Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cold? What is this cold of which you speak?

Canberra is a diverse and interesting city, as demonstrated by its diverse and interesting population.  Whether you’re a public servant in Tuggeranong, working for the Department of Human Services, or a public servant in Belconnen, working for the Department of Immigration or a public servant somewhere in between, there are unique and interesting individuals with unique and interesting backgrounds.  Just listening to these fascinating people can uncover unique and interesting questions including “what other departments have you worked for?” and “do you know Jack Smith?  He used to work there.” 

There is, however, one type of person that stands out from the usual Canberran, and it has nothing to do with their Government security pass.  It doesn’t even stead from their residential suburb, the car they drive, the school they went to or which code of football they support.  It’s not whether they’re a Hungry Jacks kind of person, or a McDonalds devotee.  It’s not even a part of the epic Northside vs Southside debate that began at the same time as they filled that fucking lake.

Canberra is, by and large, a cold capital, and this is most prevalent during the winter season (from April until late October), where the mercury doesn’t even bother getting out of bed, and just hovers around the 5 degree mark all day.  Meteorologists don’t even give Canberra’s weather a mention during their Australia-wide wrap-up, usually giving it a “Queensland had a bit of fog in the morning, but cleared to a bright and sunny 24 degrees, perfect for those who decided to fuck work off and go to the beach.  Sydney had a similar start but didn’t quite get that sunshine, peaking at 22, but there’s a change coming through that will warm things up during the week.  Canberra - fucking cold.  Again.  Melbourne had a wet day, interspersed with periods of soaring temperatures and gusty coastal winds, followed by a tropical storm and then a lovely humid 32 degrees; perfect for those who are preparing for the Armageddon…”    From this, we can gather that during the chillier months of the year, Canberran citizens bunker down in warm clothes; with long pants, at least one jumper and a big ol’ jacket to keep the sleet from killing them.  A beanie covers the head, hands are replaced by gloves and a scarf becomes something that “hipsters wear during the summer because they’re dickheads” to “the only thing keeping me alive.”

And then there’s the people who just don’t get it.  Regardless of the winds coming directly from the snowy mountains at 100km per hour, or the hail, rain and fog, the unusual Canberran is out there in a t-shirt and shorts, wondering what all this fuss is about.  The unusual Canberran looks down on people who wear thongs during winter.  The unusual Canberran who “doesn’t mind if you pop the heater on” but is also quite happy to “crack the window and get some cool air circulating through.” 

These are not the same people that wait outside Mooseheads in tiny skirts and a midriff top, or even the girls that do the same.  The unusual Canberrans are not to be mistaken for the Moosehead Fuckwits, as they hold down good jobs, are educated and eloquent, watch movies and read books, play sport and drink beer.  They don’t ignore the weather because they want a like-minded fuckwit to hook up with, or wear what they do so they feel they’re allowed to punch you in the throat because you looked at them, the unusual Canberran ignores the weather because they just don’t get it.  They are often seen at bus interchanges, movie theatres, football stadiums and cafes – that’s right – the same places that you go.  I once saw one looking through a rack of jackets at a David Jones sale, but I could tell that their heart wasn’t in it.  I said to him, “Mate, don’t do this.  You know you don’t want it.  Embrace your unusuality.  Rock that t-shirt and shorts combo for another month.”  He hugged me, thanked me and left the rack, which was handy because he was going to buy the same jacket that I was. 

Unusual Canberrans of Canberra, I salute you.  Well, I would if I dared take my hands out of my pockets.  But I won’t.  Because it’s cold.

I've changed my mind.  You're all fucking weirdoes.

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