Travel. P #35 – Living on the Streets of Melbourne

“I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.” 

Carla H. Kruege
View on Melbourne from Albert Park

About week after new year I left the hostel and walked around to find some nice spots for a camp. Luckily there are rent bikes in Melbourne and I was lucky I found one that wasn’t properly put back into the lock, so I took it for my road bike in Melbourne. After sleeping my first night in between to threes in the middle of Albert Park. In Melbourne and in general in Australia are free BBQs, that means a square of iron with a small hole in the middle. The plate is getting heated by gas and switches off after around 10 minutes, so that you have to push the start button again. Those BBQ were in a lot of parks, as well as Albert Park, my new home I decided. In St. Kilda, 5 minutes cycle to the beach and a lot of sport grounds and people to watch. The Park stretches to the beach but includes houses and restaurants. It is Characterized by wide streets, open air cafes, exotic trees. It includes the Melbourne Grand Orix Circuit, that is a street circuit, and has to be set up every time there is a race, for example for Formula one. The circuit has a enclosed nature characteristic due to concrete barriers annually built along the Lakeside Drive curve, in particular, where run-off is not available due to the proximity of the lake shore. The only permanent thing is the pits stop house. Each year, most of the track side fencing, pedestrian overpasses, grandstands and other Motorsport infrastructure are erected approximately two months prior to the Grand Prix weekend and removed within 6 weeks after the event. Land around the circuit (including a large aquatic center, a golf course, a Lakeside Stadium, Some restaurants, and at least 6 soccer fields, artificial grass or real grass, where I sometimes watched the Melbourne Team Training) have restricted access during those events.

Mushrooms for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, haha.
Classic house in between Albert Park and Beach front

Nearly half of the Park is a small lake, that was once a lagoon shaped by the ancient Yarra River. So yeah that was my new home, and after my fist night I even found a hidden spot for a camp, next to the tram rail. The tram sometimes woke me up, but they also stopped driving around midnight, so I could have quiet night. I rarely took the tram in Melbourne. Cycling in Melbourne is a lot of fun and there are some nice cycle routes to the cbd, where I got my food and to the harbor where I wrote my block in the amazing library and worked on the web page. I loved that place. The library at the dock was around 15 minutes to half an hour cycle from my camp. I left my big backpack in the camp, and took all my important things in my small backpack, so I wouldn’t have to worry about my stuff. The Library at the dock got 3 floors. It is one of the six public Library of Melbourne. The Library is Australia’s first 6 star Green Star rated public building, made from engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood. When I explored the 3rd floor the first time, I was super flashed by the facility that are available. Community meeting areas, a kitchen, table tennis area and stretching and chill out terrace, Gaming corner, and the best, creative editing suites and two record studios with amazing equipment. How cool is that?

BBQ spot
Amazing rent out biked for a great price.

Me favorite spot to work were two chairs just in front of the long window front, so that you could watch over the dockside and the harbor. Sometimes I saw a few big Sea lions swimming around the docks. I also enjoyed watching just the boats cruising around and people managing their boats. This place is also the place where the my ‘Chill E’ playlist was made, and is still the playlist that is getting extended while I am writing this Blog and escape rainy days into my second home, libraries.

Preparing food in the Park

Usually after writing and working on the web page I had time for myself. I didn’t like to be too social at that time. Sometimes I met friends or organised my bin diving, with each time big success, and variations of food. It is funny to bin dive, because sometimes I got so much stuff, that I called Abbey if shes keen to make some lunch, since she was living in a flat with two other people, so that we could use a proper kitchen. But mostly I just took the food and went to a nice park where I cooked just by myself in peace and with all the time of the world my food. Outside in the sun, shaded by a roof, next to water and watching people passing by. One time I was super lucky while I was bin diving. I forgot that the marked was closed, but I still gave it a try, maybe there was some stuff laying around, when I just crossed a man sorting out his fridge full of all kind of crazy mushrooms. 80% of those were still in awesome shape and with oil and spices amazing for lunch and dinner. I ate so many shrooms, that even my urine was smelling so much like mushrooms, haha.

