(Warning: this post has absolutely nothing to do with interior design, it is simply a long-winded and vitriolic “take no prisoners” kind of rant about the bullshit I’m forced to deal with purely due to location. If you came here because you want to read some equally long-winded scribblings on spiffy chairs and scrumcious baths, may I suggest here and here.)
The taxi driver eyed me in the rear view mirror, somewhere between pity and condescension, making me shift uncomfortably in my seat. He had just finished regaling me with a tale about why he doesn’t wind down his windows, after my friend, bored, had grasped at the buttons. The reason being, in the past, when he was still a carefree, windows-down kinda guy, he had had eggs thrown through the openings, essentially splattering his means of income with horrible-smelling, paint-stripping gunk. It was this story to which I exclaimed, “that’s bloody horrible! How could anyone possibly get enjoyment out of that?!”.
“You’re not from around here, are you?”
I wish I could say that this little passage was from a stellar fictional piece I’m just whipping together in my creative writing class, but it’s a real exchange that took place during my first year of living in Melbourne, somewhere on the Eastern Freeway, between the CBD and my apartment.
Now I’m not sure whether it’s my thick Gippsland twang that sometimes escapes between my otherwise perfect journalistic vernacular or whether it was my utter naivety and shock that someone enjoyed that sort of destructive recklessness, but his little swipe has really stuck with me.
I come from a small (read VERY small) town in Victoria’s east. Packing up and moving two and a half hours away from my family just so I could uni was a compulsory, anxiety-ridden hurdle for me. Upon arrival, it didn’t seem so bad. The university is great. The shopping is great. The food is great. The coffee…my god, the coffee is knee-weakening liquid gold and I think I may have a relatively serious caffeine addiction.
The people, however, are sometimes not so great.
In contrast to country Victoria where there is an easygoing air of “she’ll be right”, (that I can only summon awareness of retrospectively), I’m only finding myself more and more out of place as each year goes on, completely swallowed up in the concrete and coldness of this place. If in my first year I was a fish out of water, then now, in my third year, I am a fish out of water and completely out of joint. I have written this spiel after a long day at work, where more often than not it feels as though I am on the frontline, combatting, what I hope is not an accurate sample of, the public and their utter bullshit grenades.
Since writing is a cathartic process for me, I thought where else could I publicly post such nasty, sociological content that has nothing to do with interior design than on my interior design blog. Let me reiterate: I’m not going to write analogies that relate to furniture and colour schemes. If that’s why you’ve come here, then I’m very sorry to disappoint you.
I’m going to write about the creatures known as Melbourne Wankers, and the individual species that compose them.
Personal Space Invaders.
You shit me. You stand too close to me in cues, at the ATM, in line for coffee, waiting for the elevator. You walk too close behind me in the street, or adversely you overtake me and then back into me for a bit of upright spooning. You get up in my grill, mouth breathing and all, and freaking smell me while I am trying to HELP you at work. If I can feel your breath on my face, if I can smell what you had for lunch, if you can tell me that I smell nice, then you are TOO CLOSE. Please, back away before I smack you away.
The Lycra crew.
You shit me. You know who you are. You congregate in hoards of 2-5, in front of cafes sipping skinny soy lattes with perfectly manicured finesse, dressed head to toe in lycra and puffy, fur-lined vests, with seemingly hundreds of uncontrollable, screaming spawn named “Harper”, “Greyson” and “Chloé”. Throw in a pretentiously fluffy dog or two and you’ve got yourself an incredibly intolerable section of the population. I did not lug my laptop to this hole in the wall cafe and pay $13.90 for this cold-pressed guava lemongrass pomegranate potion that’s so healthy it’s supposed to postpone death, to have Harper pull all the napkins off my table and listen to his mother tsk at me while he screams that the mean lady looked at him funny. Maybe your kid is screaming because he doesn’t want to be there as much as everyone else in the cafe doesn’t want him to. Take him to a playground, you barbie-doll nunce.
Unsurprisingly, you shit me. I’m concerned this may be a fierce and unstoppable contagion, one I am terrified I may have already have the early symptoms of (read: I get mad). I have been cut off. I have been flipped off. I have had my parking spot stolen again and again, despite indicating for SO LONG beforehand. I have seen motorcyclists whip out and around cars that have just paid for their parking time, essentially stealing the car’s open boom time, and leaving the driver mouth agape behind the now lowered gate. I have even been driven off the road by a semi-trailer at 100kph, who apparently, was completely oblivious he had just merged his monster of a vehicle into a hysterical 21 year old in a 2003 Nissan Pulsar. Calm down, have some courtesy, and for god sakes, look in your goddamn mirrors. I am too young to die.
