Because it’s fiscally impractical to keep travelling, white Melburnians need other ways to convey how worldly and cultured they are. The easiest way to do this is to have ethnic friends. Now, you might think everyone who has friends has ethnic friends by default because everybody has an ethnicity. But you would be wrong. To Melbourne white people, ethnic pretty much means black and/or Muslim. If, for example, you are Serbian, Polish, Vietnamese, Maltese, Israeli, Greek, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Macedonian or Hungarian*, you aren’t ethnic because you’re not exotic enough^.
If you’re not black and/or Muslim but want to feel exotic again (just like your parents and grandparents did), go to Southern Cross station and ride any VLine train for one hour. At your destination you will likely be told to 'go back to your own country’. Shit. You could probably do it in forty-five minutes.
Please note that perceptions of the exotic can change. People from Turkey and Lebanon have only been exotic since September 11, 2001. Prior to that date, Turks and Lebs were considered ‘wogs’ and were in the same category as Italians, Greeks and Maltese. Al Qaeda changed all that, because now Turks and Lebs are classified as Muslims. As my good friend Ahmed says, “maybe Al Qaeda aimed to do this? Establish the global Caliphate! Expel the Christian mercenary crusaders from the Holy Lands! Wrest Islam away from those sleazy wogs!”
*Anglo-Saxons consider themselves ‘normal’ and are thus without an ethnicity.
^For some reason, Balkan Muslims aren’t exotic enough either.