Saturday, February 25, 2012

How the Locals Like It [Part 1]

Melbourne is a large city.

Not large like New York large, or Rome large, but just really spread out.  Where does Melbourne begin and end?  Does anybody know?  If you live at one end of 'Melbourne' then it can take up to two hours to get accross to the other side, which makes it a little difficult when visiting rellies who supposedly live in the same city as you.

{I'm allergic to four hour car trips in one day, especially during peak hour traffic}

Throughout my short life I've lived in a few different patches of Melbourne.  Moving around is not very fun, and when we arrived in our current patch of Melbourne, the first thing I thought was 'this must be the bush'.
Which was silly, because there was a golf course down the road, and the local state park was more of an empty paddock than thick bushland.  And my 'this must be the bush' thought wasn't along the lines of 'the bush is an awesome place to live!'... no, it was more like 'living in the bush is living in the middle of nowhere!  Get me out of here!'.

It was an over-reaction.

Many years later (ie. present day), I was driving down the road to go babysit (it was a Monday), when I had an epiphany.

I suddenly realised where I was.

That sounds pretty dense.

But seriously, I suddenly noticed that my local neighbourhood was pretty nice compared to the places I'd been lately.  In fact, the longer I noticed where I was, the more I realised that I'd been driving many miles to get to places which were just like my own patch of Melbourne.  Places with my idea of 'country charm', a famous cafe, and a sweet little gift shop or two.

I haven't fallen in love with my neighbourhood {yet} - but I'm getting there.  So much so, that when I had to stop off at the post office recently, I took a few snaps to share with you.

Am I the only one who feels awkward standing by the side of the road taking photos while all these cars drive past?  I felt like I was committing a criminal offence, and at any moment someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and lecture me...  Paranoia. 

My neighbourhood has a long history of which I know little about, but I do know that this area was once full of people looking for gold (like most of Victoria).  That gave people a reason to set up sticks right here.  As the central districts of Melbourne swelled out and expanded, our little gold town was folded right into the outer suburbs.

Still, we're far enough away from the city to discourage any high density.
There is a nice small-town feel thanks to the one main street with its very own General Store.

Is it possible for a 'suburb' of spread out Melbourne to still have a fully functioning general store?   Well, yes.  Even though there is a Westfield shopping center 15 minutes in one direction, and a multi-level shopping plaza 20 minutes in the other direction...the general store is the place to go for your milk, newspapers, and Drumsticks.

Every Thursday, the mobile library truck parks in front of the store and is open for three hours.  Very handy when you have books overdue.  Again, we have a range of huge libraries all within 15 minutes of home, but the mobile library still comes.

The same driver comes every week.  I have no idea what his name is, but we still have a conversation everytime we go there.  He's really interested in sociology too, and is keeping track of my career paths through uni.
I don't even have to give him my library card when I borrow books.  He remembers who I am and has my account ready and waiting before I've even picked out which books I want.  Now that is personalised service.  Just how the locals like it.

To be continued...


  1. It sounds like a beautiful pocket of Melbourne! :D

    Btw, you're not alone in feeling rather strange and awkward standing by the side of the happens to me too. Kinda feels like plagiarism except it's not copying someone's writings... :D

  2. Yes, I like the link to plagiarism! Glad I'm not alone... :)


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