Everyone loves to make fun of Melbourne, but nobody can hang shit on Melbourne better than a Melburnian.
Outsiders can only scratch the surface with their weak jokes aimed at our pretentiousness and coffee snobbery. We’re not just avocado toast and expensive weird cafes. We’re so much more, and so much worse.
London is famed for its history, Paris for its art scene, New York for its weird inhabitants and Tokyo for its fashion. LA is renowned for its laid-back beachy vibe and Brisbane for its proximity to theme parks, San Francisco for its LGBTQIA+ scene and Rome for its excellent weather. Melbourne is an amalgamation of all these things, except slightly worse versions. In one block you can see the beach, a rollercoaster from the Neolithic period, some artisan craft markets, beautiful (and haunted) heritage buildings, and multiple people who would not look out of place at either fashion week or the realm you go to during an LSD trip. You will take in this beauty and culture while expertly dodging teenage boys with fanny packs asking you for a vape, someone asking you to join a cult, and an aggressive tram- and you will do so without spilling a single drop of your $9 oat latte.
Let’s explore some of the weirdest, funniest aspects of Melbourne, the things that a Sydneysider could only dream of.
We all have 87 roommates
There is nothing more Melburnian than selling your organs on the black market to afford a bedroom in a share house where you will share a bathroom with 9 other people- except maybe your uncle who tells you that if you’d been smart like him you could have cut down on the avo toast and bought a 4 bedroom house in Fitzroy on a tradie salary. Why oh why didn’t I buy up a bunch of asbestos-filled investment properties in 1971 instead of not existing yet?
Fear not. As long as you have 5 partners and at least one of you has rich parents, you may be able to afford a house in the inner city suburbs. The mold and syphilis are free!
Fitzroy is filled with those kids who you could trick into buying a zip-lock bag of baking soda for $650
Designer clothes? A suspiciously clean garage? Unsettlingly well-nourished faces? Yep, it’s inner-city rich kids, also known as your nightmare blunt rotation.
The only thing worse than spending Daddy’s oil money is spending it on LARPing as a working-class kid and doing it wrong.
No hate for rich private school kids, but we grew up in a very different type of Melbourne. And don’t get me wrong, we love that you’re all op-shopping and getting mullets after bullying the rest of us for doing those things before they were cool.
Alleyways are for more than just drug deals
In London or New York, if someone comes out of an alleyway- especially at night- you should be immediately suspicious of them. In Melbourne, they were just visiting the coolest new laneway coffee shop or bar, or shopping in a vintage boutique.
We have a lot of public holidays
While Sydneysiders presumably work an eight-day work week, in Melbourne we have a public holiday every 4.5 minutes.
What are you guys doing on Rooftop Bar Appreciation day? Wanna meet up at the corner of Collins and Bourke and go to a protest?
We express a lot of creative freedom with our suburb names
If you’re new to Melbourne, just follow this one simple rule: nothing is pronounced the way it is spelled. Geelong is Juh-Long. Berwick is Berrick. Prahran is Pah-rahn. Melbourne is Melbin.
Did you even have a dad if you didn’t hear “We’re so close to Sunshine right now, we’re Melton” every time you were remotely near Melton?
Our coffee shops and restaurants can be a bit whimsical
If you own a coffee shop in Melbourne, you have to stand out somehow. Most Melbourne food business owners decide to do this by being as peculiar as possible. They’re weird, they’re funky, they’re kooky, and some of them are downright spooky. At this point, it’s shocking to walk into an eatery and find that the coffee is not purple and the burgers are not called Daddy’s Big Slutty Surprise.
Why pay a reasonable price for a reasonable halal snack pack when you could pay thrice as much for a gourmet halal snack pack with beer-battered fries made by a white uni student with coloured hair? Why pay someone else to make your food when you could pay extra for a deconstructed meal?
Eating in a normal restaurant is such an outdated concept too. You can eat in an old tram or on a rooftop or starve.
We have our own uniform
We’re not saying that you’ll be barred from entering Melbourne if you’re not wearing a black puffer jacket, we’re just saying that we’re not responsible for any hate crimes that happen to you if you refuse to assimilate with the Kathmandudes
The only thing wackier than our coffee shops is our weather
Formal apology in advance, because the only thing worse than Melbourne weather is the fact that nobody ever stops talking about Melbourne weather.
Things seem to be getting crazier though. Does anyone else find themselves Googling “Did I just feel an earthquake?” concerningly often? On top of the Earthquakes, we’re this close to having a white Christmas, and summer leaves Melbourne faster than Zayn could leave One Direction.
The devil works hard but PTV works harder
Using public transport in Melbourne should be considered an Olympic sport. I would win medals for getting through tram doors before they slam shut and for fare evading. Remember kids, everything is a free tram zone if you’re brave enough!
Other Melbourne-themed Olympic sports could include beating Kathy Freeman at Scienceworks and using the escalators at parliament.
Everybody knows each other
According to Google, there are 5 million people here. They must have rounded up, because I think there are maybe 8 people in Melbourne. Everyone is so interconnected and you see the same people constantly.
If you want to know how small Melbourne is, ask the girls on the Facebook group that exists for Melbourne girls to find out if they have the same boyfriend as someone else.
We have our own civil war
When it comes to potato cakes vs potato scallops, all hell breaks loose. Brother turns on brother, friend turns on friend.
Have we considered the Montague Street Bridge as a defense strategy at the border?
The first sign that nature was healing after the pandemic was when the first truck in a long time got stuck under the notorious Montague Street Bridge.
We have our own time capsule
Amongst a modern urban landscape sits Northcote Plaza, the infamous location of two Coles and no Kmart, where time stands still. They have a CD store. An actual CD store.
We have a hierarchy of beaches
There is simply nothing worse than getting hyped up for a beach day and ending up at Altona Beach because St. Kilda was packed.
And finally- we will forever insist we are superior to Sydney.
Nobody knows why this weird war exists. But we are raised with the pride and obligation of defending Melbourne against Sydney. And we will defend it to the death.
Sydney, you may have an opera house that looks like a dish rack. You have the weather, the tourists, the beaches, and the rich people. But you’re not Melbourne.
You can make fun of us all you like. But you’ll never be able to roast us as much as we roast ourselves. Melbourne- the place we love to hate.