We recently crossed into NSW for a family thing and what struck me most about life outside the walls was that despite the broad adoption of masking and QR kabuki, there was no wide-eyed fervour like there is in Vic.
Sure, some places were stricter than others on QR and green tick-ish-ness but nonetheless we ate a counter meal (country chicken parmi and the salad even had the signature twist of orange on top) without actually flashing a pox-pass
Similarly, we had a private sit-down luncheon at a friend’s restaurant, and nobody asked for a tick.
Maybe because we fit in with the locals, we got some slack? Dunno, but the whole experience was that it was much more laid back.
I have a loose theory that NSW and maybe QLD, are really just a confederacy of country towns whereas Victoria is more like one big Melbourne that stretches from Warragul to Geelong and as far north as maybe Seymour or further. You gotta go nearly 100km from the CBD to stop feeling the influence.
Country places such as regional towns are naturally socially conforming, and everybody pretty much knows everybody else’s business. Though, the breadth of ‘acceptable’ is vast. Crackheads might live in the same street as the town mayor for instance, so you need to be pretty tolerant. Generally, there’s a deep trust and an understanding of responsibility and accountability and limits. So, people are fairly accepting and not so quick to judge. Well, not publicly anyway.
Big Melbourne though, that’s a different story. Somewhere, everywhere there’s a strong and courageous sheila with blue hair policing you. From Officeworks to Bunnings, like so many NKVD Blue Caps. Or there’s a snivelling lad with a smirk risking sunburn at a desk outside Mitre10 to check your compliance.
Don’t use the wrong entrance or they’ll all point and shriek at the same time. Body Snatchers.
This little junket outside the Victorian Soviet has kind of firmed my belief that it’s time to get the hell outta the place and go regional. Yeah, it’s the same but nah, it’s completely different. Might sell up and start a distillery on the river in some dodgy Riverina town.
Anybody else travel outside the walls?
Or anybody come to Melbourne from regional and do a prison tour?
Welcome your thoughts.