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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"The one place with all the cars that sell stuff..."

Australia carries many resemblance of British trademarks and signature cultures. If we were to extract the very root of Australians we'll find that they imbue many striking resemblance in terms of mentality, preferences and attributes of their ancestors from Europe. Indeed, they may be outcasts in the pages of historical textbooks and arcane lore, but there are such characteristics bearing uncanny resemblances which makes every Brit feel at home in the Land Down Under. And such a tradition is the legendary art of direct-selling - directly from the space of your car's trunk.

Yes, here in Melbourne we also have the liberty of those awesome car-boot sales. As far as a good bargain goes, it does not get any better than this. And where better to go for a car-boot sale than in suburban Camberwell, about 21 kilometres shy from Bundoora.

However, there was a flaw to the whole concept of car-boot sale hunting; having to wake up in the ungodly hours of the day. I'm not one to open the curtains this wee-early in an oscitany morning, but I've been pestered by these people so bad that I felt it's just due time I take a deep breath and get on with it. Plus, it either this or spend the entire next week having a double-dose of Fendi/Yusry up my neck with their rants and magnanimous chants. Come Sunday, I finally gave in - and found myself waking up to one of the (most) foggy mornings Melbourne has had in a long time.

It's enough a sign signalling you to skip that morning shower and get your chilly bottom moving to next warmest spot. Remembered to pack up my gear and bring the new toy out for a test, which you'll soon to figure out what it actually is. After a quick breakfast and tea, we headed for an almost 30-minute drive through the suburbs into Camberwell - thanks to Yusry's hand drawn map he'd manage to conjure out of Google Earth the night before.

[ Yes. I got myself a new toy. No points of guessing what. And no; it's not a red car by any chance. ]

Anyways, black panda eyes and a reticent morning blues we made it to the grounds of Camberwell car(s)boot center. Last time I had attempted such an endeavor was with Dr. Chemoboy in Sheffield Quay, but was bummed that upon arrival the boots have actually opened somewhere else in Infirmary Road. So up to Sunday, I had no idea or any inclinations of how a normal car-boot sale would look like. I'd figured - probably a few cars with their boots up, spotting a few worn out clothes hanged side by side. Maybe even a hint of old boots paired on top of the car roofs; ambiently giving away their stench onto the atmosphere. Otherwise, I have squat an idea of how it'd look like.

So my Camberwell experience was really like opening up a can-o-worms. Except, the suprise was somewhat (enchantingly) concupiscense, if I may fell out of words to describe it.

Camberwell was, by all means - merry and crowded by people zombie-ing for a spot-on bargain hunt. It was H-U-G-E, and the collection of stuff for purchase were many. Everything from anything was for sale; tags and prices comes as low as articulation and progressive bargaining goes. If you play your cards well, you might be able to get something well worth your visit.

Camberwell has something for everyone - from old age vinyl records to the current CDs, books, antiques, and of course the usual coats, shirts, boots and other customary attires.

The sale layout was designed like your usual Pasar Ramadhan and spots rows of cars with their doors, boots and windows open to an array of merchandise. Because most of them are either preowned and used, it's easy to narrow your choices to only those that tickle your fancy. If you're lucky, there are also new items out on sale. I'd figured these are stuff that never found their use by their owners. I found a few new cardi's and hoodies with their tags still intact; sold just because its owner has 'outgrown' their size. After much strolling and inspecting, I finally got myself a new Industrie checkered shirt (which retails for AUD39.95) for AUD 7 and a new vintage hoodie at AUD 6 which would sell in stores for AUD 29.95. A bargain, I had thought. Maner nak dapat kat tempat lain beb!

Sometime during our (window) shopping, the Salvation Army band had serendipitously provided us with nice auditory entertainment; for what otherwise would be a cold and mundane Sunday morning. It'd been a while since I had enjoyed some good live street bands, and if you could count this as one I really did enjoy the whole trumpet-trombone fiasco. Makes you want to jump up and make a salute for those who keep our borders safe.

