" if you want to have the best coffee .. Sip it up in Melbourne city not for nothing is it known as the coffee capital of the world " .. That's the first salvo I heard from a friend who was a student development officer with Sydney while I was in Aussieland for a professional cum personal reason. They say too much coffee is not a good thing but then when you get a coffee which is a concoction of soy and dandelion one is never enough...and everyone irrespective of physical proportions wears black .Black is the colour to be seen in Melbourne city and if you see red shirts walking the streets , don't be startled .. They are city volunteers with a wealth of information on their finger tips who will point you to the next available block. If you like dancing and are passionate about music .. Streets here have musical names and while the rest of the world goes digital , there are about 50 vinyl record stores around Melbourne.like the popular saying goes there are no free lunches in the world , well to tweak it a bit .. There are no free tram rides in the world but in Melbourne there is one tram which is free .. The maroon city circle tram. I walked into a post office here to send a post card and I was pleasantly surprised .. You can buy flowers .. Now where have you have seen, smelt and bought flowers in a post office. Street art surrounds you everywhere here , Melbourne's cobbled stoned lane ways are plastered with graffiti and pencil art. Australia's sporting giant , the Melbourne cricket ground can seat more than a lakh people comfortably .. In short a sporting stadium where you could fit a city in. This is a city where residents get right of way in the city centre-a large portion of Bourke street , the shopping Mecca in the heart of the city has been a pedestrian and tram only mall since 1983. The queen Victoria market is full of old world charm where you get cheap strawberries and feta cheese in the same breath. The soapbox on the state library lawns is always open for whenever wants to come in.One can always venture into a pub on a week night for some performance poetry. I love cycling and I was in for a big surprise .. There are 670 kilometres of bike paths which could get one to Canberra with 10 Kms to spare. The penguin parade on Phillip Island is a parade one should never miss for a couple of reasons - the drive to the Philip Island and
the freedom with which the penguins are allowed to indulge in their habitats makes for a really cold
spectacle .. One thing that distinguishes Melbourne from other cities is that the average man or woman on the streets will say that the arts and cultures are the unique selling points of this city and everyone here is really proud of what Melbourne is as a place and what it offers to all and sundry. So what's your Melbourne quotient ( MQ)?