There are benefits of living down the road from Prahran Market – every spare surface of my apartment is dominated by fresh flowers and my fridge door can barely close, struggling against the packed-to-the-brim fresh meats and fresh veg. But not only does Prahran Market serve up a basket-full of fresh produce, it also serves up a curious bunch of characters that make for a fascinating bout of people watching.
Here are the eight types of people that you’re likely to bump into at Prahran Market:
1. Mums and bubs
Prahran Market often resembles a daycare centre, with swarms of three-foot tall kiddies repeatedly taking out your shins as you try and choose between sourdough or rye bread. Not far behind them, you’re guaranteed to spot a stressed-looking mother, commonly dressed in a non-descript long sleeve top and puffer vest, who clearly just wants to enjoy her chai latte in peace, not be forced into a game of duck, duck, goose. She’ll also be exchanging knowing, pitying looks with the other tired-looking women doing laps with their prams like they’re F1 drivers, desperately trying to settle a crying baby.
2. The elderly shoppers
Don’t get in the way of these market stalwarts. These 90-year-old men and women, shuffling along with their wheelie shopping baskets, are Usain Bolt-quick on their feet and determinedly on a mission to get the week’s meat. I say good on them for sticking their finger up at the nursing home and continuing on with their long-established, market shopping ways.
3. The well-heeled, 20-something supermodel types
You can’t help but notice these girls. They’re immaculately presented, dressed head-to-toe in Country Road and either wearing heels or heeled boots, in which they walk like an angel, as opposed to my Shrek-style, struggling under the weight of my fruit and veg basket. Most of the time they’re seven-foot tall and you can bet your blush brush that they’ll have a bunch of flowers, wrapped in brown paper, delicately tucked under their arm.
4. The organic-only boho chicks
Dressed in her maxi dress and denim jacket, this boho chic will most commonly be found chomping on her kale salad out the front of Kook’s Kitchen, or filling her cardboard box (not plastic bag) with organic foods from Ripe The Organic Grocer. She’s most likely just come from a morning of hot yoga at Prahran’s Humming Puppy yoga studio.
5. The coffee bean addicts
Bet your market basket that this slightly jittery group of people will be holed up inside coffee roaster Market Lane Coffee, critiquing what makes this shining beacon of the coffee bean kind produce some of Melbourne’s best coffee (and it is truly amazing, velvety goodness). The coffee bean addicts can also be spotted refusing to part ways with their take-away cup of caffeine, trying to juggle their fruit and veg basket in the other hand.
6. The you-told-me-we-were-going-to-get-breakfast boyfriends
You can’t help but feel sorry for these sullen dudes. They’ve clearly been dragged along to Prahran Market by their sneaky partners who’ve either held a gun to their head or employed some kind of blatant trickery, because they very obviously would rather be anywhere else in the world than carrying a basket-full of leafery. You can’t miss them stomping around the market refusing to look up from their iPhone, desperately praying for the whole dreaded experience to be over.
7. The hand-holding, still-very-much-in love older couples
I guarantee that you will look at this couple with envy. Despite being married for 40-something years, they still walk around holding hands, are sickeningly in love and he looks at her like he’s married to Melbourne’s version of Hilary Clinton. They cruise through Prahran Market with efficiency, like a well-oiled team; he’ll order the fish, she’ll get the chicken. But all very quickly so they can rapidly rejoin in their hand-holding escapades.
8. The Real Housewifes of Melbourne-lookalikes
Similar to the ‘well-heeled, 20-something supermodel types’, just 20 years older, these women are heavily botoxed and have dark oversized sunglasses permanently attached to their face. They’ll be strutting about spending frillions on antipasto, breads and cheeses, preparing for that evening’s dinner party where they’ll be hosting all their other The Real Housewifes of Melbourne-lookalike friends.
Have I missed anyone? Share your experiences of Prahran Market below.
Prahran Market | 163 Commercial Road, Prahran, Victoria