How I became Melbored

Illustration: Sarah McColl

Illustration: Sarah McColl

The pitch

When camera-laden Asian tourist groups visit Flinders St station, they gaze wide-eyed at the historic façade and get trigger happy. Few Melbournians share in on the excitement; to the general populous, Flinders is nothing more 1/5th of the City Loop.

As a half-Asian, born and raised in Melbourne, it’s no surprise I fit halfway between these two caricatures. My camera may not have many Flinders St snaps in its backlog, but I’m forever in awe of Melbourne’s urban highlights. I love being a tourist in my own city, taking in the highlights my hipster acquaintances and corporate neighbours often neglect.

It baffles me how students are so eager to collect “unique cultural experiences” in foreign lands, yet fail to recognise the value in their own multicultural-clad backyard. My idea is to write a travel-based column that will focus on our city’s lesser-known tourist attractions. I intend to bypass the laneway cafes and tacky museums, and instead engross myself in Melbourne’s b-grade landmarks and experiences. I intend to spectate court cases, stalk public rallies, and debate footpaths at council meetings. I will talk with ghosts at the Melbourne Cemetery, and talk to myself in a ghost town (i.e. Docklands).

Similar to “Standing up for the short guy” (2011) and “Life S’port” (2012), I will use my lighthearted observations as a platform to engage with broader topics. In doing so, I hope to show our insular student population that their home city has more to offer than just beer, brunch, and baristas.

The outcome

Issue 1 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Weezer

Issue 2 – Melbourne’s Trains

Issue 3 – Melbourne Magistrate’s Court

Issue 4 – Gosch’s Paddock and Melbourne Football Club

Issue 5 – Ramsay St and the Neighbours tour

Issue 6 – eMelbourne (Melbourne via Google Streetview)

Issue 7 – The Southern Star and the Docklands

Issue 8 – The University of Melbourne

The acknowledgements

Huge thanks go to the 2013 Farrago team – Emma, Sarah, Sally, and Meg – for approving my column idea and publishing each and every one.

The other columns

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