I might be young and hip and all that sort of thing, but I’m also a patriot. I’m very proud to be an Australian. I’m of voting age, so every couple of years – it’s seems to be happening a lot more, lately, what with the politicians’ shenanigans and all – I show up at the polls and make my paw mark. Having lived in Melbourne all my life, I’m old enough to have experienced all the dramatic changes – all for the greater good ultimately – that the city has gone through.

Like pretty much all the other great suburbs and cities of Australia, Melbourne is still very much rooted in its colonial past. I love that. I love the grandeur of the old world which stretches to way, way back before I was even a thought to my mother and father. The small suburb where I’m living is just so. I share a house with a couple of blokes and girls. My bedroom and our living room are huge. So too, our kitchen and bathroom.

That’s the thing about these colonial houses. They’re so huge and well structured. They’ve weathered every nasty storm that passed us by in these last few years. We have a wide veranda with a nice tin roof over it, shielding us from the warm sun during the spring and summer months. Although, it must be said that the sun shines nicely for most of the year out our way. Reading time on the veranda is one of my favorite pastimes when I’m in a restive mood.

I always like to take a moment to pause for thought while I have another smoke break between the pages and even between putting together blog posts in my room. From my vantage point, I can see just how much the city has changed. It’s a stark contradistinction with our quiet, communal, colonial, suburban world. In the not too far distance, you can see the glistening shimmering of the city’s modern skyscrapers.

You can also hear the busy traffic down yonder.

Even with the city’s modernized rapid transport networks, designed to essentially reduce our motorized carbon footprint and deal with traffic congestion, those roads still seem to be so darn busy. That’s down to the laid back attitude of most Australians so set in their ways. For them, old habits die hard. And the old blokes love driving about in their trucks, SUVs and sedans. The younger blokes and girls too nowadays.

What wouldn’t I give to drive to town and down to the beach, and off inland into the countryside, not very far from the city, in my own little off-road Jeep? Or my little scooter, at least. Like those Italian hunks skirting about on their famous Vespers through their even more famously cobbled city side streets. We don’t have too much of that here. Out in the burbs, we do have a lot of hills though, although nothing nearly as hectic as those on the outskirts of San Francisco.

There’s a lot of Italians living out here too. There’s also a lot of Singaporeans, Thais, Chinese, and so forth here too. A lot of expats have settled down nicely. Many of them say that Melbourne feels just like home for them. There are remarkable similarities, they say. Well, that’s nice, I suppose. Anyway, sitting on my veranda, I can smell the sea. I love that. I don’t make nearly enough of an effort to get down there – it’s literally walking distance from where I’m staying – but I really do love our sprawling coastline.

There’s amusement parks for kids and there’s even a few nature-orientated parks for nature lovers like me to stroll through on quiet sunny Sunday mornings. Oh, I can’t stop talking about the things that are keeping me rooted here in Melbourne. I could go on all night, but this time I’m going to cut it short.