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How important was your hometown in shaping who you are?
My home town until I was 8: not very. Possibly in ways I’m not conscious of, but obviously I can’t speak to those.
My hometown from 8 to 12: probably not so much as my home country did. At that age, I suspect one schoolyard was interchangeable with any other, and one promenade with another.
I have lived in Melbourne since 12. I think your teens are when your hometown starts to mould you. That’s when you become more aware of the humanscape beyond your immediate surrounds. I learnt to value the cultural premium that came with a critical mass of population. I appreciated the peace of mind that comes with a well ordered city. I came to value the layering of waves of settlement and city history. I became habituated to an urbane alternative to sterile Suburbia.
Melbourne has made me an intellectual. Melbourne has made me risk averse. Melbourne has made me cosmopolitan. Melbourne has made me introspective.
And yes, Melbourne has indeed made me pretentious.