They might strip me of my citizenship, but I'm going to let you in on a few secrets about Australian life.
There are certain things that apparently get Australians really excited. If you work in the Australian press, one of the first things you think all Australians want to know about is how many times Australia has been mentioned in the foreign press. An American Tv show/newspaper did an article on Australia? Amazing!
Aussies also get excited about any title that includes the words 'biggest', 'in' and 'southern hemisphere' in it. It makes the isolation somehow more manageable if you know that you've got the world's biggest blahblahah if you can divide the world in two and conveniently ignore the fact that the majority of the world's most populated countries are in the northern hemisphere...
Aussies are also obsessed with property markets. There was a brief phase where we thought the stock market was where it was at, but that was the nineties. Nowadays if you're an Australian living in a capital city, it's considered uncouth to speak about stocks but strangely okay to talk about housing. People talking about investment properties, preloan approvals, what their house has been overvalued at and how real estate is so expensive but damn, didn't I make a killing...that's the kind of thing that people want to obsess about and that killed the dinner party in the process.
But the one thing that gets Australians really excited is the idea that a major brand is arriving on its shores. Krispy Kreme brought doughnuts back into fashion before it went bust. Recently high street stores like Top Shop, Uniqlo, Zara and H&M have opened up in Melbourne and beyond. When I was last there a few months ago there were lines to get into H&M. Five months after it had opened.
Well, phew, Australians, despite having one of the worst governments in the world, can find reason to smile. The first Legoland is coming to Melbourne. To Chaddie in fact. Chadstone, some will have you believe, is more than just a shopping centre. It's Australia's fashion capital. And soon it will be also home to a sprawling Legoland that will be able to hold children's attention for three whole hours. Amazing!
I mean I'm pretty sure if you leave a kid in Ikea (another exciting, nation building exercise) they'll be able to amuse themselves for three hours but who am I to say such a thing. I love Lego. I totally loved that stuff, and I'm proud that my hometown will be...oh whatever. I just don't think it's really newsworthy, but what would I know. I guess I should celebrate the fact that Lego is after all a great medium for creative and educative purposes. And have you noticed that in Lego worlds there's no such thing as body shaming because pretty much everyone is pear shaped.
So, Legoland is on its way to what will be the southern hemisphere's biggest shopping centre once the property redevelopment is completed. That effectively ticks three boxes, meaning that Australians are going to be very excited about this development.
Dave Di Vito
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Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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