Sunday in the city, late summer, afternoon. I am busting for the loo after a long drive and too many coffees and ginger beers – so first stop, National Gallery ladies room! Relieved and re-energised, we wander down to Federation Square, a Dutch custard-filled donut for my son to enjoy bought on the way. Further down the road is ACMI and we have a bit of a go on some old-fashioned computer games – the stick men fight with swords and jump over each other, but the blood and gore is nice and un-realistic. Next door we wander through a display of moving image paraphernalia. A sign warns that our eyes will need to adjust to the darkness and it compels us inside a dark foyer, through heavy black curtains, where a tunnel of light beckons through wafts of smoky swirls. My partner and son join us and our bodies are silhouetted through the smoky tunnel, which brings back memories of night-clubs and morning hang-overs.
My daughter finds a friend she 'must' see, so to fill in time we go to a café over-looking a stage, where actors appear to be playing court-room dramas and the fight for Indigenous justice. We munch on Napolitano pizza and guzzle down cappuccinos with frothy hearts on their surface. Tummies half full, off we stroll, fetching Holly on the way, gazing at strange wooden moving-sculptures and then walking on down around the city streets. An Asian grocer catches our interest, and quite a few minutes are spent enjoying the vast array of unusual packets – pizza potato chips; Choc wafer biscuits, Wei Lih noodle snacks, Nata de Coco jubes, Disney mini-biscuits, ginger and orange chews, Oreo crunch bars, sparkling grape juice. Yum!
A little more walking, then we peruse a bit of China-town, with its fun little gimmicky shops, and settle on dinner at the Spicy Fish Restaurant. A shared banquet – steamed pork and vegetable buns, beef and black-bean sauce, delicious fresh vegetables, honey chicken, fried rice and cokes to accompany the meal. Happy family! Full tummies! We walk back down Swanston St, have a look through a jewellery shop, look at the crowds flowing from the Sidney Myer music bowl and the kids buy magazines – tattooed model and X-box. Home we drive, past the Royal Oaks (‘my ancestors’…. Lol) and back home.