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Top 5 Things Not to Say to a Melburnian

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by Paul Bonadio (subscribe)
Portfolio -
Published April 1st 2012
We're a patriotic bunch, us Melburnians. We take pride in everything our city has to offer, whether it's the cuisine along Lygon Street or those ridiculously steep escalators at Flagstaff station.

Take a swipe at our fair town and we'll most likely lambaste you with Mum jokes and Chinese burns. We love this city and will defend her to the hilt, regardless of the opposition.

There are some criticisms, however, that tend to have more impact than others. Listed below are five such examples.

1 – "You know what, Sydney is better than Melbourne…"

Ah yes, that old chestnut.

Our friends up north always keep this one in their arsenal. They say that Sydney has the landmarks and attractions that promote Australia to the rest of the world. We'll argue we have the bars, laneways and sporting precincts.

Regardless of who's right, this conflict will never be resolved. It will go endlessly back and forth like two Energiser bunnies playing tennis.

Ol' Melbourne town. Photo: AshGreen (wikimedia commons)

2 – "Fed Square is your city's heart? Really…?"

Yeah ok we get it; it's ugly. It's damn ugly. A blind tiger could've scratched up a better design. Still, we believe it's not the structure that makes the landmark - it's the people located within it.

Over the years Melburnians have gathered at Fed Square for countless sporting events and special occasions. It's usually windy and unbearably cold, but we still make the most of it (language warning).

3 – (Part 1) "It's freezing down here…"

Melbourne is a mighty chilly place. Get caught in winter without an oversized turtle neck and they'll probably find your frozen body sliding down Swanston Street like a bobsled.

3 – (Part 2) "It's boiling down here…"

When summer peaks in Melbourne it becomes ridiculously hot. Also, good luck finding a slurpie at the local 7-Eleven because the machine will be either, a) broken, or; b) out of whatever Slurpee is made of.

4 – "Why do you have sewage flowing throughout your city? Oh wait that's the Yarra…"

Ahem. Yeah you've got us on this one. We can't do much to defend the Yarra. It's dirty, unattractive and I accidentally once dropped a winning trifecta into its bowels.

One redeeming quality is that the Birdman Rally is hosted there during Moomba celebrations. If anything this proves the water is safe. And heck, if it's good enough for those brave Birdmen then it's good enough for us.

The Yarra isn't that dirty... from afar. Photo: Diliff (wikimedia commons)

5 – "AFL is nothing but aerial ping-pong…"

Such venom is commonly spurted from those living in Sydney, Brisbane and, surprisingly, New Zealand. Why this vitriol is shouted by these folks is a mystery to Melburnians. One theory is that the game has become so complex with so many rules that frustration has set in.

Still, this insult doesn't hurt too much. We love AFL. It's our indigenous game and has kept the Victorian economy in check for a hundred odd years.

Oh and by the way, what's wrong with ping-pong? Exactly, nothing. Everyone loves ping-pong.

Got any thoughts on what you think upsets Melburnians? Feel free to fling your insults below.
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Your Comment
I love your articles and satire!
by Vanessa de Largie (score: 3|1343) 3211 days ago
by seana (score: 0|2) 3211 days ago
LOL im a Sydneysider that came across this article. What's even funnier about this are the comments. At least three are dissing Sydney :/ The fact is, the rivalry is a Melbourne thing. We Sydneysiders never actually diss Melbourne. We LOVE it. Inferiority complex?
by na (score: 0|2) 3109 days ago
At least we use our feet!!!!!!!!!!! playing football. All those rugby games......where's the foot in football????????? It's more like handball wrestling. My choice is aerial (ping-pong?) AFL at least the name says what it is or what it used to be!!!!!!!! Especially when it was VFL!!!!!!
by libsu (score: 0|2) 3168 days ago
melbourne rocks,rain hail or shine!!
by sammc (score: 0|4) 3183 days ago
Haha! Everything you have written about Melburnians is so true- love your writing style :)
by Catherine Van Bergen (score: 2|112) 3193 days ago
melbourne forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - kills over sydney
by natal163 (score: 0|2) 3209 days ago
Melbourne has the Littleman Complex. And for no reason. I've lived in both cities and find the beaches (and beach culture), the touristy stuff and the weather to be better in Sydney but if you don't care for that stuff and prefer cold weather to don your favorite coat and head to a bar/club/pub decorated just as you'd like then Melbs is for you. Fact: Melbourne has the second most musicians per capita behind Austin, Texas. But who cares about music when you could go surfing. No wonder they built Canberra.
by nehal (score: 0|2) 3209 days ago
i am an international student, but i like melbourne. i want to stay here for good, having a life, but i must return to my country after study :D
by karni (score: 0|2) 3210 days ago
Without the harbour Sydney would be NOTHING!!
by pturv (score: 0|3) 3210 days ago
Fact 1 - Melbourne has many less rainy days than Sydney,
Fact 2 - When driving it is much easier to get around Melbourne than Sydney, we has many less one way streets.
Fact 3 - Sydney goes into lock down and panic mode when its Harbour Bridge goes into lock down, thus effectively freezing the Sydney comuters.
Fact 4 - Melbournians have a much better sense of humour and we have fantastic comedians.
Fact 5 - We have many fantastic festivals and events.
Fact 6 - If you don't like Melbourne, don't come here.
by (score: |) 3211 days ago
If you were truly from Melbourne you wouldn't use the term 'turtle neck'. The garment is known as a skivvy here and a turtleneck in the US.
Otherwise it's a good article.
by madsa (score: 0|2) 2750 days ago
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