11 February 2011
47 Melville Road, Brunswick West, VIC, Australia
This little gem is located just down the road from us, and has intrigued me ever since Ax first pointed it out to me. As with many of the places featured on this blog, I had originally just dismissed it as another mouldering, abandoned old shop. But no, of course this was not the case. I began to notice that the lights were quite frequently on at night, offering a tantalising glimpse in through the worn lace curtains which seem to be a key feature of so many dodgy old shops. At night, I've never really been able to see through properly - the interior of the shop is hidden behind a plywood wall. This immediately heightens my suspicions about this place. I don't see what they could possibly need to shield from passers-by in a rundown old shop next to a takeaway place (which, for the record, rejoices in the unfortunate name of Con's. I don't know if it is a con or not, I've never been brave enough to enter). Recently, however, I've noticed that the door has been open in the daytime, which has given me a slightly better view inside. It looks like the interior wall divides the shop into several partitions. Kind of what I would imagine a low-budget brothel to be like, in fact.
I've only seen people go inside a couple of times, and they've just been old Greek and Italian men. Because of this, Ax will tell me frequently that "they're probably just old men playing cards". I disagree! Surely after a quick fix of greasy goodness from Con's, the old men need a little more satisfaction in their lives. They're certainly not going to get that from hanging around with other men! If anything, I think more fast food outlets should have brothels attached - why not satisfy several vices at once? Perfect for those lazy elderly folk.
Anyway, I digress. The one thing that makes me think perhaps this isn't a brothel after all is the lack of a dodgy neon "Thai Massage" sign. Perhaps Chinatown in Sydney took them all - when we were there in August last year, we were hard pressed to find anything that wasn't a Thai "massage". Perhaps next time I see the door ajar, I'll slip a sign in along with a bucket of paint. After all, if the prostitutes are as dirty and peeling as the shop front, no wonder the customers aren't flocking to the door!
Rating: Unpleasant, yet intriguing.