Classic Lunch/Dinne – Never ate that much vegetables in my life. I felt AMAZING!

After a few days living in the park, I started Lornas mission clothes from her ex. The mission failed up to three times, but finally we reached him and he put the clothes in a bag in the garden so I could pick it up. It was a mission because it was really hard to reach him since he never answered us, nor was he home. But after succeeding, I send Lorna a pic and she marked all her favorite stuff, that I then send over to New Zealand. Good for me that there was a secondhand store just around the corner so that I could drop my stuff and even found a cheap great pair of shoes. In the end I am happy we managed to succeed the mission, because there are some beautiful dresses that suit her really good.

My living spot.

Before I even left to the park, I started doing yoga every morning and some meditation in the park. I continued later in the park where I lived as well. I really enjoyed it and it is a very nice start into the day. Very calming and relaxing on body and mind. I also kept myself fit, doing workout on bars just next to the library, and just before entering the library giving myself a rinse on the water playground next to it. After living a week on the street in Melbourne, I really started to enjoy it. There is so much time, due to no WiFi and signal and nothing that distracts you. In the morning you wake up and you start straight away into the day. With yoga or swimming in the Ocean in my case. Your day becomes very productive and seems to be longer than usually. Also because you have nothing to attach you to. There is no house to hang out, you move to the park or the beach, no TV you watch people doing amazing things, playing amazing music, like on night a young guy with a didge and a snare playing aaamazing techno, while people are jumping and raving around him, just on the street. But not like moving a little bit, no people where drunk and on drugs and having a crazy night like in a club. I found that very cool and interesting to watch, and even to join in sober. One of my favorite things to do in the evening was sitting on the windy beach front and watching the sun getting swallowed by the horizon carving black shadows into the big port. I also loved to just cycle around, without any destination. Going left, right, left, straight, backwards … Through this way of exploring I saw really cool sides of Melbourne.

one of my favorite activities, see how close I can cycle to the water.

One night when I was still at the hostel, I wasn’t allowed to enter a bar with my roommates due to my open shoes, so I met two other guys from the hostel and we started exploring the side streets of Melbourne. Finally we met two guys sitting on bins and smoking while drinking. They invited us to join and like we found out later, the two of them were sprayers of the street art scene. I was really pleased to give it a try as well, so since this moment there is the Massafari Label sprayed into Melbourne heart. Stencil art was embraced at an early stage, leading to the naming of Melbourne as “stencil capital of the world”. The adoption of stencil art also increased public awareness of the concept of street art. The first stencil festival in the world was held in Melbourne in 2004 and featured the work of many major international artists. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, much of the city’s disaffected youth were influenced by the Graffiti of New York City, which subsequently became popular in Melbourne’s suburbs and railways. Today there are amazing art works of hours of spraying and painting spread all over the city of Melbourne and worth a close look.

Favorite shirt. Perfect for Australian climate conditions.

I thing I wrote enough for today, so you can get excited to read more the next time. You will read about my first job in Australia, why I moved my camp to sleeping on the floor of a friend and having a great time, mostly just y myself. About sleeping at the beach, learning how to cook and learning a lot from an ex homeless friend about rules and honor on the streets. I also checked the homeless organizations in Melbourne that are working amazing and started to get itchy feet and planning a trip further north.

Here I am, sitting in my hammock in Porte Saint Luis, and will start working on the boat today. I hope some stuff for the electricity will arrive today. Yesterday was a wild night and I am happy I went to bed quite early, so that I can work with a clear mind today. We are slowly getting to finish the boat. If we continue to work like this, we might be done in the end of September, at least with the main bids. Tomorrow we will set up our masts, I am very excited for that, so yeah back to work then, haha. Bread and a good piece of grease pork is called Le petit Jésus en culotte de velours btw.

Why don’t take the bike and a bag or a backpack to the food store instead of the car, little changes can improve the world already a little bit.

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