Today was the famous Melbourne Cup race day!
I was very unaware about this hullaballoo around Melbourne Cup during my first year in Australia. It seemed like a regular Tuesday of November as I headed to the train station to catch my train for work. A bunch of old ladies all decked up in beautiful dresses with fancy accessories adorning their head crossed my path. I started at them in amusement and moved on. I saw many men and women all dressed in special clothes and embellishments and it seemed like a festive celebration all around.
In the afternoon around 2:45 pm, all staff gathered in the kitchen area where huge TV screens were on and lots of food and drinks were served. I was still clueless what was going on and I was too shy to ask someone what the occasion was due to the fear of coming across as dumb. At 3 PM, the huge crowd fell silent and watched the TV screens with bated breath, biting their nails and checking some chits they had in hand. Horse race flashed on the big screen and it ended in a wink. Then there were winners announced who won money as prices. There were also prizes for best dressed male and female.
When I came back to my desk, the first thing I did was to google what the event was all about. After that every year, I have been wearing my fascinator and betting a dollar or two on horses, just for the fun of it. I have never won a penny in any raffle or lottery or bets. Last year, the horse I had bet on had come last. But the hostess came up to me and handed an envelope with prize money. I clarified to her that my horse hadn’t come even close to winning. She reassured me that there was a prize for the horse that was first from the last too😃
This year my company had announced best dressed competition. Although I didn’t win any money, I was chosen as the runner up in the Best Dressed category. We had so much fun all day dressing up, clicking loads of pictures, betting, nibbling on finger food and drinking! We event went to Opera House to click pictures and guess what?! People came up to us to get clicked alongside us, we felt like celebrities!