Hazards of being a Kiwi Superhero in Melbourne


I am a Kiwi Superhero living in Melbourne. Over the past few years I have been aware of some odd hazards that I face frequently. I’m not going to go on and on about it – OK, maybe a little. The following is a quick list of everyday pitfalls that I navigate on an almost daily basis;

  • If I tell you that it will take 10 minutes for me to complete a task, and you start rolling on the floor repeating “Tun Munutes!” over and over, it will in fact take me 15 minutes. I am too polite to stop you enjoying yourself, and I am also probably too nice to charge you for your mocking time.
  • When I say that I am going to deal with your bins, I am not going to touch your hair, your bum or your delicious sweet pastries.
  • I’ve now got the hang of an appropriate response when asked to change your doona. Initially I was all sympathetic. “Doona” sounds a little like it might be an unfortunate facial condition. I might be a Kiwi Superhero that performs apparently miraculous feats of transformation, but that one was a little perplexing until I worked out that you were talking about your duvet.
  • I never do a swoop-by in thongs. Ever. EVER. And I never will. Wearing a g-string in my humble opinion, is just wrong. And if you’re bending over, crawling around and reaching up to high places all of the time, it’s incredibly impractical. Why do you keep on commenting on my thongs? I know that Kiwis are a little reserved and sometimes over-polite, but even taking that into account, it seems a little rude to guess that I’m wearing thongs.
  • What the hell is an “s-key”? And why would you need one when you go anywhere outdoors? And WHY would you want a key to be wiped down?!
  • Please bare in mind that this Kiwi Superhero is both polite, and a little reserved, and your patience with this question would be most appreciated. Why, why, WHY is the weather never right in Melbourne? It’s “too hot”, “too cold”, “too windy” or “too the same as yesterday”. It seems to this Kiwi Superhero that the weather is seasonally more pleasant than just about anywhere in New Zealand, and I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. Why don’t you wear a raincoat if it’s raining? Why don’t you take off your suit jacket if it’s hot? The mere fact that you can use an umbrella in Melbourne without it turning inside out and breaking within 20 seconds is a bloody great bonus if you ask me. I have worked out that there is in fact a 2 degree range of “just right” temperature for the native Melburnian (which might be different for each individual Melburnian). It seems that the temperature and associated wind conditions were absolutely PERFECT sometime in 1983 – and you remember this day with a great deal of fondness. It is also important to point out that I am actually acclimatising to this cultural habit, and forgetting the 12 year drought that Melbourne suffered from before I arrived, now frown up at the sky when it is “raining”.
  • Of relevance to the point above, this Kiwi Superhero is obsessed with how full the Melbourne water dams are. Australia is internationally known to not have enough water, and to a Kiwi that is used to almost drowning in her raincoat while walking to the bus stop, the thought of not having enough water is BAD. What would we make our grog and coffee out of if we didn’t have water?! So my public service action for today is to show you this link to the Melbourne dam water levels. Please click on it and then check it obsessively every other day – I’d like to share the stress load. You might be interested to know that the levels were heading downwards towards 20% when I arrived. I am slowly “stressing” them towards more healthy flood levels. Help me to fight the good fight peoples.
  • Why do you try and explain directions to me on how to get to your house? Do you know how big (not bug) Melbourne is?? Do you also realise that the same road might in fact have 14 different names along the stretch of the ONE ROAD?! All I need is your address, suburb and maybe a postcode – my NavLady will work out the rest.
  • What is up with your parking signs?! It has taken me years to work out how to read them. I think. It usually goes something along the lines of “You may park here between 7.00am and 7.15am on alternate Tuesdays, but only if the moon is waning, and you are wearing purple underwear. If all of these conditions are not met, I will superglue a ticket to your windscreen which means that you owe me a bazillion dollars. Don’t even bother to explain your ignorance by putting on a Kiwi accent.”
  • You might be interested to learn that the population of Melbourne and the population of all of New Zealand is roughly the same. Consider this when I meet you and instinctively start to try and work out if we know someone in common – in New Zealand, we always do know someone in common. Forget six (not sex) degrees of separation – in New Zealand you’re damn lucky if you’re not related. It is ridiculous how often this applies when Kiwis meet each other overseas as well.
  • There is a secret mission in New Zealand that we are all raised with. It’s very secret in fact. As babies, recorded messages are piped into our bedrooms while we are sleeping, with the repeated message “go forth out into the world, and slowly, politely and reservedly, populate it. Eventually you will take over. Mwahahahahaha!”. I was once in a bar in London and saw a woman in there wearing my (New Zealand) company t-shirt. Of course I went bowling up and starting talking. I went to the same school as her cousin in Whakatane, and knew him quite well in fact. She had been into one of my stores and loved it so much that she “bought the t-shirt”. She introduced me to her 3 mates – who were all Kiwis. None of us were at all surprised by this incident.
  • NOTE: One hazard that I anticipated and avoided when I first arrived in Australia, was a mobile number full of 6s (sux’s) and 7s (seavuns). I spent ages with the young telecommunications salesperson going through my options, and reading her face as I repeated each one – the merest twinkle of an eye caused immediate discounting of said number. Consequently, I do not have to repeat myself 16 times when giving someone my mobile. My home number is an entirely different kettle of fish – which might be why after 2 years I still haven’t memorised what it is.

This has been a brief summary of some of the hazards that this Kiwi Superhero has faced while in Melbourne. You may have other hazards that you, or a Kiwi that you know, has also faced. Feel free to leave a comment so that I can keep an eye out. It’s always good to know that I am a Kiwi Superhero, not stupid, and that others have faced similar hazards. If you liked this blog, please share it as widely as you are comfortable. You might also like to tickle my fancy by clicking on the “thumbs up” symbol below.

Take care my Good Citizens, fight the good fight, check the dam water levels regularly and use your power for good and not evil.

Kiwi Superhero

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2 Responses to Hazards of being a Kiwi Superhero in Melbourne

  1. Sarah Lang says:

    You iz one funny superhero

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  2. Gareth says:

    Truly you are a super-wise observer of the Melbourne Condition! As an Adelaidean, I moved here *for* the weather. I love Melbourne weather! It’s not 40 degrees for two weeks straight, ever!

    The phenomenon you mention regarding the interconnectedness of all New Zealanders is also known to me. Where I come from we call it “Adelaide Syndrome”, and we regard it as a terrible thing to suffer from to never be able to meet another person from your home town who you don’t know somehow. Adelaide folk, unlike Kiwis, are not proud of their social networks and leave to get away, rather than to conquer.

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