Farewell, Box Hill

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I write this post feeling a little sad for tomorrow we are moving away from Box Hill and into the city. On the bright side, I have always wanted to live in the city – like, right in the CBD, though on the downside, I really like living in Box Hill. I’m a sentimental kind of guy, and while I do like change (hell – moving to China was testament to that), I also do get all funny when moving on from somewhere I have enjoyed living.

Box Hill is a great little suburb. We moved here just after we returned from China back in early 2009. We picked this suburb because it was like China – and it is. Not only could we find many of the local dishes that we discovered in China, but it also had a similar vibe and energy that we had come to enjoy. It also had a decidedly lack of the typical aussie bogan surburbanites, other than the occasional band of druggies between the centres.

We capped off our final night as Box Hill residents eating at one of our old favourites. When we first moved here it was known as DC Dumpling. The people here were always super friendly, super welcoming, and most importantly, the food was delicious. They have always provided one of the most delicious hand-made spring onion pancakes we have ever come across, and their xiao long bao’s are exactly what xiao long bao’s should be – delicate and delicious. A xiao long bao just isn’t the same when it’s in a thick casing. At some point along the way, DC Dumpling renamed itself to Dumpling Specialist – and it was quite possibly the best move they ever made from a business point of view as it suddenly became the ‘white people’s’ dumpling location of choice. We used to dine there among the Chinese – and when it changed its identity, it lost a lot of that charm. It became just any other Australian restaurant. It also was recently renovated with a fresh paint job (which you can still smell incidentally), a brand new chairs and tables. Again – with all the paintings made by kids gone, replaced by a big generic painting of flowers – it’s just not the same. (ps. also try the cucumber salad – cucumber + garlic + soy = happiness)

Ra Ramen was the same – once a quaint little super busy eatery with dumplings to die for – then expanded into the shop next door and went downhill. Ahhh.

Anyhow – I will miss Box Hill. I will miss the way it changes from day to day, with new restaurants, and weird little shops popping up and disappearing equally as fast. I’ll miss wandering into town and enjoying one of the amazing Vietnamese rolls from Baker’s Hill cafe upstairs in the new Centro, then washing it down with a coffee. I’ll miss the predominantly Chinese atmosphere and everything that goes along with it. I’ll miss it when white folk turn up my nose and look slightly surprised when I say I live in Box Hill and love it – because of course, with that many dirty Asian’s living there, it must be terrible!

 

Next stop – Melbourne. Zai jian, beloved Bok!

 

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