities. Exotic spices that don’t show up in south-eastern Safeways. Real Turkish Delight, made by real Turks! Lots of signs in Arabic. And believe it or not, we even laid eyes on Ali Baba’s Variety Store.
We spent Sunday wandering around Elwood. I used to live in Elwood, about ten years ago, and it’s surprising how the place has changed. It’s become a lot more trendy than it used to be. There didn’t used to be all those hippy merchandise shops down there selling herbs, incense and other such foul smelling stuff.
And now it seems Elwood is the place to have Sunday lunch. We couldn’t get in at the place on the beach run by Crowded House’s former drummer, so we ended up having lunch at a place frequented by semi-well-known comedians.
Oh, don’t worry, we were very cool about it when Judith Lucy and Anthony Morgan walked in. Didn’t ask for autographs, didn’t say anything, didn’t stare. Well, they’re not exactly mega-stars, are they. Nope. Certainly not worth getting embarrassed over.
(I can tell you now – Judith Lucy’s depressed expression isn’t put on. It’s real. Or maybe she just uses it when reading cafe menus.)
In any case, I have to be cool about celebs. Because (so I’m told) I’m a bit of a net.celebrity. In the minorist of minor ways, of course. Got recognised at a party once. Well, okay, a party full of net.geeks. And actually, anybody who’s been posting publicly online since before 1992 is a net.celebrity.
So in the cafe, we were all relaxed. I got stuck into my bacon, avocado and cheese melt.
Susannah, my sister: "So Daniel, how’s your cholesterol levels?"
Daniel, myself, me: "Thriving, thank you very much!"
Elwood is a lot smaller than I remember it. Individual things aren’t so much smaller, but it’s certainly all closer together. It seems to be the same with all the places I lived or went as a child that I remember well but haven’t been back to in a few years. Things have shrunk together. Oh, and there’s more mobile phone towers.