The National Gallery of Victoria is currently hosting an exhibition called 'Napoleon from Revolution to Empire' and on Bastille Day opened until midnight so Melbournians could flock to see it.
And so they did.
I also went. We had tickets for the 9-11pm session, along with numerous other people. The queue to get into the exhibition reminded me of the queue at the airport in Bali when two 747s were ready to take people back home to Sydney and Melbourne. It was almost that long, but not quite.
There was, however, about as much room as on board a plane. Yes, you're right I am exaggerating. Suffice it to say, it was crowded.
This led people to stand in a semi-polite circle around the exhibits taking in the splendors of the Napoleonic era, until someone decided they needed to look closer and ignoring all those peering on from a distance they'd simply walk in front of everyone, stop, and inspect the exhibit from close range. This happened time and time again.
|The lovely people here let me use this image|
No matter that I took pains not to obscure anyone's view and stand at a distance, someone would invariably come and stand in front of me, and everyone else. The same thing happened as I read the accompanying description on the wall plaque. In fact once I was standing next to someone, we were both reading the description, then she moved closer to the exhibit and stood right in front of the plaque completely oblivious to that fact that I was still reading it.
With huge self restraint I only sighed heavily once. After an hour I gave up and simply left.
A couple of weeks ago I was also at a restaurant/bar, standing next to the bar, while my friend ordered a drink. As I was standing there a young man squeezed in beside me and pushed me out of the way. Apparently I was blocking his use of the EFTPOS machine to pay for his drinks. My self-restraint was not evident on this night and I turned to sarcasm and asked him, “Does that usually work? Pushing women out of the way?” Fortunately he didn’t hit me but mumbled something about using the EFTPOS machine, I assured him that if he’d asked I would have been more than happy to move.
What has happened to Melbournians? Have the majority of people lost any notion of courtesy? No wonder we have road rage and some of the kids I teach are sorely lacking in manners. I am happy to note that’s only some of them, the others have nice manners. However, I am disappointed in Melbournians at the moment. :-(