Love a bit of cultural satire.
Buying a subscription to The Monthly for the object of your affections is tantamount to expressing your undying love for them and saying that you intend to spend the rest of your life with this person. In no time at all, you will both have bought and renovated a federation period house in North Fitzroy and will spend your weekends reading The Monthly sipping a juice infused with wheatgrass and spirulina at a cafe with polished concrete walls and minimialist furniture.
(Several people I know read and love The Monthly, and I’ve been known to flick through their copies, and read some great articles in there.)
If invited to dinner by a Melbourne white person, it is a certainty that the recipe will come from Stephanie. If you go to a lot of parties thrown by Melbourne white people, you might form the impression that everyone in Melbourne has a kindly neighbour called Stephanie who hands out recipes over the back fence.
(I don’t own a copy, and don’t really invite people over to dinner because I’m not much of a cook, but I certainly know a few people who do both.)
When selecting a place to dine in Melbourne you have a choice between Vue de Monde, MoVida, or a small dumpling house located in a hard-to-find laneway in Chinatown. The harder the dumpling house is to find, the better.
(A bunch of my colleagues, as well as my old mate Josh and a bunch of his colleagues used to regularly dine at what we called “the hole in the wall”, which was indeed a place in a hard-to-find laneway in Chinatown. It wasn’t actually a dumpling house, but it was so hard to find that once when I tried to describe how to get there to someone, I simply couldn’t.)
A comment there led me to a whole blog on the topic (written by someone else):
Because it’s fiscally impractical to keep travelling, white Melburnians need other ways to convey how worldly and cultured they are. The easiest way to do this is to have ethnic friends. Now, you might think everyone who has friends has ethnic friends by default because everybody has an ethnicity. But you would be wrong. To Melbourne white people, ethnic pretty much means black and/or Muslim. If, for example, you are Serbian, Polish, Vietnamese, Maltese, Israeli, Greek, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Macedonian or Hungarian, you aren’t ethnic because you’re not exotic enough.
(Oh so true. Most of those nationalities aren’t exotic — they’re just the people you encounter every day.)
Northcote does not make sense. Positioned in the heartland of suburbia, a whopping nine stops away from the city (comparable to North Brighton, Ormond and Murrumbeena) it has somehow managed to defy geography and pass itself off as a gritty inner city urban wonderland. The brilliance of this suburb is only magnified when you go there and discover it’s mostly just a few kebab joints and a massive indoor shopping centre with Kmart, two Coles, Donut King and a f—ing Bakers Delight. This is stuff the wrong white Melburnians like! I don’t know how, but Northcote has brainwashed Melbourne white people. Go there to experience genius.
(I took the kids to Northcote recently as part of Jeremy’s systematic exploration of the old video games collections of all the branches of Cash Converters. I couldn’t work out what was so special about it either.)
All in all, very funny stuff, and I look forward to reading more as it gets posted.