It's hurting my fingers to type this but, as a Sydneysider and someone who has travelled a lot, it pains me to confess that I harbour a secret love for Melbourne - one of the most happening cities in the world.
Melbourne gets better every time I visit. Formerly derelict city laneways are revived; another huge, sparkling sporting venue opens; new bars and major public artworks pop up in the most unlikely places; and some wunderkind chef has (again) reinvented Australian cuisine.
I don't pretend it's perfect. I'm sure it has a heap of issues. It's just that, as a visitor, it seems so...self-assured. You can tell the locals are quietly proud of their city. They all seem to be out exploring it in detail, enjoying it almost as tourists do.
I never need much of an excuse to visit Melbourne. So when a mate called up and said, "Buddy, I need you to pop down and go on Deal or No Deal with me", I was there in a flash, equally excited about revisiting the southern city, and the prospect of winning oodles of cash on a game show that rates through the roof.