Melbourne on Film, 1

In January I was semi-kidding about going back to Melbourne . Then it became semi-serious and then I bought my tickets. For the first time in my life I left Kuala Lumpur to celebrate Chinese New Year away from home. Unlike most families that return to their hometowns in other states, my great grand parents relocated themselves from China to KL and have been here ever since. When other families would brave through the traffic in some sort of exodus out of the city, we’d be heading into the heart of the city. But over the years, more people are staying back. Roads are more congested, malls are packed, more fireworks, more loud Chinese New Year jingles, more noise, more headaches.

My only Chinese New Year highlight while growing up (apart from those bright red angpows, yee sang and pineapple tarts) was receiving aluminum helium balloons from my uncle. Every year, I’d get something new. A dolphin, gold fish, bird and sun. Ever since he passed away, the holiday season just sort of ended.

I needed a break and going away made sense.

This time, I left the digital SLR (in desperate need of an upgrade) behind and only brought the OM1 and iPhone with me. The following photographs were shot on 35mm.

First breakfast at Liar Liar in Hawthorn. It was a warm, warm day.

It was a weekday but people were in the park like it was a Sunday. I like that.

Crossing the bridge to the other side and to Fitzroy Gardens. Again, the light was  warm and pretty, cutting through leaves and branches and trees and people walking and resting. I took my slippers off to walk on the grass. It felt really good to have skin on grass, like it’s what we’re made for.

Hard rubbish at Ant’s. I would take the three piece set of two stools and mini table home if I could. I particularly like that stool. It doesn’t sit properly as one of its legs is shorter than the rest… as though when it was made, it was so happy that it can’t keep all of its feet on the ground. Did I mention that I also like the terrazzo floor?

We looked through a piles of paper only to punch out a farm of cows.

Evening light.

Dinner with Dave, Li, Ant, Iris, Brodie and Adrian at Jade Kingdom. We had yee sang too and it felt strangely comforting to have it outside Malaysia. We talked about food while eating and after eating.

Part 2 is on its way!



  1. Ant

    I’m impressed you managed to capture the sparkly floor :)

  2. suejan

    lovely lovely pictures. :D

  3. gulagula

    there is some kind of inexplicable feeling everytime i see vintage photos like these that digital camera lacks. i wish i can shoot film too, but it seems to have a higher cost than digital.

    anyway, nice film photos by you. love them.

    • rachelchew

      Shooting film teaches me to anticipate and wait… not always easy, but the outcome usually surprises. I can’t shoot film on a daily basis too, unfortunately. But it’s a good change once in a while.
      Thanks, btw :)

  4. Your photographs are beautiful. They all seriously sparkle. So good! This looks like a nice break from the craziness. Chinese New Year hasn’t been the same for me either so I feel ya. Can’t wait to see more.

  5. pat

    Breaks are essential. Love it that you managed to hop over to Aus again (and so soon!) :) Missing you, it’s waaaaay too cold here. We’re going to the zoo tomorrow.

    • rachelchew

      I miss you too… Can’t wait for you to come back to tell us everything heheh. But am sure you’d wish you’d be staying longer ;)

      • pat

        I do wish we lived closer. These short visits are great and I’m having way too good a time, but there’ll always be the goodbye bits, and I could do without them. But I do miss everyone back home, so see you soon!

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