I’d like to correct some people’s views of our nations capital – you know who you are. Here are some things I learnt.
ACT locals don’t like traffic lights. I counted at least twenty roundabouts.
The city has to be the greenest city in all of Australia – instead of token parks in between masses of buildings, Canberra has token buildings between masses of parks and bushland. I heard the saying ‘Australia’s bush capital’ more than once.
Their buses have stickers on the outside of windows that state (in all seriousness) ‘Do not enter the bus through windows’.
Locals remark they do have traffic jams – but when the lights go green, the jam is gone (I’m told they have recently started having real traffic jams).
There seems to be wifi everywhere.
Their bus stops are camouflaged as 70’s science fiction booths.
They have an unusual amount of irish themed pubs for such a small population.
The first five people I met told me that Canberrra is like Perth but much quieter. That concerns me given I thought Perth was quiet.
Fyshwyk, home of Australia’s porn industry, doesn’t look like a suburb built on porn. It’s mainly light industrial/heavy commercial.
Everyone who I saw walking the streets of the city had Government ID cards on lanyards around their necks. I’m talking 3 out of every four people, no kidding.
Every place of importance needs to be named starting with the word ‘National’ (see National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, etc) or ‘Commonwealth’ (Commonwealth Place, Commonwealth Circle, Commonwealth Building, etc) – I expected to see a National Commonwealth Capital Street, but I was sadly unfulfilled.
There are 80 embassies within 5 km of Parliament House.
There is little graffiti or stenciling.
There are no international flights in or out of Canberra.
Everyone is amazingly friendly – bus drivers, taxi drivers, random people in the street.
Photo: Wall at Australian War Memorial.