So it has come to my attention that a lot of people here in Melbourne know absolutely nothing about little ol’ Perth.
And why would they?
They’ve chosen to live here, in what most would argue is the bigger and better city. (*cough* that’s because it is *cough*).
But, still, I find myself comparing life here to Perth, and trying to explain just what living in the “most isolated city in the world” is like.
So I thought I’d give it a crack on here. Also, I’m supposed to be writing academic essays for university, so naturally I found a way to procrastinate and write a blog post instead.
Pictured: Elizabeth Quay, Perth CBD.
So here goes.
So, in Perth, there is often…okay…sometimes…okay… occasionally, things on. Like, a club event, or a festival for food & drink & entertainment that lasts only a few weeks, like the Fringe Festival, or perhaps it’s a Pop-Up par that everyone’s suddenly going to. In this instance it’s: Sculptures By the Sea.
I’m going to use this example because it is the most recent ‘Perth trend’ I’ve come across, but there are plenty of others (that random rainbow container sculpture near Freo, for starters, or that time there was a ‘Moon’ at the Pleasure Garden in Fringe Festival – it was a half moon display, everyone wanted pics with it, the inflatable glowing rabbits in South Perth one year, Embargo container bar this summer- to name but a few). This one just sums it all up perfectly.
Sculptures By the Sea is Perth’s largest outdoor exhibition (which actually originated and is also showcased in Sydney, go figure). It displays sculptures by artists from around the globe, interspersed along one of our well known beaches, Cottesloe.
The only reason I knew it was on was from the simple act of scrolling through my Instagram newsfeed. Why? Well, here’s why.
One day I saw someone sitting in this chair, didn’t think much of it, and kept scrolling.
The next day, I saw it again…
And here we go again…
Until I decided to click on the “Sculptures by the Sea” location tag. And boy oh boy did I hit the jackpot.
(P.S. Sorry if some of these images are you, or someone you know, but well.. your profile is on public so I dunno what to tell ya… You all look great)!
But it made me laugh – the simple fact that something so minuscule could suddenly become this ‘trend’, and how suddenly, absolutely everybody in Perth needs to take a photograph involved in this one thing (in a previous year it was a giant goon bag).
But it’s also happened with one specific type of milkshake from one particular cafe, visiting a particular national park for a pool/waterfall/quarry, and even all going to one club event on the same night of the week for 6 months until they can it.
Pictured: Perth’s Giant Goon @ Bag Sculptures By The Sea 2014. Google Images 2017.
My point is, there becomes this element of ‘FOMO’ – Fear Of Missing Out, in Perth. Because things are so scarce, when something good comes up – everyone wants to be doing it. And I mean EVERYBODY. We all have to jump on the bandwagon.
Hell, if I was still living in Perth I’d probably be the first to be like, “We have to go see the red ursula chair and take a photo for my Instagram.” Classic, right?
Perthites- Do you see how ridiculous this sounds?
To me, only recently living here in Melbourne, this idea seemed rather natural. It’s just what you do. Isn’t it? But to my multi-cultural friends, colleagues and peers from other ends of the Earth, this seemed completely bizarre.
Pictured: Melbourne City Skyline from Naked For Satan Rooftop, Fitzroy.
Not only that, they all assured me that if they went out somewhere, absolutely nobody would be wearing the same outfit.
They laughed at me when I told them that you’d see about eight or nine girls in the same dress (and shoes!) at the Raffles on a Wednesday night (is that still a thing? I’ve been gone for a month now, so who knows). Either way, everyone wants to be wearing the latest trend, in exactly the same way. #whoworeitbetter 😂
Don’t get me wrong – I love my hometown (well, it’s more of a love/hate relationship, but a relationship all the same). I love that everyone has this sense of community, and embracing something cool when it comes along. I love seeing those photos and feeling like I’m still keeping up with what’s what at home, knowing the latest ‘So Perth’ thing to do.
I’m just glad I’m off exploring a city big enough to avoid those minuscule things, a city big enough so that anything you do feels exciting and new. A city where you barely have to go scouting for fun, extravagant things. A place where I don’t experience FOMO anymore because if I miss out on something, something else will come along before I can blink twice. It just goes to show what a difference in city size and culture can make to how you live your life.
I’m still pretty jealous you all got to take pics on a bright red ursula chair, though.
That’s just So Perth.
P.S. Here’s the back of the chair in case anyone was curious – it is pretty damn cool.