No idea what I'm pissing on about? Click here, you churl. It's time for another action-packed suburb review. This week, let's talk about Olinda.
Are you a pixie, an elf, a fairy? A happy gnome, perhaps, with a jocular pointy cap and a cheekily winsome grin? Or maybe some sort of talking animal of a suitably harmless genus with a predilection for waistcoats? If so, then Olinda is the place for you.
Tucked away on the slopes of Mt Dandenong, Olinda is currently in the running for the most twee town I've ever visited. Excessively pretty and insufferably quaint, the place is all shady trees, upper-middle class villas, hotels catering especially for adulterous yuppies; tea-rooms and antique stores and nurseries. If any establishment opens in Olinda without the words 'Ye Olde' emblazoned on the shop-front, then its owners are generally run out of town within the month.
Upon every corner and up and down each laneway, one can find roast chestnut stands and strawberry jam tables, all staffed by children of the rosy-cheeked variety, whose good-natured innocence makes you want to stuff one of the decorated pinecones they will inevitably try to sell you down their throats. In the afternoons, one can visit local gardens, play croquet, sit amidst the blooming azaleas, nibble on some Devonshire tea, and adamantly wish for a quick death. The ultra-civilized niceness of the place grates in the extreme.
But Olinda harbours a terrible secret: up in the airy valley, down in the rushy glen, one daren't go antiquing for fear of inbred mountain-men. Olinda proper is a bastion of enforced wholesomeness besieged by the rest of the suburb - as buck-toothed, wall-eyed, yawp-jawed a collection of hillbillies as you could hope to find outside of the Ozarks. By local custom, any resident of Mt Dandenong living outside a half-kilometer radius of Olinda's main drag will usually have impregnated or fallen pregnant to at least two members of their own family before the age of twenty, and if possible, at least one family pet as well. The result, many generations of incest down the track, is that wandering outside the town centre after dark may end in a situation where being made to squeal like a pig will be the least of your worries.
That said, some of the scenery is quite lovely, if you like foresty sort of stuff; provided you are suitably equipped with stout hiking boots, a map and compass, waterflask, and some sort of semi-automatic weapon, I highly recommend bushwalking out there.
Olinda: 3.5 out of 5 tea-rooms.