Dear Melburnians… Damn but you are weird!
I’ve reached your sunny shores after 19 years of living in a town where my closest neighbour was a kilometre away.
I have lived on 65 acres with about a dozen steers, a cat or twelve, and a dam filled with yabbies.
It’s been only two weeks since I started university in the city, but I’ve had some startling revelations and I have many pressing questions for you:
It’s after midnight, why is everything still open?
It’s 2am and I can still get a footlong sub and fill up my petrol tank? So your servos don’t close at 7pm? Does this city sleep? If so, I would love to know when.
Why are your inhabitants so mean?
I stop to let people cross the road but they don’t smile or wave. I politely allow a car to move into my lane, but the driver behind me toots, urging me to hurry up. I bump into someone while walking down the street and I say “Sorry” – but I don’t get a “No worries, mate.” Instead, I am ignored.
What is up with paid parking?
I park my car in a space smaller than my garage (an old hay shed). I return to my car five minutes later than intended to discover that I have been fined $80?
Can someone please explain public transport to me?
I take a taxi and after a smelly five kilometres I’m down $22. The odour in the trams is even worse. I long for the days when everything was within walking distance.
What is this, an apartment for ANTS?
I walk in my front door and hit the sink. And this “spacious one-bedroom apartment” includes noise from my neighbours downstairs
Where is everyone rushing to? And why do the loud people downstairs never talk to me?
Everyone is in a hurry; where do you urgently need to be at 7am? Sorry for bothering to ask “How are you going?” In the country, I can’t get away from neighbour Leesa, which isn’t usually a good thing. Leesa, all is forgiven! I I don’t care what affair your neighbour had!
What the hell are you wearing?
Where are your gumboots?! It’s raining; it’s always raining! Stop with the fedoras and enough with the suits.
What is your definition of speeding?
I heard “Ding ding” and police sirens… Next minute I had yet another fine. I was only a few kilometres over! My local copper would’ve let me off the hook.
Speaking of hooks…
What is a hook turn, and why do you want me in the left lane when I’m turning right?
So, I can’t talk to strangers?
My friend in the city tells me to lock my doors while driving but jokes on him, I have a friendly new passenger. On an unrelated note, has anyone seen my wallet?
Local Saturday footy, you’re doing it wrong.
I enjoy the football when I can sit in my car with a hot jam donut, tooting the horn when my team scores a goal. Here, I have to pay $10 to park my car and then go sit in an uncomfortable plastic chair… usually in the rain.
Why do people complain there are no jobs?
Look at the initiative of this entrepreneur! In the country, this would be a regular chore.
Trees are for forests and parks.
Why am I walking into trees in the middle of footpaths? Melbourne, have you heard of tree guards … those metal cages that go around trees to stop Koalas? Clearly not, as they are nowhere to be seen. How on Earth do you keep out the drop bears? Do you not live in constant fear of being mauled by furry creatures?
Do you really need so many streets?
Please don’t ask me for directions. I don’t know where these “squares” are that you keep asking about.
Why is food shopping so difficult?
I love my Friday fish and chips but what on earth is gourmet fish and chips? An oxymoron? Your pubs and clubs are open so late, is that why you need 24/7 convenience stores to fulfil 3am noodle cravings? Or is it because your tiny supermarkets can’t stock up on the food you need?
Do you all get lost in your department stores?
Your Target is massive, but where is Target Country? At least if I ever have the need to buy a suit at 3am I can pop in at 24-hour Kmart. What a confusing, and exciting, time to be alive.
Excuse me, hospitality staff?
How does the girl at the coffee shop not remember my coffee order? I was here yesterday! How many customers could Jane from Starbucks possibly have had in the last 24 hours?
Sadly Melbourne, I must bid you adieu. I do hope we can work out our differences as I am truly fond of you.
Your country counterpart and confused city-goer, Matt.
P.S. JANE, it’s an extra hot soy, double strength, vanilla latte. – Report and photos by Matthew Male