Out and About: “Don’t Ya Just LOVE Footscray???”

Pho-Hung-Vuong-Saigon-Footscray-2823-715x220 Photograph by Fatboo

Any chance I get I manipulate and lure my children out for non-tech life experiences. Yesterday my youngest and I ventured out for a haircut to our home town of Footscray. Wandering around Footscray inspires fond and heartfelt outbursts from my teenaged boys and me, such as, “Don’t ya just love Footscray???”, and… well…, “Don’t you just love Footscray???”

Every undercover police officer, bejeweled drug lord, funky Hip Hop African, bearded bicycle riding hipster, petite dressed-to-the-nines Vietnamese fashionista, or hectic distracted and drug affected individual provokes the same response from one of us, “Don’t ya just love Footscray???” The texture, vibrancy and pace of our home town is strangely endearing. Although I love the cool, quirky, arty tones of Fitzroy, Brunswick and the city, it is a different me that responds to the raw and edgy honesty of Footscray.

Yesterday Dan needed a haircut so I cleverly incorporated a lunch date at Hung Voung, a bustling Vietnamese soup restaurant specialising in warming traditional Pho. DSC04969 Comfort food. Happy, cosy food. Noodles, Asian herbs and sliced breast meat in a broth that tastes like chicken, but more so. Deep, tantilising, satisfying… Okay, okay. This is beginning to sound like the romance novel I once began to write… But, essentially, don’t try this soup if you can’t ever come back to Footscray because it will haunt your dreams.

IMG_3141 I strongly suspect the above photograph may haunt your dreams also. But how weird, right? We were sitting in the hair salon waiting for Henry to finish another customer. One of the other hair dressers offered to cut Daniel’s hair but Dan likes Henry so we declined, sparking a Seinfeld-esque Vietnamese bantering session at our expense, reminiscent of Elaine’s session at the Korean nail salon. Enter: strangely dressed squat man with missing teeth, pork pie hat and jewel encrusted kiwi under his arm. I just had to take the photo. Dan and I exchange a look, our eyes gleaming, the unspoken understanding, “Don’t ya just love Footscray???”

Daniel’s hair freshly cut, I followed Henry to the counter to pay. I wasn’t sure how much it would be because I thought Henry worked in the salon next door to this one. The boys had vaguely pointed across the street one day a month ago to show me where Henry, the finest hairdresser in Footscray, works as I am on a search for an affordable and excellent hairdresser of my own. So, a week ago, I went down to the salon, asked for Henry, and got my hair cut. Good cut, $20-00. Well… turns out the REAL Henry works in the salon next door and the impostor Henry does this little pretendy-gig all the time. Don’t you just love Footscray???

Hung Vuong Pho: 128 Hopkins St. Footscray. (03) 9689 6002

The Real Harry’s Hair Salon (Not sure of its real name) : Near the corner of Droop and Hopkins Streets, on Nicholson St. (The second Salon along, heading North.)

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