Hello there. I’m still around.
Before Christmas I decided to take the first temp job or contract on offer to take me through the Christmas period, so I’ve been working my (not so) little white butt off in a cubicle farm in Melbourne. It’s been fun* and not-so-fun** working in the city again and sampling the many cuisines*** available for lunch. This is in contrast to working previously in an industrial estate, where the only place within walking distance was the joint I referred to as the Fried Food and Porn Place: Potato Cakes and Penthouse Magazine a Speciality.
I’m so freaking tired when I get home though and I spend 15 minutes every morning and night with ice packs on my feet as Gammy Foot gets a bit cranky with all the walking, and Not Gammy Foot needs looking after to take the load. The cats and dogs have created a little game now to be the first to sit on me when I’m laying on the floor pretending that being vertical is too much effort. Five kilos of brown cat is winning.
* Fun: Re-discovering my native city, pretending I haven’t morphed into a country bumpkin and teaching Gammy Foot to jay walk through peak traffic and speeding trams
** Not-so-fun: The commute is a minimum 90 minutes each way. Oops, hang on, plus the 15 minutes for the drive between home and the train station. It’s tolerable because I know it’s not forever and I have some games and WordFeud (a version of Scrabble) on my mobile phone. However, I’m eternally grateful I’m doing this in summer when I can leave in daylight and get home in daylight. If I were doing this gig over winter, I’d have run a screaming mess into the darkness by now.
*** Cuisines: The ramen place on Bourke Street smelled of human fecal matter, but the waft of poo didn’t hit me until I’d ordered so I sat it out and convinced myself that it was just Japanese spices, stale Japanese spices, stale Japanese spices from a region with which I wasn’t familiar, stale Japanese spices from a region with which I wasn’t familiar and I have a sinus infection. I ate a few mouthfuls and had to leave as I couldn’t separate the bland internal taste and vile external smell. Note to self: don’t believe the myth the foreign restaurants filled with natives of that country must be good.
The little – and not as busy – Japanese place around the corner off Bourke Street is the greatest secret ever. All the pre-made food is fresh and the made-to-order meals are cooked and on the table in less than five minutes for less than ten dollars. Rock on.
The Indian cafe on Bourke Street has two vegetarian curries, rice, raita and a naan bread for ten dollars and is great if you ignore the spelling and grammar mistakes in the quotes written on the wall. It’s hard to fight the urge to go back with a black permanent marker, let me tell you. I have to learn to trust that the cooks can cook and not necessarily copy Zsa Zsa Gabor quotes verbatim.
I’ve dropped into the ‘health’ food place for a tub of yoghurt when I’ve forgotten my play lunch, but at $4.30 a cup and $6.00 for fruit salad I’ve remembered my yoghurt and fruit every day since. My hourly rate isn’t high enough to keep them in business. I keep the ice packs for my feet and for my yoghurt from home segregated, promise.