Time travel through cafes
Yesterday Josiane from the conference took me to Abbotsford Convent, a 19th century complex that has been turned into art studios and cafes.
We started on the second floor at Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment, which was like stepping back into the 1950's, with a tiny bar and simple tables and chairs in a space about the size of a storage closet. The ceiling and walls were hung with scarves and T-shirts and posters for the Geelong Cats, the Australian Rules Football team who won a big game against the Bulldogs on Saturday. One T-shirt read "God Was a Cat."
We ordered Lemonade of Honor and Handsome Steve told us about the time, when he was about 9, that the Cats lost in the national championship game. "I realized there was no God," he said. "That the world was imperfect. It was the end of my innocence."
Downstairs we moved into the 1960s at Lentils As Anything, a large room hung with large fish mobiles, and ordered a mixed vegetable curry. There were no prices on the menu. Josiane showed me the box on the counter where you put however much money you think the meal was worth. We dropped in a 20.
Around the corner we moved into the 21st century, sort of, at a cafe where we ordered tea and cookies (Josiane, a flourless almond cookie. I, an Anzac made with flour and oats). The sun was out so we sat outside, in the middle of winter. The waiter who brought our tea said "thank you" as he placed the pots, and "thanks" as he placed the cookies.
Every journey is in part a quest. My quest in Australia is to find someone with attitude. So far, attitude has been blissfully absent.POSTED IN: None