26022017: Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

Uni starts again tomorrow (good god, where did the time go?). Normally I would stay home – like I had been for the past few days – because I need a lot of time by myself to mentally prepare for socialisation. BUT I’m also serious about this travelogue project, and I needed to get out more anyway, and use those shoes, and not be a sad and isolated hermit.

So off I went, for the sake of TCH, to the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival (website).

The city frequently hosts multicultural events – showcasing the art, dances, music, crafts and (most importantly) the food -, which highlights the diversity and international appeal of Melbourne. That’s what I love most about living here; just as in Malaysia, there’s a celebration of multiculturalism, and a kind of welcome to tourists and residents alike to explore and support a different culture. You can always come in freely to Fed Square and try Sri Lankan food, or purchase some Indonesian crafts, or whatever that’s happening.

The only difference was that back home (Malaysia) our celebration of multiculturalism is…normalised? We celebrate and recognise each other’s holidays, and when Chinese New Year, or Ramadan, or Divali comes it’s a long event by itself – in the wet markets, in the malls, in the radio, in our houses – and it permeates everyone’s daily living for a while like a relative coming in for a visit. It’s quite mundane actually. It’s not like in Melbourne where a culture is confined into its own space most of the time – quiet and unseen- and only once a year for a day they go public. Not that there’s anything wrong. It’s just an observation of difference. Between a loud and quiet person.

Anyway to return to the present, while I thought it was good I went out, I immediately regretted it. 28 degrees celsius never felt warmer, especially more so when you’re shuffled along in a tight pack of people and waiting in long lines trying to get food and water. Can’t imagine the folks working behind the teriyaki stalls, trapped in smoke and heat. Bless them.

I ate some food though. Had an unlucky purchase with a ramune bottle (still unopened). I got donuts and I went home after that to get away from the heat. Not that I would be spared – the next few days are going to be a scorcher. 33 C, 34 C, all that.

Of course, the heatwave had to happen during my first week of uni. What did I expect?

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