As British English "gyratory circus" is to American English "roundabout", so be Melburnean English "pot" to Sydneian English "middy" (both of which, for those of you not au fait with Australingual beerology, are the words you'll be using when you order y'rself a swift half pint of full-cream dairy-milk mead down the pub). When it comes to fronting up at a bar and specifying my desired volume of liquor, I prefer asking for a pony: "I'll 'ave a pony of shandy, please - lashings of lemonade". This would be so regardless of the pony's size, simply because "pony of shandy" sounds seventeen times better than "schooner of shandy" or "jug of shandy" or "tot-glass of shandy" or even "thimbleful of shandy". Most people down here in the Deep South buy their beer by the pot, so, in the interests of cultural assimilation, I've learnt to suppress my philoponyism and take my shandies pot-size.
I wasn't always so at ease with the ways of the southern publican, though. Shortly after I arrived in this here smokin' town, I noticed that my local establishment proudly offered a $10 Tuesday night "Parma and Pot Special". In New South Wales, the Parma is a breed of wallaby (that's macropus parma, to you) and pot's, well, this, so you'll understand why I thought $10 was awful cheap. It didn't take long before I came round to the pot concept. It was just a matter of tinkering with my lexicon. Middy equals pot does not equal this. But "parma"? The Oxford English Dictionary, my tour guide and travel companion of choice, suggested "Parma" as an abbreviation for any of "Parma violet", "Parma ham", or the aforementioned "Parma wallaby". None of these, on reflection, seemed likely candidates for the Tuesday night special.
In fact, it turns out - and I've only gleaned this by virtue of extensive fraternisation with the natives - "Parma" is Victoria's national dish, the gustatory anthem, the salute to all things Melburnean and publy, and consists of a slab of dead beast, crumbed, deep fried and bedaubed with red sauce and cheese. They eat it down here like Newtowners eat Thai tofu green curry. Which I mention, lest any of you are under the impression that this whole inter-state migration thingy is just a walk in the park. They speak a whole different dialect down here. And they eat Parma instead of tofu green curry (inexplicably). And their middies are called pots. And their castles cassells. This cross-cultural encounter fandango, it's not easy.