Just as the Romans did

It may be my imagination, but it feels like tourist season in Melbourne right now, and why not? This is the time of year I’d visit too, if I was a tourist.

Walking the city streets today every second person seems a tourist dressed in their smart casual, camera slung over their shoulder and a bag with a bottle of water, and what not. They wander the arcades, Royal and Block, exclaiming at the architecture and swivelling to take a different pic, or stopping to have lunch or coffee at one of the pavement cafes. It’s a beautiful day, crisp and warm – about 30 degrees. The skies are that great Australian blue, against which the tree lined streets are fresh and green. It feels good, even to me.

I had no plans at lunch. I just started walking, through shops and arcades and down laneways, taking whichever direction caught my whim. I looked about as I went along, taking in the clustered tourists, Asian and European, listened in as they pointed out the next point of interest. As I came out into Collins street I bathed in the sunshine, before finding myself in a subterranean bookshop.

I’m back in the office now, and soon to a meeting. A Roman a couple of millennia ago probably did and thought much as I have done, wandering the streets of Rome and observing the Gauls and Egyptians, the Germans and the Persians, and so on, taken in the sunshine before returning to scribe something in his designated corner. These sorts of things are eternal, but so should they be. Life at its simplest.

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