Melbourne has a way of sucking you into its graffiti-covered bowels, churning you around in a sea of fried chicken, barrel-aged beer and matcha lattes, and spitting you back out, a decidedly more discerning foodie with a penchant for dressing entirely in black. Want to know the steps it takes to become a true Melburnian? Read on, preferably while sipping a cold drip and sneering at tourists snapping selfies on Hosier Lane. Pfffft.
#1: Replace 90% of your wardrobe with black. Colour is to be reserved for activewear, and activewear only.
#2: Replace the remaining 10% of your wardrobe with black. Wearing activewear with everyday clothes is now on point, but they should at least match, so all black everything it is.
#3: Buy a vintage Reid bike for cruising around the city.
#4: Buy a Tokyobike because your vintage Reid bike weighs a tonne and requires significantly more effort to ride (but hey, now you have badass cycle courier thighs of steel).
#5: Start caring about coffee—you know the difference between a latte and a flat white.
#6: Start *really* caring about coffee—you’ll have the single origin cold drip with a side of sparkling water, thanks very much.
#7: Start a religion based around coffee—you baptise your caffeinated disciples in vats of civet cat coffee and bless each and every bean before grinding it.
#8: Defect from your coffee religion in favour of the cult of the almighty tumeric latte.
#9: See a laneway. Immediately wander down it in search of the latest bar/café/pop-up barbers.
#10: Tell absolutely everyone you know about your latest laneway find, but in a kind of nonchalant way. “Yeah, it’s just down that laneway… Oh, didn’t you know about it already???”
#11: Develop an acquired taste for pimped avocado.
#12: Spend a weekend trying just about every combo of truffle oil, mint leaf, lemon zest, sriracha, diced sweet pickles, rose gold leaf, bin juice, orphans’ tears and rusty nails with avo.
#13: In the same weekend, declare yourself intolerant to just about everything. Meat. Dairy. Gluten. Sugar. Sulfites. Artificial colourings. Natural colourings. Natural foods. Nature. Life.
#14: Throw a party when your naturopath tells you that you’re not actually intolerant of anything, you just went too hard on the avo combo experimentation.
#15: Get really, really into street food.
#16: Get really, really into queuing for street food.
#17: Get really, really into evaluating the quality of the street food by the length of time spend queuing before you can eat any of it.
#18: Spend more than you would on a week in Bali on a fine dining experience.
#19: Spend less than you would on a day’s public transport on a dumpling feast at Box Hill Market.
#20: Get unreasonably irritated at the Myki system.
#21: Get unreasonably irritated at tourists trying to figure out the Myki system.
#22: Get unreasonably irritated at anarchists having fights with plain-clothes ticket inspectors on the tram about the Myki system.
#23: Found your own creative start-up.
#24: Decide that your creative start-up should give back to the community.
#25: Laugh about the fact that the rest of the world is going nuts for the ‘Melbourne café experience’.
#26: Go to a ‘Melbourne café’ when travelling in South America/Europe/the USA because you missed sourdough So. Goddamn. Much.
#27: Read some epic local literature.
#28: Read some not-so-epic-but-equally-worthy local literature.
#29: Fall in love with the Yarra Valley—wine and cheese!
#30: Fall in love with Daylesford—spas and cute farms!
#31: Fall in love with the Great Ocean Road—big rocks and beaches!
#32: Fall in love with Mornington—more wine, more beaches, more spas!
#33: Complain about the gentrification of Footscray/Fitzroy/Preston.
#34: Totally want one of those centrally heated, remote locking, spotlessly clean new apartments anyway.
#35: Take part in a protest at the State Library.
#36: Accidentally take part in a protest at the State Library while trying to make your way through the CBD.
#37: Lust after someone else’s dog in one of Melbourne's many beautiful parks.
#38: Contemplate shoving someone else’s dog under one of your many layers of black and running off with it.
#39: Have severe concerns about your mental state after contemplating an actual dognapping.
#40: Declare that, one day, you’ll move to the country and get an army of dogs and never be sad again.
#41: Rethink #countrylife and declare that actually, you’ll never leave the world’s most liveable city. Melbourne, ‘til you die.
Want more totally Melbourne experiences? Check out our guide to surviving Melbourne's winter!
Image credit: WikiCommons