I haven’t always loved Perth. Having spent my 20s travelling and working abroad, I would return to find it boring and lacking any real substance. Obviously having grown up here and having my family here always lead me back, but there was something about the freedom and lack of routine that comes with travelling that enticed me to land outside of Australia. And as a result Perth equated to boredom and monotony to my 20-something itchy-footed self.
There has always been talk about how wonderful Melbourne is. Cosmopolitan and full of everything Perth isn’t – trendy eateries, laneways, art and culture, and American stores (think Krispy Kreme and 7-Eleven) that we don’t have – according to popular opinion. Over the years I have started to love Perth for its sleepiness, and with the recent burst in growth and population, I have found myself craving the sleepy old town I used to once find boring. I never quite understood the hoopla about Melbourne, how exactly could it be more interesting than the Perth I now love?
It’s no secret I love my food. While walking through the city my senses were treated to the smell of all kinds of joy. Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, pizza, hotdogs and hot chips. My nose was in food heaven, I was like a kid in a candy store where the candy was savoury delights and the store was Swanston Street. While my eyes were open to new sights, my soul was relishing in the joy that is food from the smells wafting through the air. It was no surprise then that a visit to the Queen Victoria Market was an entitlement in itself. It was a given that we would visit even without mention, before we landed it was already at the top of our tourist ‘must-see’ list.
And that brought about a whole lot of other sights and smells. Oh Melbourne, why you so pretty?