Street dating 

Much like Berlin, Melbourne has a thriving street art scene…

Despite it being 42 degrees I joined a group of like minded culture vultures at the library and traipsed after the ‘free’ tour guide. ‘Free’ means please make a donation – donate what you think it’s worth.

Four hours through the blistering heat of the city in the midday sun. Most of the clientele that day also seemed to be ‘back packers’ – lone travelers trying to forge a link with one another along the route. It felt like speed dating. 

We kept swapping partners and the hum of chatter drowned out the tour guide easily. My initial partner Vivian joined me for the lunch stop but seemed far more interested in a young man she’d been lining up for a trip along the great ocean road. I initially seemed to be doing well but I started to panic in hour three when it seemed I’d lost all my partners to other suitors. I’ve failed I thought. As though it was a test rather than a tour!

I decided to focus on what the tour guide was saying. It perplexes me why on a ‘free’ tour I have to pay? I started to worry about the amount I should give him. 

I also feel sorry for the poor chap. I wonder how much money he earns from each tour? 

Finally it was over and with great relief Vivian rushed up to collect me for a rooftop bar drink. I’d learnt nothing about Melbourne but I’d gained three new drinking buddies. Success!