As soon as the train doors slid open, I rushed through the escalator to the airport, the self check-in kiosks (which was a waste of time by the way) and the body scanners (whose personnel, for the life of me, chose that day to do a random bag check). By the time I sprinted to what seemed like the most distal extremity of the world, the boarding gate, I was ready to pass out.
But Melbourne had to happen. Because I was masochistic and I liked how my chest ached at the thought of the city, of its coldness; of the fact that I rushed to the dusk after a full week of strength-sapping work, fat and ugly.
Of whether or not people wanted to see me.
5 minutes. That’s how long the melodrama lasted. Because.
Because Art. Melbourne is a passionate lover: fiery and almost illicit. What with alleys bursting in colours so arresting, and coffee shops littering on secret corners, the city is truly a rendezvous for the reckless and fearless.
Because Beer. In a country where alcohol comes at a premium, finding an inner city watering hole at 15 bucks a jug is orgasmic.
Because Food. Melbourne, being a melting pot of culture, is best reflected through its food. The myriad restaurants and laneway cafes around the city serve a multitude of cuisines and cater to everyone — from students on a budget to fine-dining business execs.
Because Love. For what effect a sleepy city with Victorian architecture does to the heart other than painful beauty and beautiful pain?
There are things I could never tell the world about. But the walls of Melbourne know; it cradles the love I cannot anymore make space for in my heart.
Melbourne Quick Facts
HOW TO GET THERE. Tiger Airways has the cheapest domestic flights to Tullamarine (MEL) all year round.
HOW TO GET AROUND. The tram is the most convenient mode of transportation in the city centre. A Myki card can be purchased at any 7-eleven store or online for $6 + top-up.
WHERE TO DRINK. Asian Beer Cafe on Level 3, Melbourne Central. Goku’s Choice is at $15 a jug.
WHERE TO EAT. Left Bank Melbourne offers gourmet lunch at $25 inclusive of main and drink.
WHERE TO SLEEP. (To be fair, it is the only paid accommodation I’ve had. I have friends/family in the city who almost always provide a couch/bed when I’m in town.) The Sebel Albert Park overlooks Albert Park lake and is a close distance to St. Kilda Road and South Yarra’s Chapel Street.