Melbourne People Are Nice People

Hello blogosphere (aka my friends and family who read my blog).  No. Seriously, thanks to those people who started following the blog.  I’m sorry it’s been so long between drinks.  Things have been really busy, but I know that’s a poor excuse for not getting around to a blog update.

So, what’s been happening in my universe?  Well, the title sort of tells it all.  Ironically, I wasn’t in Melbourne to have this revelation, I was in North Queensland with my wife and daughter, enjoying a holiday.  We had some trips to the beach and I drank some XXXX (a beer that Queenslanders drink). It’s a crime in NSW to drink XXXX.  


Let me set this somewhat ironic scene:

Yes, I was in North Queensland.  For any overseas readers, this is the pretty much near the northern tip of Australia (on the East Coast).  It’s hot, most people have bleach-blonde hair and there’s a pub every 6 metres.  Aside from the hair colouring, this place was:

The strange thing was that nearly every holiday goer that we met was from Melbourne and people from Melbourne are ‘really, really, really nice’ (this is my Larry David-style catch phrase…I’m doubtful as to whether it will catch on).  Here’s a brief rundown of some Melbournites we met:


Melbournite #1:

I was in the flat as a tack ocean in NQLD and I was getting kind of bored due to the distinct lack of waves.  The water was a nice temperature despite the fact that the sky was overcast.  I sat there in the water-semi submerged so that I didn’t get cold.  A man around the same age as me (give or take a decade) was sit/standing in the ocean in a similar fashion.  I was bored so I struck up a conversation with the guy, Shane, who was standing next me.  I’ll be honest with you; I don’t mind the occasional chat with someone I’ve just met.  It’s not that I’m starved of human company, I always find people interesting.  Plus, it’s a great way to kill time when the water would destroy your iPhone.

Unfortunately I can’t give you the exact details of the conversation, but here’s what I could piece together:


Me: Lovely day.

Melbourne guy:  Yeah. Shame the sun isn’t out.

Me: Totally (I lied because I hate excess sunshine and didn’t want to offend him).

Melbourne guy: How long have you been staying here?

Me:  My wife, child and I got here yesterday (just in case he was trying to get fresh with me in the tropical waters).

Melbourne guy: We’ve been here a week. You got lucky with the weather. It rained all last week.


Me: Yeah (I guess I should buy more lotto tickets).

Melbourne guy: Where are you from?

Me: Sydney (provide region where I live).

Melbourne guy: Oh, I love that area.  My wife and kids go there for holidays in January each year, such a great place.  Sydney’s great. Btw, I’m from (some suburb I’ve never heard of) Melbourne.

Me: I love that place (I probably would like it, I just don’t know anything about Melbourne). 

Melbourne guys: My family’s been coming here for years now.  Have a great holiday.


In the parts of the conversation that I forgot/couldn’t be bothered to transcribe, Melbourne guy went on to demonstrate that he had a pretty reasonable level of knowledge of the NRL (rugby league) shattering my perceptions of AFL-centric Victorians, knew a bunch of nice places in Sydney and was happy to recommend plenty of hipster coffee joints that he frequented in Australia’s coolest city (his city, not mine).  I came to the realisation that he was nicer than I am and wasn’t interested in classifying me by post-code as much as I am with others (this isn’t a big thing of mine, but I find that lots of Sydneysiders do it).  He just seemed way more chilled out than I am and more chilled out than most of the people in my microcosmic bubble called Sydney.  Granted, he’d already been on holidays for a week, but he just seemed, I don’t know…nicer.


Encounter with Melbournite #2 (family):


At the resort (more of an apartment block, but with a pool!) there were a bunch of Melournite kids throwing a tennis ball to each other in the pool. My wife, baby and myself were playing in the shallow end of the pool and we were giving the best greasys we could to the kids.  The father of these tennis ball obsessed children sensed that we were getting concerned about a rogue tennis ball attack and he told his kids to get out of the pool and go to the beach.  Just like that.  I was amazed, because this isn’t my usual experience. 


Let me give a Sydney comparison.  We were taking our kid for a walk in the pram on a beautiful summer’s day at a nearby park. We sat down at a bench to feed the baby when a tennis ball went flying into my back.  It didn’t hurt, but it definitely could have hurt our baby.  We turned around and saw a geriatric with one of the plastic tennis ball launcher things.  Seriously, use your bloody arms.  We gave the guy a gob-full and he sort of apologised, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to throw it there…’

It doesn’t matter where you meant to throw it, you shouldn’t be throwing tennis ball to your stupid dog (for the record I actually like dogs, but not cats {sorry cat-loving internet}) when there are people feeding a baby! 


Melbournite #3 (Blade Runner copies of ourselves):

This family was an exact Melbourne replica of my family: man, woman and young child.  Except the man had a better tan and better body than me.

Young Melbourne family were (surprise, surprise) really nice.  The woman in the family even offered to help pack up our beach tent for us.  We politely refused. My wife had it under control.  


In summary, people from Melbourne who are on holiday in Queensland are nice to talk to and generally considerate beings.  From what I could tell, they had less of the ‘f#ck you, I’m important and busy for no reason’ attitude that I come across in Sydney all the time.  Again, this zen Victorian thing could be a by-product of lazing about in the tropics in the dead of winter.  However, I’ll stand by the fact that Melbourne people are nice people.     


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