This weekend I was punched by a stranger. I’m not trying to sound dramatic but that is literally what happened to me as I was walking through an underpass and whilst I laugh about it now, it was a pretty terrifying experience at the time.
It happened on Friday night, after a long day at work and as I was on my way to meet a friend for a bowl of Pho on Victoria Street. It hadn’t been particularly late and I wouldn’t say I was at a particularly dangerous train station either but as I passed by a middle-aged man he swung his arm back and punched me on my shoulder putting his body weight behind it. It was pretty bizarre and once I had my balance back I just stopped walking, turned and stared at him. He yelled something at me like, ‘Don’t you walk into me!’ and I yelled , ‘WHAT?!’ as I strode back toward him fired up with a mix of surprise and anger. He yelled at me again, right in my face (I am way too ballsy for a person that weighs all of 55 kg), ‘Don’t you walk into me or I’ll punch you!’. I was so enraged that I just yelled right back at him ‘I didn’t walk into you!’, turned and continued on my way. Awkwardly, when I got to my platform the man was standing on the other side of the tracks waiting for a train that was going in the opposite direction. We just stared at each-other across the tracks, him muttering obscenities and swinging his fists at us city-bound commuters and me giving him a devil stare until my phone rang and I realised how ridiculous the whole situation was.
Aside from this very bizarre occurrence, I had a completely normal weekend full of laughter, dancing and catching up with friends. Earlier in the week I went to No Lights, No Lycra with some friends and was surprised by how fun it was. Basically NLNL is an exercise/dance party where you dance, completely sober, in a dark room full of strangers for just over an hour. Entry is $5.00 and within the first ten minutes I understood why the majority of people there were wearing comfortable shoes and exercise gear. The room gets insanely hot, so hot that your throat becomes dry and every person that you come into contact with is either a little clammy or drenched in sweat. Although the room is dark, you can make out shapes pretty easily and it is pretty rare for anyone to actually bump into you or step on your toes. The great thing about NLNL is that everyone there is really respectful, people aren’t trying to grind against strangers, you can leave your bag on the other side of the room without a gnawing sense of paranoia taking hold and the vibe isn’t disapproving of people who go it alone.
Saturday night was the PBS Radio Soul-A-Go Go party and Sunday was spent in the country with old friends. We explored the local Sunday market, had a delicious lunch at Wombat Chai and went to TarraWarra Museum of Art. The current exhibition, Animate/Inanimate, is very different from the exhibitions I’m used to seeing at TWMA and had a pretty eerie quality to it. In one room human skulls and small bone fragments were suspended from the roof and covered in very fine thread of different colours and in another it was an exploration of the final individual in a species on the brink of extinction. It is definitely worth the hike out to Healesville to see the exhibition, and if you’re not tempted by this alone the idea of a chocolate factory ten minutes down the road that gives away chocolate should pretty much seal the deal.
Now they worry and they hurry and they fuss and they fret, they waste your nights and days, them I will forget – Working Man’s Blues, Bob Dylan