Polite Melbourne

According to the Herald Sun yesterday, Melbourne is a city filled with politness, and courtesy.
Maybe it’s years of working in retail that has made me such a skeptic, but sometimes I don’t think that people in Melbourne are really THAT polite.
I’ve lived in Fitzroy for 10 years, crossed Brunswick st about a billion times, and only recently I have nearlly been knocked over twice in a week! One of those drivers swore at me for crossing in front of her car! (Even though I gave her the time to drive ahead and was about to thank her for letting me pass when she let it rip at me!)
The Sun found the worst area of their politness test was in a tram. Only on 1 out of 3 trips did someone give up their seat for a lady in her 60s. – I always get pissed off when I see young people in the tram not give up their seats to someone older. I always give up my seat for anyone 40 or over and I think everyone 13 and over should do the same. It also really bugs me when I get on the tram and no one offers to give my Mum their seat.
What do you think about Melbournians manners and politness? Am I totally off the mark on this one?

2 Comments so far

  1. Neil (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

    In general Melbourne is a polite city but when it comes down to road rage, Melbourne is no different then any other city.

    As for trams, its a bit of a judgment call. How old should one be to get a seat and how can you determine the oldness? I find the Asians are the best at giving up seats to the old.

    The biggest issue is determining when a woman is pregnant and when she is “big boned”. I mean you don’t want to imply someone is pregnant when she is not. Best bet, on a close to crowded tram never sit down (until you have a full head of grey hair).


  2. Melissa (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

    I have lived here for a year now and have lived in several other countries (in large metro cities and smaller suburban areas), so I feel like my opinion is qualified.

    Quite frankly, I think that people here are, in general, quite rude whether in shops or on the road. Aggressive driving is practically sport and customer service is sorely lacking in all restaurants (even high dollar venues) and retail outlets. My husband and I stayed in a ‘5 Star’ hotel last weekend and were appalled at the lack of service.

    I have spoken to other people here about this (Aussie and not) and there is a notion that simple kindness and service is generally seen as fake and/or servile rather than something that one should extend to others as a genuine and positive gesture.

    Australians like to see themselves as being friendly, but a lot of the humour that I have seen is almost always a ‘bloke-y’,sarcastic and judgmental. These are all generalizations, of course, but there is an undercurrent that you can definitely feel if you are an outsider. Not all of my experiences have been negative, but I can tell you that it bothers my husband more than not, and he is Australian!

    I don’t pretend to be perfect, but I think we all could stand to give and receive more kindness in this world and take pride in how we treat people in our everyday lives. Okay, stepping off of my soap-box now!



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