With my sister and her husband having returned to Australia after about 3 years of being away (and for my sister, about 5 years away from Melbourne), I find myself explaining the little things that have changed while they’ve been away. Things that are new. They’ve been reading the news from overseas, they know the big stuff. It’s the little stuff.
Supermarket discount petrol vouchers.
The Age Melbourne Magazine.
The inner-western suburbs aren’t cheap any more. Urban gentrification in general.
Fixed-line phones — Telstra’s multiple plans vs Optus vs everyone else.
Broadband (almost) everywhere.
Re-usable supermarket bags, and Bunnings’ bag surcharge.
Default speed limit 50kmh. And 40kmh school zones.
SMS train timetables and daily tickets on trams.
I haven’t explained all of these yet, but I’ll probably get to most of them eventually. What else has changed?
Update Wednesday 9pm. Some other things I thought of:
The price of petrol.
Half the bank branches vanished.
Chadstone got bigger. Southland got bigger and crossed the highway.
Westpac became Bank of Melbourne, now Westpac again.
State government led by “Hymie” (Mary Delahunty is now in politics, not TV).
David Jones Food Hall.
Daimaru gone, Melbourne Central completely different.
State Library expanded, Museum moved.
Hello The Greens, Byebye the Democrats.
Commercial TV station watermarks.
Stamps went up to 50 cents.
Mobile phone number portability.
Fed Square. Batman Ave wiped off the map, in favour of Birrarung Marr.
VHS almost vanished.
Charity collectors with clipboards on every CBD street corner.
(Docklands continued) Wurundjeri Way and those other new roads. Telstra Dome.
MCG, Vodafone Arena. AFL Park.
The Lions have moved to Brisbane.