Where’s Melbourne?

Everybody should check out the age’s Melbourne Magazine when it comes out each month. It gives a really good insight into Melbourne culture, and what’s going on in Melbourne the following month.
I picked up my copy today, and this caught my eye on the front cover – “Sorry, never heard of it: What the world really knows about Melbourne.”
This made me think of me recent trip to the state, where 80% of Americans who asked me where I came from would laugh, say something that included “down under” and “the crocodile hunter” then asked me if I owned an aboriginal or a kangaroo. – This is NOT a joke mind you!
It’s on pages 44-46 of the magazine, and asks people from Tokyo, London, New York, Beijing and Moscow about what they think of Melbourne. They don’t tell them Melbourne, Australia just simply – Melbourne.
Two people from New York stuck out the most to me. One said that Melbourne has only hot or cold, weather “it’s a tropical little town with maybe 200,000 people.”

Another, who is “founder of the Park Avenue, New York, company cultural communication” started off right – saying we were a large city in Australia, with a big population, but then she went all wrong and said we have a relaxed work ethic, the men were too masculine and the women didn’t care if they didn’t help out around the house. She then said she wouldn’t go to Melbourne, “unless it had alot of culture, with museums, a gallery scene and cafes… I expect that in Sydney. I would go to Melbourne for the beach.” !!!! Another guy from NY said, that we spoke, “broken English.”

Check the article out guys – it’s extremly funny and v. sad!

7 Comments so far

  1. Drew (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:41 pm

    Yeah, yeah. Ha, ha. All Americans are idiots. As an American that’s lived in Melbourne for six months, I must say I get really tired of people asking me how many times I’ve been shot at.

  2. Neil (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 4:13 am

    Right, and ask Australians what they think of Pittsburgh (A large city) or Kiev? You really expect people to know things about a small city (worldwise)? Dont get me wrong, I think some of those answers are funny. I would have probably said similar things 5 years ago although not that dumb.

    Definitely have to agree with Drew on the “getting shot at” comment. NY != getting shot at. I think the best comments are:

    Person: Where you from?
    Me: New York
    Person: Oh do you know Bob Sacamano?
    Me: Um no…
    Person: Yeah, hes this guy I met who is from Ny.
    Me: Oh ok.

  3. squirt (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 8:29 am

    Used to live in NY. It was at times frustrating to have people think that the only Melbourne was in Florida. I got used to qualify Melbourne by saying: “I’m from Melbourne, Australia.”

    But we can’t expect everyone we meet to know where Melbourne is. Its as good as someone asking me where is Hammerfest.

  4. Laurie (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 5:25 am

    Let’s be fair.

    What do you mates think of south east Louisiana

    in the United States of America?


  5. Lisa (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

    Well, I know that Louisana got badly hit by hurricane katrina, and that it gets most of it’s money from oil.
    Sure, I can understand that not EVERYBODY knows about Melbourne, but when I went to the U.S. so many people kept on coming up with these stereotypes of Australia, and some thought we were part of Europe! Some people even asked me what language we spoke in Australia!
    And it’s true, when I came back from New York, everyone asked me if I’d seen people with guns, or whether I’d been mugged on the subway – it’s just interesting what people say when you ask them about different places in the world – they usually do come up with the stereotypes.

  6. Neil (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

    For some reason, the fist thing I think of is shrimp and other tasty food. I’m also reminded of My Cousin Vinny when he is asking what “grits” is.

  7. Laurie (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 7:14 am

    The shrimp are delicious.

    I had the best boiled crabs last week My dad

    caught ’em off the coast of Grand Isle.

    I think of the aboriginees before the Thing,

    the Dreamtime, the stars, the dinosaurs, the utter uniqueness

    of having an island isolated for millenium until man

    came and screwed it all up as usual.

    I think of wanting to go find one of those gigantic trees,

    and how that piece of red clay floats is a mystery

    to me which I don’t wan’t answered.

    And, of course whether or not I could navigate

    the Blue Mountains without dying.


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