Australians respond with such fervor over slights against their towns and are so quick to distribute these slights that I can’t tell to what extent any of this is even true. I don’t know if this is evidence of actual pride of place or if it’s like the World Wrestling Entertainment version of pride. People approaching the microphone during Question and Answer panels would typically bootstrap their question with a fusillade of sorts against their erstwhile foes.
People from Melbourne were very, very insistent that their town was better than Sydney generally but also in every conceivable particular. People from Brisbane have a high opinion of Brisbane I noticed, as well. They think it’s a good town. People from Perth seem a little shy about it. Everywhere else, it’s apparently open war.
I’m from a town that I like, too. But I don’t get offended when people say that Portland is somehow better than Seattle, because that’s the kind of fabulism one associates with the worst excesses of no wait I get it.
Ben described being in Australia as like owning a kind of Creative TARDIS, in that it gives you wackily long leads on things, but if you just congenitally have a weird relationship with time you’re still going to be worried about it. I have a watchface for my Pebble that says the time here and at home, but not the date, so there is always a tiny crack through which worry may slip. The practical end of that is that even though I’m halfway across the world, the post is going up with the strip - something I never seem to manage at home. Terror is the answer, apparently.
My last night in Melbourne - what I have begun to call The Fitzroy Revelation - I caught the MC Frontalot/Protomen show at something called The Evelyn Hotel, which might not even be a hotel. I don’t know if people sleep on the stage or on the bar or what. But there are two more dates for that show in Sydney, the 27th and the 28th, and you’re fucking yourself if you don’t go.
Part six of Sand is now available for your degustation.