I have resisted expressing my disappointment in “the world’s most liveable city” but today was the catalyst for writing the truth about how I honestly feel about Melbourne.
First of all, let me emphasise that I came to Melbourne full of hope and I have no intention of leaving it, but I am sadly disillusioned about the place.
Let me tell you why.
It is absolutely astounding to me that Melbourne should be selected as the world’s most liveable city. When one looks at the criteria for judging a city it is crystal clear that it all depends on one’s values.
If one values sport, gambling, drinking, smoking, and a veneration for gangsters then Melbourne is a winner.
Nobody believes that Melbourne looks good. It has no views. It has no river to speak of. “The Yarra River” is a creek in most parts, so much so that a small catamaran finds it hard to turn around in it.
Even the so-called expensive suburbs have no pleasant outlooks. The streets are narrow and there is a nauseating smell of leaking gas from the old pipes in the ground.
The less said about the public transport system the better. It has not kept up with the growth in population and it is unbearably uncomfortable and unreliable.
But the worst thing about Melbourne is its people. I had spoken to many people in Australia before coming here and they all warned me that Melbourne folk are different.
Sadly, Melbournians simply lack the kind attitudes of other Aussies. Take today, for example, once again some selfish and unscrupulous driver damaged our very new car while it was parked but failed to leave a note with an apology. This sort of thing would not occur in Brisbane. A least it didn’t when we lived there
Let me say that Queenslanders are by far a more decent group of people. I remember when the floods practically decimated the city of Brisbane a few years ago, everyone pitched in and helped the neighbours. There was a sense of camaraderie that I have not found in Melbourne.
So why did we leave Brisbane?
Good question and the answer is simple. I could not take the heat and humidity. Having come from a very cold climate originally myself I found it hard to endure the weather in Brisbane.
I like the cold weather here and when we get some hot days in Melbourne I simply wilt and wait until the cool change which mercifully comes along.
I have never seen so many liquor stores as in Melbourne and, in fact, you have to apologise for not being a drinker here. The sight of an older and lonely woman having a glass of wine in the morning at a coffee shop in an elegant suburb makes me sad.
There are many lonely people here.
This city is obsessed with its criminals. Underbelly, John Batman (the founder of Melbourne who had to escape to Tasmania) and the Irish families of crooks, not to mention Ned Kelly, a thief and murderer who is worshipped here as some kind of hero, are just some of the examples of people that Melbournians admire.
The one adjective that will never apply to Melbourne folk is “friendly.”
You park at your peril. Shoppers push in ahead of you and as for standing up in a tram for a disabled or older person, forget it. You only have to look at what is posted on YouTube and on TV news to see how violent and drug-addicted a place this is.
Downtown is uninviting. Federation Square has no seating. Southbank is nothing special when one compares it with similar projects in other cities.
But we do have the Melbourne Cup and we do talk about sport and corruption in Sport ad infinitum and quite frankly, my dear, I could not care less about a horse race or illegal supplements taken by highly-paid footballers.
I simply wish that the people of Melbourne were nicer and more considerate. Please forgive me for letting off steam but from what I have observed, Queenslanders do the right thing because they want to, whereas Victorians do the right thing only if the Law demands it. And that makes me sad.
p.s Amazing coincidence!!! I rest my case…
As if to back up what I have just written about Melbourne, Neil Mitchell who has a morning radio program on 3AW is telling his listeners about an elderly woman of 83 years of age who had to sit on the floor of a train for one entire hour during a journey in Victoria because nobody would give her a seat. There were children sitting on seats, would you believe! This would not have happened in Queensland.