I’m flying out tonight, but before I do, I have two more apartments to see, both in the same building in Collins Street. I know I’ve already silently started to discount them in my head, so I give myself a bit of a talking to and set out.
There’s time to walk around the city for a while, which is a shorter while than I bargain for because the real estate agent calls to say she can’t open any of the documents attached to my rental application e-mail. Oh no! I race back to the hotel, grab my luggage out of storage (having already checked out), open up my lap top and go searching for how to download a free pdf writer to convert them. Slowly, every so slowly, it works and I am able to re-send them through, phoning her to confirm. The approval takes a day, but I know there are also inspections of the apartment scheduled for today and tomorrow. Oh please, please, let me get it.
Now did you know that the humble dim sim had its beginnings in Melbourne? True story. They were created by Chinese chef William Wing Young for his restaurant “Wing Lee” around 1945. However, everyone seems to recall that the best dim sims were made and sold by Ken (Kuen) Cheng at the South Melbourne Market. Unfortunately since Ken’s death in 2006, the dim sims have not tasted as good and another shop maintains they are selling authentic South Melbourne dimmies, cashing in on the famous reputation by calling them Cheng family’s crispy dim sims. However, Ken would be rolling in his grave if he know that these dim sims were fried.
Anyway, no time to sit and chat, I take my lap top with me this time, just in case and head off to my next viewings. The apartments look quite lovely on the internet – wooden floors, large open windows and modern appliances. One even has gas thrown in!
We I arrive though, one lift isn’t working. Not a great sign in what I’m feeling already to be a pretty old dingy building. No gym. No pool. But I haven’t seen the inside of the apartment yet, so I hold my thoughts.
Until I walk in the front door. Yuk. I can tell someone has smoked in here at one point – the smell reminds me of my grandparents house. When we moved my Pop out, the wall was a totally different colour where we removed the wall clock because of all the tobacco staining over the years. No, no, no and no. Not this one. Plus it’s got bits and pieces falling apart. Free gas or not, it’s a no.
And the second one isn’t much better. It smells like cooking food. And its tenanted, so their mattresses and bedding are all over the floor. Junk and mess everywhere. Stuff overflowing out of every cupboard. No as well.
I must admit I feel a little disappointed, thinking that this trip hasn’t yielded as much in the way of inspections as I had hoped, but I guess at the very least it has been good to walk the streets and see where I do and don’t want to be in relation to everything else. It’s one thing to look at a map and on google, but quite another to be in the location and feel the vibe. Plus I’ve certainly got to enjoy some beautiful sunshine, which is something we don’t have in Perth right now.
The AFL grand final hits town this week, and in anticipation, the hoards have also lobbed in on the Melbourne CBD. There are all sorts of activities going on in Federation Square, and its a little crowded so I decide to head underneath Fed Square to the restaurant I noticed on yesterdays boatride. The Riverland Bar stretches along the riverbank, occupying the old vault buildings. Constructed for the Melbourne City Council in 1890, the 19 heritage listed vaults were part of works undertaken on the south side of Yarra Bank Road, which was realigned following completion of the new Princes Bridge in 1888. The vaults are located under the road’s retaining wall and the barrel-vaulted cells are approximately 5 m deep. Some of the vaults were used as council storerooms and others rented to tenants including the Victorian Motor Boat Club, the river police, confectioners, restaurants, hobby shops, the Cream Top motor hire service and a range of marine trades including boat-builders, motor boat proprietors and marine engineers. In 2003, were transferred to the State Government-owned company Federation Square Management and they now house river cruise companies, bicycle hire and restaurants. The food at Riverland is really nice, and they also have what over the last couple of days has become quite a favourite of mine the Cape Schanck Bay Pinot Grigio, from Victoria’s very own Mornington Peninsula. This is definitely one to bring future visitors to. And it’s so close to my new apartment. Hang on – don’t want to get ahead of myself here!
Before leaving the Riverland, I do get a message from one of my personal references to say he’d received a call from the agents enquiring about me, to which he gave a right royal reference! Much appreciated JH. If anyone can sway them into giving me an apartment, it’s you. I’m really hoping I get a call from the estate agent about my rent application before I get back to Perth, but the hours are dwindling quickly. Que sera, sera. I should let it be, because if it’s meant to be, it will.