Melbourne. It boasts a grid-shaped city with skyscrapers alongside narrow laneways lined with cafes. A city where I’ve lived for more than half my life, went to university and now work. A city that speaks to me the perks that come with being a part of the rat race in a first world country, and whispers to me the finer things in life.
The other day it was 4pm on a cloudy Sunday afternoon in June. The chilly winter wind whipped my face. I had two hours to kill in the city before catching up with someone. Standing at the Flinders Street Station intersection, cars whizzed by. As two trams rumbled past, the asphalt shook slightly beneath my feet.
We love living in cities because everything is literally at the tip of our fingers here. Shops and restaurants are just around the corner in Melbourne: Nike shoes to Nintendo games, Hong Kong yum cha to Spanish paella. Convenient, and variety is never dull.
We feel so much more productive, so much more eager about getting up during summer in Melbourne. As the summer sun rises early, rolling out of bed gets easier and so does the at-least-30-minute commute to work in the CBD for many of us each morning. When rays of summer sunshine poke through my blinds and shine on my face at 6am, I groan about how early it is, then remind myself of all the time I have to see the world.
Recently I went on my first ever guided tour of Melbourne’s CBD. Along with about sixty others, mostly tourists, it was refreshing wandering through familiar city locations while listening to historical commentary from the Melburnian, blonde, university-aged tour guide.
Last Saturday afternoon, I was wandering around Federation Square. All of a sudden, about thirty people swarmed around me. I looked around and realised they were being herded by a tour guide in a bright green T-shirt.
“So, this is Federation Square,” announced the guide. “It was voted as one of the ugliest buildings in the world in 2012. An eyesore.”