I like Canberra.
I do. I like it.
Most people, when I tell them this, make that bemused face. The face that’s all squiggly eyebrows and pursed lips. The face that, without words, says ‘really’ with an upward inflection on a steep curve.
I always try to justify my affection with reference to the weather.
“It’s cold,” I’ll say, “I like the cold.”
Maybe all the round-a-bouts make me dizzy. Maybe, I lose a sense of perspective when I’m in the capital.
There’s something wonderful about the city.
It could be the ‘porn, politics, and pyrotechnics’ element. I’m not sure.
Perhaps it’s the rich dichotomies to be found there.
When I was there, posters pressed that innovation be fast-tracked all while the place chugged along at the slow clip of a steam train.
What’s not to love about that sort of absurdity? In Canberra, one waits for Godot. He never comes.
I think part of my love for Canberra is that it’s just like a bigger version of my home town.
It’s full of old people and conservative values. It’s Toowoomba’s grown-up, big sister city.
Meanwhile, I think I’m lucky to fit neither the description ‘old’ or ‘conservative’.
By and large, despite their chances to be the contrary – given the number of politicos per head, the locals strike me as lovely.
I met an undergraduate-looking chap in the bookshop, and he seemed keen to share with me his views on the volume I was set to purchase. It was a particularly Canberran experience. He was eloquent, and charming, but I wasn’t sure whether I could take what he had to say at face value. I could have been in a parliamentary chamber.
I’m not convinced I’ll ever be able to put my figure on my love for our nation’s capital.
And that’s part, I suppose, of its charm.