Scenes of Life along Swanston Street

February 19th, 2009   •   3 comments   •   Author: Walter Lim   

Today, I finally stepped into my campus officially for the first time as part of a series of briefings for international students. The briefings on what to look out for plus the dos and don’ts of varsity life was useful, although some of the points seemed more suited for primary school kids. Like the fact that you should look left and right before crossing the road, or that you should not talk to strangers etc.

After the briefings, we were treated to a BBQ lunch by the Graduate Student Association of the university which was highly popular as you can see below.

The only thing is that lunch wasn’t really barbecued meat, but more of a hamburger with either a lamb hotdog or a vegetarian burger patty!

Anyway, here are some random shots I took of Melbourne’s main Swanston Street for your viewing pleasure.

Along Melbourne’s main thoroughfare, there are modern skyscrapers towering away into the clouds…

…as well as more traditional ones with tall and elegant spires pointing heavenward.

Here’s a shot of the interestingly designed RMIT, with a mix of Victorian-esque old world charm and new aged funk.

There were lots of unique shops along the street, like this Vietnamese Grill Bar. Oh yes, there were tonnes of asians in Melbourne, and Swanston Street almost seemed like our Orchard Road in Singapore in terms of its multi-ethnic representation.

Signs like these were useful in depicting the shops along the walkways. Note that the streets were FULL of people on a weekday afternoon (at 3 pm).

Even the fields at the city had people lying around, sitting down for a coffee and relaxing at mid-day. Life is certainly good here.

The seagulls on the lawn made good playthings for restless kids like this guy in green.

A horse-drawn carriage on the street, awaiting passengers for romantic clippity clop through the city.

In fact, life is so idyllic that they even have time for a game of chess – albeit a giant-sized one as you can see here. Back at home in Singapore, only retirees could engage in this pastime but here it appeared that anybody of any age could do so as you can see here.

Street performers are plentiful, and each time I walked the streets, I saw a different act. Here’s a colourfully dressed stiltwalker doing the hula and singing a tune.

And a white-haired gentleman/lady (I really couldn’t tell) playing a beautifully haunting tune on the synthesizer.

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  1. posted on Feb 19, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Not sure about the don’t talk to strangers advice. But the look right, left and right before crossing has a very specific purpose – there will be students who come from countries where people drive on the opposite side of the street. It can be fatal to do the opposite: left, right and left – the road might look clear… only because they’re looking at the wrong direction!

    =) There’ll be plenty of those barbies (BBQs) throughout the first week of semester or so, as various campus groups entice them to join you.

    Yes, Melbourne has so many Asians that it can look like Singapore. I think more so now compared to when I was studying there. I also noticed people walking faster and that motorists are less patient the last time I was there on holiday in 2006. But it’s still a nice pace. As you noted, at 3pm, the streets are full! Always wondered how come there are so many people in work clothes who are not at work at that time!

  2. posted on Feb 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    I think Melbourne is an awesome place! I’ve been there for only over a week last time, but I totally love the yarra river and the open space.

    But then again, maybe its because I went there in May and the weather was so cooling eh?

  3. posted on Feb 20, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    I feel as if I was back in Melbourne. Ah! Thanks for the photos. Actually, I miss Sydney more. 😛

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