Wednesday, March 23, 2016


One of my aims on this holiday is to go out to breakfast every morning and indulge myself in the sorts of food that most people only have once a week at Sunday brunch, if they're lucky. I began yesterday with Finders Keepers, a natty little cafe in Hawthorn East, where I had a thoroughly delightful eggs benedict.

One thing I've already noticed is that Melbourne now considers the traditional slice of Virginia ham or similar in eggs benedict to be passe. Most reputable cafes now serve the dish with ham hock, or pork belly, or pulled pork. Woe betide any cafe that bucks the trend. They will surely end up in the same place as businesses that cling to focaccia instead of turkish bread or sun-dried tomatoes instead of semi-dried.

The coffee was wonderful. At least that never changes.

Melbourne is much as I remember it from my last visit a decade ago. It’s green and leafy, with a lot of beautiful domestic architecture. While a lot of lovely Victorian and Edwardian houses are being bulldozed to make way for low-rise apartment buildings, at least the low-rise apartment buildings have a certain amount of modern aesthetic charm. In Perth, they just knock down the old houses and replace them with shoddy, impractical, butt-ugly units with all the architectural appeal of a microwave burrito.

I've also noticed in my strolling that Melburnians appear to be very law-abiding when it comes to pedestrianism. They cross the streets at the intersection and wait for the green man to beckon, even when the streets are empty and the way is clear. This may be because, like the weather, Melbourne traffic is bizarre and can turn on you in a heartbeat. I’ve scuttled across empty roads only to discover a tram bearing down on me, or a car indicating right suddenly swerving left to take a hook turn. On some streets the lanes change direction depending on the time of day. A narrow lane that you thought was somebody’s driveway turns out to be a major road. I suspect that Melburnians mindlessly obey the pedestrian laws because it’s easier than trying to decipher the traffic.


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