Flinders St pepper.
So out of the loop, so to speak, am I in regards to the public transport system, that I arise, breakfast, buy a hard-to-find daily Metcard from a bus outside Yarraville station and get to the CBD with more than an hour to spare.
So I take my time getting to my toothy destination.
My leisurely pace is right out of whack with the mass of humanity scrurrying around me.
Echoes of a previous life spent living and working here are profound – everything seems the same, everything has changed.
There’s a lot power walking, power coffee and power clothes.
There’s a lot more cyclists whizzing by than I recall.
This is like an 8.45am 2012 take on John Bracks’ iconic Collins St 5pm.
Look – no queues at Mamasita!
In that other life, I’d passed by Cafe Alcaston, on the corner of Collins and Spring streets, a thousand times without ever stepping inside. For some reason, I’d always believed it to be a basement cubby hole, with windows looking out on to pedestrian footwear.
Over an excellent cafe latte, I reflect on the fact it’s actually up a few stairs.
It’s also very much the intimate hideaway I’d always imagined.
Getting down to business, I say good morning to the tooth fishes.
Not only am I heaps early, I’ve also forgotten to bring some CDs, leaving me at the mercies of my dentist’s hodge-podge collection.
Flinging aside the likes of the Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees and new-age claptrap, we settle on an album grandly entitled Monty Python Sings.
As Jen prepare to examine my damaged filling, the strains of Always Look On Bright Side Of Life fill the surgery.
As it quickly transpires, there is indeed a very bright side to this visit.
All that is required is a partial rebuild of a filling on a tooth from which the root has long been removed.
No needles, zero pain and about as little of the financial variety as is possible these days.
In and out in under half an hour.
On the way back to Flinders St station, I pass trendy restaurants about which I have read but never expected to see – Cumulus, Papa Goose and more.
The odds of me ever eating at any of them remain very long.
Long before I thought possible and in much better nick than I’d expected, I’m happily on my way home.
Breakfast at Cumulus.
Rosati smiley face.
Beware of skateboarding rhinos?