Victoria Market

I used to have a love/hate relationship with Vic Market.. On the one hand, it’s a cool shopping place ‘cos it’s very cheap, they have tons of variety and you can dart in and around to the stalls without all that mystique and fru-fru that shopping malls tire me with. On the other hand, I spent most of my pre-adult years working there every weekend on my dad’s record stall. So, while most of you well adjusted kids spent weekends with your families sailing boats and having picnics, I was selling crap commercial/continental records and tapes (and 8 track cartridges) to thrifty migrants! Thanx Dad!

Anyhoo, I was in West Melbourne today and decided to take a prance about the old digs. Most of the stalls were packed up, but I got talking to a couple of stall holders. Seems the place has changed since I last played Crass through my ghetto blaster while i packed up. For instance, it used to be quite common for stall holders to bribe the market’s employees, so they could keep their stalls. I knew a Jew who sold menswear in the 70’s and 80’s, and he paid them a cool grand every month. My dad never gave them anything except a dozen bottles of beer at xmas (which they thought was a joke). They did hassle us for bribes, but my dad said “fuck em”.

So the market officers were on the take, no biggie. Also the council’s drunk truck that collected bums used to shake down winos for their life’s savings
(I knew a Yugo who had 16 grand swiped while they broke his ribcage).  Anyway, apparently these days the stall holders have long term contracts that secure their stalls – Which brings me to the news that individual stall holders are now selling their stalls with contract for as much as $50k! (i remember when it was $5 to have a stall there).

So, going back to my trip down memory lane, I love Vic market. There are lots of cool clothes now, instead of just sweathog trackies, and you can even get a wheat-grass! Plus, it sure beats shopping malls and strips. The next time a retail clerk says to me “can I help you sir”?, I swear I’m gonna kick him in the ass!


~ by headcaver on May 14, 2009.

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