Melbourne has been in lockdown for just over a month and we’re beginning to see a pattern. While many of us are hunkered down in our overpriced city apartments even those Melburnians who are isolated elsewhere can’t seem to shake familiar Melbourne habits. Whether you’re curled up in Caulfield with your favourite Messina Gelati or 5000km away from home dreaming about Chin Chin, there are some things you may find yourself doing in isolation simply because you’re a Melburnian.
You finally realise why cafes charge $4 for a small coffee.
You’ve discovered that everyone in your house has a completely different way of brewing coffee, none of you can agree on the correct process and you now own 4 different coffee-making apparatuses. You’re wondering if you should call Dukes and ask how to roast beans at home. There is never enough soy milk.
You’ve channeled your inner 9-year-old and completely rearranged your bedroom.
You’re a new person and have kept up momentum by Konmari-ing all your clothes. Honestly, you’re wearing the same trackies every day anyway so it doesn’t make much difference. You’ve thrown away everything that doesn’t bring you joy and now you’ve created the perfect excuse to go vintage shopping through Collingwood after isolation.
You start every Facetime catch up with the question “What’s the first thing you’re gonna do once lockdown’s lifted?”
You and your friends have started seriously planning your first night out together. An epic Northside pub crawl is well and truly mapped out with multiple snack stops along the way. You’ve been dreaming about your favourite barista for weeks and you promise you’ll never take the 1000 steps for granted ever again.
You miss live music more than you could have possibly imagined.
Weekends are spent glued to Instagram, watching live streams of local bands on ISOLAID and making playlists of canceled festival lineups. You’re refusing to ask The Corner for refunds on your tickets and are slowly building your own God complex. Aus Music T-shirt Day was the highlight of your month. Everyone’s doing a 30-day song challenge.
You never seem to have enough craft beer.
You’ve started ordering beers from independent bottle shops in the hopes of finding that IPA you had at that pub in Fitzroy that one time. The manager at BWS is worried you haven’t visited and you’re wondering how many Woolworths rewards points it would cost to buy Moon Dog “Old Mate” by the keg.
You only know what day it is thanks to MasterChef.
You are living vicariously through MasterChef while eating the same vegetarian pasta dish for the sixth night in a row. The texture of pureed vegetables is suddenly very important to you, and you can’t remember what you used to do five nights a week before MasterChef 2020 began. Criticism of George Colomabris and wage theft legislation is up 78% in your household.
The lack of contact with people’s dogs is starting to get to you.
You’re now taking yourself to Edinburgh Gardens multiple times a day on dog finding expeditions and you’ve started dreaming in woofs. There is no proper etiquette at the dog park anymore and no one knows how to tell a pup he’s a good boy while still maintaining social distancing. You’ve asked your landlord if you can have a cat but you know it won’t be the same.
You can’t really remember how PTV works anymore.
You haven’t used your Myki in nearly a month, and you’re worried you won’t remember how the free tram zone works. PT still appears to be running, but you don’t dare use it for fear you’ve misinterpreted essential travel. You still have no idea which Zone Footscray is in or what it truly means to be a Tram Champion.
Wellness if your new obsession.
You’ve finally taken up yoga via the local bougie yoga studio and their online content. You’re working your way through Mark Manson’s “Everything is F**cked” and you’re convinced reading it will completely prepare you for your post-Corona glow up. You’re thinking about adding “Melbourne Based Wellness Guru” to your Hinge profile.
You’ve joined/started a digital book club.
You and your book pals have carefully compared delivery of your favourite bookstores and found the Readings with the best collection of Christos Tsiolkas novels. You fear your ability to read has been intrinsically linked to Degraves St cafes so you need to brush up on your literary skills post haste!
You’ve decided to give dating apps another go.
With the option of going on a physical date off the table, you no longer have to worry your date will suggest having drinks at ABC as your first encounter. You’re automatically swiping left on anyone with “Quarantini” in their description and you will absolutely NOT be attempting a digital date.
You’ve only just realised Tom Tilley left Triple J.
Tom Tilley has left Triple J and now you don’t know where to go for hard-hitting yet spunky current affairs content. You’ve seen more infographics on Daniel Andrew’s Facebook page in the last month then you thought were humanly possible and you’re still not sure whether you’re meant to call it coronavirus or COVID-19. You’ve now graduated to ABC’s 7.30 and Leigh Sales is your new idol.
You suddenly can’t stop thinking about wall art and plant holders.
You’ve spent the end of your ING Splurge money on prints by local artists and in return, you’ve been bitten by the creativity bug. You’ve taken up a craft and are spending so much time on it you now have three stalls worth of homemade trinkets. You’re thinking about changing career paths and starting your own Etsy store while you wait for the Brunswick Artist Market to start up again.
You’ve migrated to an online trivia team that connects via Zoom.
Now that you’ve finally figured out how to mute yourself you’re not embarrassed about yelling out the wrong answer straight away. The Livestream from the host’s bedroom isn’t quite as fun as the perpetually sticky tables of Lucky Coq but on the plus side, you’ve got heaps of time to brush up on your knowledge for the pop culture round.
While these isolation restrictions have us all feeling a little out of place, finding ways to connect with your city and your community has never been easier. Whether you’re a Melbourne native or a recent convert we’re sure you’ll find yourself doing one or two of the above scenarios at some point in your journey. And if you aren’t from Melbourne but still found yourself nodding along to this article anyway – maybe you should consider coming to visit us once lockdown’s over! We guarantee Melbourne will be ready and waiting for you as soon as it is able.
By Niamh Hassett