Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Way To Go

Some Folk Just Need A Little Direction

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Early last month I was making the most of a brief lunchtime walk through City Square here in Melbourne, when I fixed my radar on a person walking several metres in front of me. She was in her late fifties - oh, all right, maybe she was in her early sixties but not a day older. She was striding purposefully through the summer crowds. And she caught my attention because of what she was wearing.

So I went into overdrive, zig-zagging between shoppers, tourists, lunchtime office workers and children on school excursions. I wanted a picture of the back of the woman's bright red T-shirt. Not just because it was emblazoned with the world Melbourne, but because the black strap of her bag went diagonally through the letters spelling out the name of this city.

I found myself within range and took two or three quick shots. Then, as she stopped for a traffic light, I took another that was a better frame. At the intersection, I finally caught up with her and fessed up, with a big grin, that I'd just photographed her without her knowledge. She was very sporting and when I showed her the images, she gave me her approval.


As you can see clearly in this shot (above) the corporate logo is Me!bourne with an exclamation mark instead of the L. I asked if she and others in the distinctive uniform were part of a new city initiative designed to help tourists and Christmas shoppers unused to the layout of the city. She said with a smile that it isn't a new role and that she and several others have been in the service for a few seasons, as part of the Melbourne Ambassadors programme.

It's all part of the wonderful Australian hospitality. If you're lost, they'll give you the finger. No, no, not THAT finger. They'll point you in the right direction.


Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

29 comments:

Lee said...

What a nice thing to do for visitors to your city! Great shots too! The first one is my personal favorite. The extra bodies in the shot add interest.

Cheers!

Katney said...

I will tell my granddaughter about this as she will be coming to Australia as a youth ambassador next summer----er, our summer. Weather might surprise here, eh?

Artist Unplugged said...

Great photo and a nice organization to help out the tourists!

saveyoursoul said...

Nominated you, my new reader, see my page.

Jeff B said...

It's a true gift when you can take something as simple as a red shirt and make it an art form. Well done.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I don't think you would miss her in that jacket - it's a fabulous shade of red!

CJ xx

Celebration of Life said...

You never cease to amaze me with your posts!

Jo Beaufoix said...

It's really cool that they do that. Brill.

ewok1993 said...

What a pleasant thing to do for visitors. Every big city should have that.

Jennifer H said...

So they're walking tourism kiosks? What a great idea, and so friendly.

fishing guy said...

David: Neat photo capture from your home city.

Bee said...

My parents did a big tour of Australia last year. They LOVED Melbourne. It's nice for individuals to feel that they have a stake in the city. :)

Sylvia K said...

That is a great thing to do to help visitors! Love the photos, as always! The more I see of Australia and the more I'm in communication with so many from there, the more I would love to be a visitor myself! Thanks for sharing!

imac said...

Another grand post David, always the unusual shot, well done.

Susie of Arabia said...

You're so funny chasing down that woman and fessing up. I was only in Melbourne once about 20 years ago, and I found the people to be warm and very helpful, even without those nice red shirts!

holly said...

i find i don't have to ask people. they just naturally tell me where to go...

thankfully the melbournians will do it with a smile
(melbournites? melbourntonians? melbourners...).

Babooshka said...

Well I can safely say no nothing like this here. I am on my own crusade with the island. I could use these guys.

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Just a interesting example!
Great post, David!

Luiz

Guy D said...

Great shots, you are a great ambassador for your city. Visiting your blog never disappoints.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures</a

Seamus said...

What a great service! :)

Wren said...

Great idea, particularly for cities with lots of visitors. Those bright red shirts will be highly visible even in a crowd.

Gaelyn said...

That's very cool. What a great idea that should be spread around the world.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Now that is a great idea. While I love wandering cities, there are times that I would appreciate a bit of help.

Natural Moments said...

Every community should have a lost monitor such as yours. Pretty Cool Idea.

antigoni said...

Excellent and funny post!

Arija said...

Not quite the meter-maids of the Gold Coast, but a nice idea anyway.

WillThink4Wine said...

That's really a great idea! It makes your fair city seem like an amusement park, an ultimate destination, sort of like Disney World!

Charles Gramlich said...

I try not to tell anyone where I'm from. They might want to visit.

Carver said...

Great shots and a fun post.