The morning's progression did nothing to wear the blotting fog any less - instead it seemed at a point it was getting foggier as the day went on. Which explains why everyone was clad in hoods, coats and sweaters as it was freezing cold. A quick temp-check by Jimin revealed an icy 7 degrees on the mercury tube.

That did not abstain our lenses from snapping. Much to most of the car-boot seller's dismay. Probably it's the cold that provided for their not-so-warm body languages as we took pictures of them.

It got colder - and foggier. Somehow I had thought we were shopping in Alaska, for some reason.

We ended up spending the entire morning in Camberwell; only able to fully tawaf the whole place up at about a few minutes till noon. At this point in time, most of the good stuff had already been bought up and there are already signs of a few stalls closing down. Plus, under those intense shivers and abstains from heat - more than rings the bell reminding ourselves to make way for home.

Nevertheless, that said it had been a fruitful journey that day. Waking up so very awfully early and ending up buying two nice attires at the cost of half one at retail is something you don't expect to enjoy every often.

Camberwell has been nice to me this time around.

To our amazement, the ride home was also through the thickening fog amidst a decaying day. No sunshine in sight. The temp's still cold, and it might not get any sunnier than this by the looks of things. This might be, Melbourne's foggiest day since I've been here so far.

Fendi had graciously agreed to cook lunch for us after Camberwell, and he'd served up a fantastic rendition of Tom Yam with ikan masak sambal. I've always known that he could cook, but never thought it'd be this good. It's either he's that good, or we're all starving at that time. The party disbanded at about 3pm, and I finally got to catch up on some shut eye I lost from the morning.

Alhamdulillah, the day ended along with the fog leaving what's left of an awesome scenic sunset. It was a tiring and trying day, but beautiful and fun. Looking forward to more fun stuff during my next few weekends.

Congratulations to Dr. Chemoboy, for having finished his 12-dose ABVD treatment. I continuously pray that he tends about his health well in the next few days of his final recovery, and that this ordeal had come to an end. He has come so far, and a triumph it surely was. Looking forward of him coming home in a few days time to an anxious family, whom had always been behind him lending their endless support and prayers.


P/S : That said, hope mom had a nice flight home last week as well!


Andi said...

Peh...mashyuk la itu kamera baru... gambar post kali ni semua through lens DSLR la ni? canggih...

JeP said...

yeszaa..! :p

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum wbth,

I love the pictures u took with ur SLR. Maybe I'll get one myself laaatteeer...when I have the money!

Anyway, My flite home was fine, other than a few turbulances. My bus from Sheffield was supposed to leave at 2.20pm, but it only came at 3.10pm. Since i was alone because Chemoboy was too tired to send me, it was quite challenging trying to keep my cool!

I reached heathrow at 7.45pm...and there waiting was none other than KIzu @ Abang Din (dats what Aiysha calls him)....he wanted me to carry back some real important documents to you know who...we had drinks n shared panini vege/cheese ape entah..tapi sedapla! Thanks Izu, for entertaining me while I was in London..u r a very good host.

As usual, kata tak nak shopping, tapi bag tak muat juga..kena tinggalkan one plastic-bag full of my clothes for Afzal to take back. mama beli Thorntons banyaknya...and..M gave me his coffee tier (I'm not sure if this is how it is spelt - it's the manual coffee maker!), plus 1 tin n 2 bags of glorius coffee beans!

It's getting hot in I envy ur familiar foggy, grey n nicely cold weather!..dont forget to bundle up n keep ur ears warm!


Anonymous said...

Tidak ku sangka Jep, dalam ke'tight'an budget for this December masih ada wang saku untuk sebuah SLR..ish3

-yang masih nausea walaupun dah makan banyak domperidone-

Arin said...

i always love camberwell..balik mesia..tercarik2 sungguh tempat cam gini..jual brg secondhand but still in a tip top condition..2.5yrs kt melb dulu, tiap bulan sure sekali atau dua kali menyinggah di camberwell ini..

JeP said...

exactly! Camberwell is such a haven for bargains and stuffs you'll no longer be able to get in stores.

dulu arin duduk kat mana in melb? lama dh ek?