Observation Tuesdays – Melbourne Cup

The advantage of being in Melbourne for Melbourne Cup is that you get a holiday and you can completely ignore the race because you don’t have to go to some work function and watch the thing while eating food and drinking alcohol.
Melbourne Cup
I spent my whole life ignoring the Melbourne Cup. I have never been interested in horse racing or the gambling or social sides that come with it. But little did I realise that the best part of being in Melbourne was that, given the public holiday, one could completely ignore it.
I did once go to the Melbourne cup. I think I must have been at FIT at the time. Some of my dads friends from Malaysia were in town and I went with them. I bet $1 on a horse that did not win. One of my dads friends took pity on me as I had only bet because they told me to and gave me a dollar to cover my loss.
My next encounter with the cup was in Adelaide in 1991. I was working on the 19th floor of 30 Pirie Street. They had a great function and effectively took half the day off. From lunch they had food and the live free to air TV feed on. There was lots of food and it was a great social occasion. The only down side was that you had to actually be involved in the running of the race, but I did not mind, they were great people and the food was good. I think I even won a place prize in one of the races.
The next time I had to endure the race was in Sydney. I moved there in 1997. Here the whole race thing was a much smaller affair. I have to say, at first I was a bit disappointed given the goodness that was on Adelaide. I am not sure if it was the entrenched dislike that Sydney people have of Melbourne. But they only went up just before the race, watched it while having a drink and some food. I always joined the majority and went back to work afterwards. Only the hard core parties stayed after the race was over.
Now I am back in Melbourne I go back to the preferable situation of getting a holiday and being able to ignore the race.
Back when I was at FIT I did wonder why the VFL did not hold the grand final on a week day.

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