Edit: I feel that cyclists belong under this same category; don’t whinge that drivers are maniacs, and then dodge and weave out of moving traffic when it’s convenient. It’s terrifying, I’m not a good enough driver to promise you complete immunity from a life sized bumper cars session.
You shit me. People who brag about their worldliness over their rolled up cigarettes. You know these people. They recount their spiritual ‘rebirthening’ last year in India whilst wiping their $95 Harry Styles haircut out of their deep af third eye, but then claim civilisation stops at Northcote. Stop. Gloating about how long it took to get your MCG membership, or how your uncle’s yacht is moored at Portsea, or about how you were almost drafted to AFL, does not impress me. If you live in Toorak, or Brighton, or Prahran, and correct “Lower Templestowe” to “Templestowe Lower” when I try to involve myself in very one sided conversation, I don’t care about you. I don’t care that your uncle’s friends brother’s niece went to school with Eddie McGuire’s kids, but then again I don’t care if you are Eddie McGuire. Just chill out, life’s not a competition.
People who wear Rayban Clubmasters in the dark, and think it’s okay.
You shit me. Stop.
You shit me. If you can’t have a conversation without gym, bulking, shredding, meal planning, protein or gains, I’ll hit you. If you tell me about the latest dietary fad like it’s a religion, like how you HAVE to have your tapas ‘GF’ or your goddamn dairy ‘DF’ I’ll hit you. If you come to coffee with me, and you order a soy, non-genetically-modified, organic, decaf, non-fat, sugar free chai I’ll hit you. I won’t even hesitate, I’ll hit you as hard as I damn well can. And I’ll enjoy it.
You shit me. Look up. I don’t like it when I try to engage you in the awkward “Oh I’m sorry were you walking this way oh wait no this way oh pardon me haha sorry” two step on the street, and you just barge through like I’m not there. I don’t like it when I go to serve you at work and you can’t give me eye contact because there is a cat wearing a bumblebee suit on your newsfeed that apparently deserves greater attention. I don’t like it when you think it’s okay to trail away mid conversation when we’re at a restaurant, because your phone is more interesting than be. BE THAT AS IT MAY you agreed to spend two hours of your time with me, that’s your loss, now you must deal with it.
Wussy-ass wimpy crybabies.
You shit me. I don’t know whether it is the highly charged, more competitive environment, or the complete irrational fear of missing out on something that could give them an edge over others, or simply the fact that they freaking lose it when they don’t get their way, but my experience is city people have less resilience. One trip to the emergency room and having to sit across from a snivelling teenager with an ice pack on her barely swollen lip, who bawled at the top of her lungs to the point of dry retching, yet still had breath to tell her mum to shut up every time she tried to calm her down, is enough to make me question the kind of children this environment fosters. Our city-based group of family friends can no longer bring their children to group events, due to the teenagers’ total fear of being taken off grid and separated from their friends. The mention of being taken out of their comfort zones is enough to make them hysterical. Just take the plunge. Get a job. Move out of home. Pay bills and rent. It’s what being an adult is all about. And, my god, if the lab takes 8 days instead of 7 to complete your glasses, screaming about it isn’t going to make them come any faster, nor will it make me disinclined to snap them instead of handing them over safely.
This one’s a huge one for me so listen up kids.
People who are rude.
You farkin’ SHIT me. Big time. I have been put on this earth with the basic understand of making a positive impact on the lives of others. The fact that you have ulterior motives baffles me. Do not expect that you are more important than others. You are not owed anything by this world. Being completely close minded, making demands and being inconsiderate is not a good shade on anyone. If I can summon the willpower to push out my please and thank yous after dealing with your shit all day at work, then you can do me the courtesy of not pushing in front of me at self-serve checkout, and snapping “wot?” when I look at you incredulously. We’re all in the same boat here, it’s easier if we all take measures to get along.
Wow, if only rage fuelled all my essays. I completely SMASHED my word count.
Do keep in mind not all Melbournians are wankers.
Just the ones that shit me.