I had a mission this morning. That is, to find a red packet, “Ang Pow” (in Hokkien) with a Chinese character symbolising a long life. It is for my mother’s birthday which is coming up soon. It is a Chinese tradition to wish an elder on his/her birthday with a red packet. “Red” to Chinese is symbolic for prosperity. The only place that I can find, if any, is in Chinatown.
So off on my mission this Saturday walking along the Yarra Rver promenade stretching from my city apartment at South Wharf to Crown to Southbank and crossing a pedestrian bridge to Flinders Street station down towards Elizabeth Street and Little Bourke Street. It was a nice and pleasant twenty minutes walk. Along the way, I was happily snapping some pictures.
The Sandridge Railway Bridge is a historic bridge built in 1888, crossing the Yarra River from Southbank to Flinder Street station.
Melbourne is a very green city, with thousands of plane trees spread throughout the city. They are beautiful trees but not good for someone like me who suffers from hay fever.
As we crossed the bridge and looking back towards Southbank, my partner pointed out to me that there is a giant golden bee. It is interesting that some time we don’t noticed all the things around us eventhough we walk passed the same place over and over again.
Before searching for the red packet, I proposed a light lunch at one of my favourite dumpling place in Little Bourke Street, “Shanghai Dumpling”. It is a small little street side cafe that opens at 11:30 am Monday to Saturday for lunch. It is a very popular place and being so small, it doesn’t take long for the queue to build up.
This time my partner and I were more sensible and not over do it by ordering too much. We went for our all time favourite – the Shanghai dumpling or Xiao Long Bow with chicken and prawn, and a bowl of pork dried noodles. Total bill $21.
We have come to Shanghai Dumpling a few times and the food is always good and delicious. This part of Little Bourke Street is also one of my favourite spot for browsing the few small interesting retail shops, away from the busy Chinatown.
Further east along the Little Bourke Street is Chinatownon, on the other side of Swanston Street. That was where we were heading after a hearty and warm dumpling + noodle combo lunch.
I was very pleased with myself that my little mission was a success! I managed to locate a Chinese gift shop that sells a range of red packets with different meanings and greetings. Like the western greeting cards, except in Chinese custom, we prefer to give money enclosed in a red packet to multiple the wealth, good health and longevity for the person receiving it.
…and, an acrobatic man swallowing his sword while juggling 3 sticks of flames in his finale act.
My little mission of the day turned out to be a fun and enjoyable day walking the streets of Melbourne city.