Thursday, September 18, 2014

"I live in Narrabundah... the good part."

When two Canberrans meet for the first time, they perform a ritual to ascertain just how Canberran the other person is, and whether they are worthy of joining your circle of Canberran friends that you never see. 

The ritual begins by asking “where do you live?”  The response comes back with the appropriate answer, “Kambah,” “Phillip,” “Hawker,” “Gungahlin,” or whichever fucking suburb you live in, and then pause.  The other Canberran will raise their eyebrows in expectation of your next sentence, which will be… “the good part.”  Then you can both relax in your Canberranness, clink your beers together (if you’re having beers, otherwise it might be awkward if you’re at work or at the gym or an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting) and laugh together at being in “the good part” of your chosen suburb. 

You see, Canberra suburbs were designed to incorporate a mix of government housing for the lower-income earners of the world, with a smattering of privately-owned houses.  I think it was some kind of ACT Government initiative to stop poor people from robbing each other, and target the middle class instead.

This is true basically throughout Canberra, with the exception of the suburb of O’Malley. 

The suburb of O’Malley was named after King O’Malley, who was named after the pub in Civic, where I’m assuming he was conceived in the disabled toilets after about twelve pints on a rowdy Friday night.  It has taken this humble beginning to become possibly the weirdest postcode in the Gregory’s street directory.  Sprawling with mansions and adorned by marble, O’Malley gives the impression of what life would be like if God played the Sims and used all of the money cheats. 

O’Malley’s crowning glory, other than it’s endless rabbit warren of streets that lead to bigger and whiter houses, is the view.  If looking over Canberra is your idea of heaven, and let’s be honest, it is, then O’Malley may just be one or two lotto wins away for you.  And you’d better enjoy the view, because there’s fuck all chance of you getting out of the suburb during peak hour, as it exits directly onto one of Canberra’s busiest roads.  A favourite Canberra game is to watch nervous Range Rover and Lexus drivers edge their way onto Hindmarsh Drive as Corollas and Mazda 2s do their best to hit warp speed so they can beat the twelve sets of traffic lights.  In the end, no one wins, but there’s always a good chance you’ll see a P-plater in a Mercedes sideswipe a bus, so that may count for something.  

Needs more pillars

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