If you think with the traffic, sprawl, crime and the crowding the city’s going down the toilet, just check this almost hopelessly optimistic, positive report on Melbourne from 2005 for the Johannesburg Star.
After spending five days in Melbourne and the state of Victoria, it’s easy to see why Australia so appeals to South Africans and why it so successfully hosts cricket and rugby world cups, Olympic Games and now the Commonwealth Games. There’s order; laws are obeyed; it’s clean; and there is no crime. Well, very little of it anyway.
We walked the streets by day and night, backpacks over our shoulders, cameras and cellphones in our hands, and not once did we feel crime was lurking around the next corner. That’s life in Melbourne.
Actually I don’t really have an argument with that. Crime is not really that common in most areas, and I struggle to think of a single instance when I’ve felt unsafe while walking around, even at night. Though maybe I stay out of the troublespots.
It’s a beautiful city: the streets are lined with trees, pavements are wide enough for people to walk freely, and there are no hawkers, beggars or vagrants. While many people in the suburbs own cars, most city dwellers, living in CBD apartments, get around by taxi, train and the city’s state-of-the-art tram system. Many also use bicycles and they are rarely even locked with a chain when left unattended day or night.
heh. Well I don’t think for a moment that’s all quite true.
… and most don’t seem interested in things materialistic.
The houses (minus high walls and razor-wire) are neat but far from lavish.
No arguments on the lack of razor-wire, but I guess like many tourists, these guys didn’t go out to see any of the McMansion suburbs.
Many will say there are too many rules, laws are enforced too strictly (there are police officers in plainclothes all over the place fining motorists, jay-walkers and litterbugs) -but isn’t that what we all strive for – order and peace?
An interesting perspective on the claims of Victoria turning into a “nanny state”. Plainclothes police issuing all those fines? I find that hard to believe. The closest I’ve seen is Authorised Officers/Inspectors on trains and trams.
Perhaps to those from Johannesburg, Melbourne seems like a Melburnian might see Singapore?