I honestly thought I had invented a new word – the ‘yipster’. But it turns out I’ve already been beaten to the punch. However I’m not disappointed; I’m more convinced.
What do you get when you cross a hippie with a yuppie and a hipster..? A yipster.
That’s how I came to inventing this word. Then I Googled it and discovered, yet again, that the Internet is way ahead of me. The word ‘yipster’ has been around since the 1980′s! A yipster is part yuppie and part hipster [see Wikipedia ] My definition, the Byron Bay version, includes the new age hippie (in some cases greenie) in the equation. So I’m classifying this hybrid-fusion as the New Age Yipster
DISCLOSURE: Am I stereotyping? Not deliberately. It’s all based on observation, no more or less than what I probably receive in return when I’m observed in a group of my peers. What I’m getting at is that I’m not aiming to insult anyone.
When I moved to Byron Bay there was no shying away from the fact that, like all well-known places, this place is known and identified by its people and their social, economic and political culture. If there was a Family Feud style Top 7 words that you associate with Byron Bay they would easily be:
Byron Bay is probably more widely known for its hippie history than it’s whaling or abattoir origins. This history is somewhat at odds with its evolution into becoming one of the most expensive places to rent in Australia. Young hipsters starting families are opting out of big cities for the unique sea and tree change on offer in Byron Bay – if you can afford it. The Yuppie x Hipster can. Byron Bay is full of interesting lifestyle paradoxes.
A great place to start learning about the town you’ve just moved to, in 60 minutes or less, is by visiting your local supermarket at peak hour. My mantra was not to judge, not to stereotype, avoid clichéd labels (which in itself is kind of funny because I tend to favour the freaks as friends).
The car park of this supermarket was a 50/50 split between old travelling vans or Subaru station-wagons, with brand new luxury 4WDs and SUVs, don’t stereotype don’t judge. As I entered the supermarket I was greeted by a hairy guitar-playing busker with dreadlocks sitting cross-legged by the sliding doors with his dog, don’t stereotype don’t judge. The next thing I noticed was how it seemed as if I was the only person wearing shoes, don’t stereotype don’t judge. The first item on special I noticed was a giant pallet of coconut water, don’t stereotype don’t judge. The ratio of organic to non-organic produce and groceries was impressive, don’t stereotype don’t judge.
The thing that horrified me was the average price of goods, not just the organic ones. For a large chain supermarket the prices are noticeably higher, yet it didn’t seem to stop shoppers from filling their trolleys (in a way that would identify them as a local not just a tourist). The other thing that struck me was the amount of young European and South American folk shopping there (I soon found out that Byron plays host to many long-term backpackers; some holidaying and some staying to attend the local English language college)
I walked up and down every aisle people-watching and shelf exploring. The only thing missing was a section dedicated to incense, tie-dyed manchester and yoga mats, don’t stereotype don’t judge! As I finally made my way to the check-out, determined to not stereotype or judge, I looked up at the friendly smiling face of the young female cashier whose name badge read, ‘Ochre’.