First and second generation Melburnians from around the globe have a lot in common. They try to keep their language alive, like to frequent specialty grocery stores, and scream down terrible phone lines at relatives on the other side of the world. And on the darker side, they’re questioned about where they’re really from, or worse yet, they experience unadulterated racism. Their children are demonised as gang members, and suddenly everyone from their country is violent and not conducive with the Australian lifestyle.
As someone who’s lived in Melbourne their entire life, I can’t imagine ‘home’ being called by any other name. Home is synonymous with bustling city streets and afternoon strolls along the Yarra. It’s Saturday morning trips to the Victoria Market for fresh gozleme, the collective excitement that captures the city come AFL season, the all-too-clichéd scent of the world’s finest coffee wafting down graffiti-speckled laneways. Above all, it’s where I’ve grown up, where the people I love are, and the place that’s most familiar, yet always still exciting. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the desire to explore new places, to see new cultures and experience new things. But it’s difficult to imagine myself ending up somewhere else for too long. For me, Melbourne is unequivocally home.
Never in my life did I think that coffee and avocados would be symbols of higher social status. That is until I moved to Melbourne. Here I am still pondering about how millennials will never afford a house because they eat smashed avo for breakfast. We all say that Melbourne is a hip and artistic city, but most of the time it makes me feel like an uncultured swine. As an International student hailing from Indonesia, I have experienced many forms of culture shock since I moved here. So, I made a list of things I find snobby about the city of Melbourne.
How many times have you ran for the train at the last possible moment in order to make it to your class on time before you see it’s delayed, or better yet, suspended? It may as well be flipping you off because it sure feels like it. You think for 30 seconds about the possible bus and tram alternatives before deciding that this was the only excuse you needed to skip class and go back to sleep. You hope you don’t get sick later in the semester because you are now wasting one of your ‘get out of class free’ cards.
The destruction of France’s Notre-Dame cathedral is devastating. But so is the destruction of Indigenous sacred sites. In Australia, this happens all the time, usually for the purposes of mining or the development of highways.