Food'n'drink Melbourne


It started with a little rain, gushing down the sides of the train. When we got to the next stop, in the sudden quiet you could hear it hitting the window, and people began to look up from their newspapers and books. It was pouring down in almost a surreal manner, making ripples on the windows as the train rolled along. And then a short burst of hail. Most people looked rather bemused at the storm’s ferocity, and at Caulfield I could hear people laughing as they got off the train and ran through the rain.

I got home soaked, despite the umbrella. I got changed and toasted a hot crumpet to cure the cold and wet, before heading out in the car for dinner.

Later in the night as I dropped off to sleep, I could hear more rain pelting down on the verandah, and I grumbled to myself about the washing that had been on the line since Wednesday. At this rate I don’t expect it to be dry until 2005. Oh well, at least there was no flooding, unlike some suburbs, and the garden won’t be looking quite so dry and dead.

Woke up this morning to get into work by 8:30 for a team breakfast. Cool. But by time to leave the house I was running a little late for the train. Not usually a problem; with a train about every ten minutes max in rush hour, it’s not worth worrying about, but for a team breakfast I thought it was worth making the effort.

So I thought I’d cut the usual 8 minute walk down by a few minutes by taking the lazy way out and driving some of the way. Got to the car and found I’d left the car window a couple of centimetres open overnight. Driver’s seat soaked. Aaaaaaarrggggghh. Swearing copiously under my breath, I closed the window fully. Hopefully it’ll dry in the sun today, after all as we know from a thousand sad newspaper reports from pokies carparks, cars heat up quickly. Though now I’m wondering if I should have soaked some of the water up with a towel and if the car will stink of damp seat padding forever more.

I ended up running most of the way to the station. I got there just as the train pulled in and stood in the doorway, sweating like a pig, wishing someone would open a window. Should I take off my jacket? What if there were sweat patches all over my shirt? Ewwwwww.

I left it on, and eventually cooled down. No seats left. A father and daughter sat together, sharing the ride until she got off at Armadale to go to school. A mother and son got on there. Obviously a new starting student, in the uniform for my old school. His bag and jacket were shiny, his top button done up, his tie scruffily fitted. Perhaps his first or second day?

At Richmond I changed to a Flinders Street direct train. Two women, friends obviously, noticed each other across the carriage, and had a conversation for one stop, most of those in the vicinity listening and smiling at their anecdotes. We got into Flinders Street and the guy on the PA announcing where the train was headed next was talking with the enthusiasm of an auctioneer. “Ringwood train… Ringwood train!” Rain was dripping steadily down into the Degraves Street subway, the harried commuters dodging around it.

Got to work in plenty of time for breakfast at La Scala in Australia On Collins, only to find some others delayed half an hour or more in rain-inspired traffic jams. Food was okay but not brilliant. Waitress was surly, and guarded the portions of butter like they were pure gold. Those having tea and coffee found condom-like plastic liners in their cups. We ate, had some laughs, and left no tip. Somewhere else will get our breakfast business next time.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Rain”

Yes well… unlike some, I got thoroughly pissed upon and wearing wet denim is no fun at all. Oh, La Scala has always been crappy. Try the Coffee Cup for lunchtime meetings in Hardware Lane.

Might I recommend “Bisque” for breakfast – I THINK it’s in Flinders lane, although I was pretty sleepy when I went there for brekky last week. Although I was dressed like a bum student amid a bunch of suits, I was made to feel fully welcome and the $4.00 coffee with large slice of raisin toast was tip-top.

What bum would pay $4.00 for “breakfast”? For that dough you could buy a whole packet of corn flakes. Why go out for breakfast anyway? Have it at home! Cripes, going out for breakfast….How dopey.

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