Thursday, August 26, 2010

MEBCAM presents: Know your Canberra - MANUKA

Manuka is an ancient Canberran word meaning “disputed pronunciation” as no one really knows how to say it correctly, but it is most well-known by its traditional bogan name ‘Maaarnikar,’ and should be spoken through the back of one's nose.

The Manuka region is home to several varieties of people – from the metrosexual type men who sit around in polo shirts and sip on lattes while preening their trendy faux mullets and contemplate growing ironic moustaches while also contemplating the meaning of the word ‘ironic,’ to the platinum-dyed blonde princess who reapplies her lip gloss between dainty nibbles of an organic grain-fed goat-cheese sourdough foccacia with a side order of organic grain-fed baby octopus as she sucks down Vogue cigarettes, Manuka really does attract all kinds of people, from wankers to tools and dickheads.

Other Manuka-sexuals to keep your eyes peeled for are the Canberran reality TV stars who are just one reality TV show away from being actual reality TV stars. These party-goers are easily spotted as they wander across from the nearby bars and clubs of Kingston such as B-Bar, Lot 33 and the Kennedy Room. With a mix of shitty electronic music spun by the best DJ that one kid and a computer can provide, drinks that the Kardashian Hiltons order and drugs that remind them just how awesome they really are still pumping through their veins, these young up-and-comers of the future look, feel and have been snorting lines of cocaine from a toilet cistern while vomiting their nineteenth Sex on a Cosmopolitan Beach cocktail all night long. The urban Canberra scene is dominated by witty banter from these future inheritors of their parents' money, and visitors to the Manuka region are treated to regular four-hour long philosophical debates regarding which R'n'B guy would be the best root, which of their friends' partners they have already rooted, and how pretty each of them are after being on a diet of cheap drugs, Chupa-Chups and rooting for three days straight.

Before you head off to Manuka, you should be aware that the businesses in Manuka have their own customs, cultures and language.

For example, upon ordering a drink or a meal at one of Manuka's thousands of identical cafes, your order will be acknowledged by the waiter rolling his or her eyes at you. Luckier still if you receive a clicking of the tongue as they avoid eye contact and speak in monosyllabic responses.

Coffee orders must be specific - if you would like a flat white or a cappuccino, please be precise about when you would like it. "One flat white please. Today, if you're not too busy, otherwise I can come in next Wednesday and grab it?"
Many Manuka restaurants will also employ someone to stand at the door to tell you that the restaurant is, in fact, closed at 1pm on a Saturday. In Manuka, they decide when you're hungry and when you should eat.

If your favourite Manuka eatery gets boarded up, don't panic. This happens at least four times a week in Manuka. While it will take a while to get used to the name change, you can rest assured that the food and service will all be of the same standard that you enjoyed about the last place.

Stores in Manuka are second-to-none when it comes to quality, as long as you're looking for a vase or a fruit bowl and don't care about money or style. Many shops do have a dress code, so please tie a cardigan around your shoulders if you do plan on browsing. A goatee is also an acceptable Manuka trend.

Location-wise, Manuka cannot be faulted; it pretty much sits at the bottom of my street, so whenever I feel like I want to be ignored by carefully groomed, hungover waiters or surrounded by screaming, peroxide-enhanced slappers, it’s a short wander down to the overpriced cafes and dirty dishwater caffeinated beverages. And the last time I did that, I moved tables three times and annoyed everyone.

My hash browns are just so post-modern that it hurts.

No comments: