32 ways that you know you’re an Adelaidian living in Melbourne

Adelaidian living in Melbourne, Artists Lane, Windsor

Nearly two years ago, I packed up my little Renault with all my worldly belongings (mostly wine and books) and made the move from Adelaide to Melbourne. Despite now knowing my Bourkes from my Monashes, there are still some very real reminders that I’m very much a girl from Adelaide living in Melbourne.

Here are 32 ways you can tell if you’re the same:

  1. You’re fascinated when within the first five minutes of meeting someone new they haven’t asked what school you went to.
  2. You pronounce Prahran ‘Prarn’ and Malvern ‘Mal-ven’; amused at those Melburnians who say ‘Per-ran’ and ‘Mall-ven’, which sounds like pirate slang.
  3. You nearly wet your pants with excitement when you discover that a bar stocks Adelaide Hills’ cider. Get out if it’s on tap.
  4. You have a similar reaction when you discover an Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc on a wine list.
  5. Speaking of wine. You’re generally appalled that 99% of any given Melbourne restaurant’s wine list isn’t South Australian. Pfft Marlborough!
  6. You say Chicken Parmi, not Chicken Parma.
  7. You say kindy, not kinda.
  8. You’re baffled that the freeways are two-way, all the time.
  9. You go out on a Saturday night and find yourself looking around the bar expecting to see at least one person you know, only to shockingly realise that you know NO ONE!
  10. You complain about how bad the traffic is, all the time.
  11. You complain about how cold the weather is, all the time.
  12. The words ‘Grand Prix’ bring up some weird, deep seeded anger.
  13. You’re sick of getting Snowtown references when someone finds out that you’re from Adelaide.
  14. You’re frustrated that the front page of The Age isn’t plastered with news relating to the Adelaide Crows at least every second day.
  15. You’re beyond frustrated that an Adelaide Crows match can never be found on free to air.
  16. You stroll through Bourke Street Mall automatically ducking your head, trying to avoid eye contact with the inevitable person that you might know and have to stop and talk to for 10 minutes. Then remember that you’re not in Rundle Mall.
  17. You complain that it takes you longer than 10 minutes to get to the airport.
  18. You’re bewildered that there are more than 10 cool bars to cycle through.
  19. You don’t understand why a deli is called a milk bar. A milk bar is somewhere you go to get milkshakes and burgers, not lollies and newspapers.
  20. You call a power pole a stobie pole.
  21. You miss the friendly faces of Balfours Frog Cakes; not that you ever used to eat them.
  22. You find yourself hunting Woolworths’ shelves for the low-fat Farmers Union Iced Coffee, hoping that one day it will find its way across the border.
  23. You have no flippen clue how to order a beer, given in Victoria a schooner is the size of a pint. And what exactly is a pot?
  24. You feel very strongly that lay-go should not be pronounced leg-o.
  25. When it’s 2am and you’re at Lamb on Chapel, all you want is a yiros, not a kebab or souvlaki.
  26. You often find yourself on a packed train realising that you’re the only one wearing colour.
  27. You also don’t drive a black, grey or white car.
  28. You don’t understand the strict dress codes that apply depending on which side of the river you’re on.
  29. You haven’t mastered the outfit that tackles the challenges of rain, wind, sun and heat all in the one day.
  30. You often forget to carry an umbrella.
  31. You ask your Victorian colleagues if they’re going to Foodland, when you mean IGA, which is only met by blank faces, laughter and a chorus of ‘what did you just say?’s!!
  32. You find it fascinating that you can drink Melbourne’s tap water and it doesn’t taste like mud.

Adelaideans living in Melbourne, what else have I missed? Comment below.



  1. Michelle Temme
    7 January 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Fritz being called Devon or something similar.
    There’s NO Charlesworth Nuts stores anywhere.
    No Golden North ice creams nor many FruChocs anywhere.

    • 7 January 2016 / 9:55 pm

      So true! How could I have left these off!

    • Mike
      8 January 2016 / 8:53 am

      Ordered fritz in coles port melbourne yesterday….only to be met with blank stares and no other way of knowing how to ask for it

      • Jess
        8 January 2016 / 8:04 pm

        I have discovered Pariser is the most similar!

  2. Sophie
    7 January 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Any good beaches are at least an hour away and it’s weird going to a Bay beach because there’s no waves

    • 8 January 2016 / 9:50 am

      Yes! I have a surfer husband so hear about this ALL THE TIME! I do miss Moana.

  3. Rachel
    7 January 2016 / 9:02 pm

    And that Chadstone is pronounced “chat-stin”!

  4. Carol
    8 January 2016 / 6:17 pm

    The biggest one of all…………..pronunciation of words / names such as ‘chance’, ‘grant’ ‘Lance”!!
    Grant becomes Graaaant.

    Oooh and ‘million’ becomes ‘meal-yon’

  5. Carol
    8 January 2016 / 6:23 pm

    Also ‘Alcohol’ somehow becomes ‘elcohol’ & balcony ‘belcony’!! So strange!!

  6. Carissa
    9 January 2016 / 11:51 am

    Graph being pronounced “Graf” instead of emphasis on the a.
    Being extremely proud of Haigh’s chocolates and reminding everyone they are from SA when they bring them into work.
    Multiple middle aged women sounding like they came straight out of a Kath & Kim episode.
    Doing a day trip to Mornington peninsula just to go to a decent beach.
    Loving it when the temperature gets over 30c (especially on rare consecutive days) while locals complain about the “heat wave”.
    Hardly needing to use your sunnies because it’s overcast 80% of the time.
    Investing in a mini umbrella and a large umbrella to cover all situations and modes of travel, but never using them on trips to Adelaide.

  7. Carissa
    9 January 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Learning the “Melbourne merge” – squeezing into gaps of traffic just big enough to fit another car in order to change lanes.
    Getting excited about ordering a “steak” pie, only to become extremely disappointed after biting into what is always a minced beef pie. False advertising! Mrs Macs pies being sold at the footy. Surprised that Vili’s pies are unheard of.
    Lining up for dinner, not being able to book.
    Trains coming so regularly, within minutes, that you are surprised people are annoyed when they miss one, but over time you too fall victim to the curse of caring about saving a few minutes on your commute.
    On the esculators at train stations there are two lanes: left is slow or for those not walking up, right is for those in a hurry, either walking or running up. Everyone in the right lane gets annoyed when someone who clearly isn’t aware stops the flow. There’s a race to “touch off” to avoid queuing to get out of the train station.
    Everything happens faster.
    Talking faster. Stumbling over your words sometimes cause you can’t keep up with yourself.

    • 9 January 2016 / 4:47 pm

      YES! To all of these. Can’t believe I forgot to mention the weather one. I was just having the argument with colleagues a few weeks back that anything under 40 degrees is not ridiculously hot. It was 35 and they were all complaining that they were going to die!

  8. JACKO
    9 January 2016 / 1:45 pm

    – You hear from the locals that “salary” is a vegetable to eat, “bee-yarh” is an alcoholic drink, and “Melcolm Blight” is the genius coach that ‘fluked’ back-to-back Crows premierships.
    – When you and your friends are in Melbourne nightclubs, your strong preference is to leave jackets and scarves on tables or on the floor, rather than paying the $5 to check them into the cloakroom.
    – You live inside 15kms of Melbourne CBD…that’s the whole point of moving to Melbourne isnt it?
    – You are forced to take visiting Adelaidean family members to the Queen Vic markets at their insistence, despite you telling them it really isn’t that exciting, or that different to the Central Markets in Adelaide. Once there, you only stay for half the time you planned.
    – You feel like the only driver on the roads in Elwood/Brighton/St Kilda,, who ISN’T blinding other drivers with their headlights on in the middle of the day, with the sun out.
    – You secretly prefer listening to Melbourne radio and reading Melbourne newspapers, over The Advertiser and 5AA.
    – You realise the unwritten Adelaide road rules of ‘sit in the right hand lane 5kms under the speed limit’ and ‘close the gap on people wishing to merge’ don’t apply after your first month driving in Melbourne, and grudgingly change to become more considerate.
    – You cannot believe how off-street parking for your own house/townhouse is advertised as a selling point in Melbourne.
    – You make the mistake of taking a large picnic to Flemington on the front lawn on Derby Day, because the photos on Facebook looked fun last year, and surely it is just a slightly bigger version of Oakbank. After 2 hours of people trampling over your rug and pushing through, you swear never again.

    • 9 January 2016 / 4:49 pm

      Spot on with all of these, particularly the driving ones!

  9. Nicole
    14 March 2016 / 12:01 pm

    I have just moved back to adelaide yesterday after 6 months in melbourne. Reading all ur comments has given me a really good laugh. Its all so true hey!! One thing i will miss about melbourne…is the reverse parallel parking curtesey everyone has. If u reverse parellel park in adelaide people are on the horn and abusing u coz u held them up for a few seconds. Or they sit right behind u so u cant reverse into the park..lol
    Im happy to have escaped the major roadworks starting on citylink and west gate freeway in a couple days tho to create more lanes. Its going to cause major delays during the morning commute for the next 2 yrs. Its already a nightmare now! Phew!