Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interesting Encounters & Requests

Due to lack of resources, to make the Altona Blog and Facebook Page known to more people in Altona, I have to do it the hard way by dropping fliers into individual letter boxes. Whenever there are people around, I will speak to them personally.

Today, I met an elderly lady who said she does not have a computer. I asked her to pass the flier to her children instead. She told me that the elderly folks in Altona are well aware of the goodness of Altona and would rather keep these secrets to themselves for fear that flooding of people into Altona would endanger its desirability. She conceded that times have changed and there is no way to stop developments in Altona. I understand her point of view, which is also shared by a considerable number of Altona residents. There are a few houses in Altona that put up signs in their front gardens that say residents in those particular streets strongly oppose unit developments.

I have learnt from others that Altona has undergone massive changes in recent years. During the short three years I have been in Altona, I had witnessed improvements made to the beach and Pier Street, such as the installation of chairs and picnics tables along the beach, the planting of more Norfolk Island Pines along the Esplanade, the renourishment of Altona Beach, the streetscape improvements in Pier Street North as well as the extension of Coles' operating hours to midnight daily, gentrification, the proposed developments in Cherry Lake and Apex Park and so on. These changes would not have taken place if things are to remain static in Altona.

After this encounter, I did not expect that I would have another more interesting meeting. After knowing that I have created a blog with lots of content on Altona, an elderly lady asked me if I know any good dentist in Altona. I told her I do not know although I think there are at least 4-5 dental clinics in Altona. But I told her I have been seeing a dentist at Collins Street, Melbourne, whom I think is very reliable, honest and charges reasonably. I rummaged through my wallet, was fortunate to find the dental appointment card and passed her the dentist's phone number.

I had received interesting email requests such as a guy asking where he could sell his car and a girl asking how she could find housemates to share her rented house. This is an outcome that I did not expect to have arisen from creating the Altona Blog. If people feel that they can seek useful information from the Blog, the Blog would have a successful start and is on its way to playing an important and larger role in the Altona community.


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