Sydney is a glorious, sunny city and, for a lucky bunch, it’s home. However, living in Sydney comes with a unique set of advantages, challenges, pitfalls, prejudices and upbringings. If you were born in Sydney or came to Sydney, if you’ve lived in Sydney all of your life or only for a short while, if you’ve never left or moved overseas — you know you’re from Sydney when…
A true Sydneysider knows that they must have a preference when it comes to the city’s beaches. You must choose between Manly and Bondi… and by extension, the Northern Beaches and the Eastern Beaches.
A recent motorcycle accident on the Sydney Harbour Bridge left traffic backed up for over 12km until well after 9am, leaving thousands and thousands of commuters exceptionally late to work. However, any Sydneysider will know that this kind of incident is a weekly occurrence. And those same Sydneysiders will also know, all too well, the anger felt at the thought that they pay around $20 a day in tolls for the privilege of sitting in that bloody traffic!
Canberra is Australia’s capitol city. However, this is a fact that most foreigners and a surprising amount of Australians aren’t aware of. No, instead, the common consensus around the world is that Sydney is Australia’s capitol city… and the fact that no one thinks this of Melbourne is something anyone from Sydney is quietly smug about.
Sydney’s traffic is horrendous and any true Sydneysider knows that the only person to hear that from each morning is Vic Lorusso. Whether you hear him on breakfast television or radio, we all know “Vic Lorusso in the traffic chopper”.
Did I mention that Sydney’s traffic was horrendous? Well, not only is Sydney’s traffic bad, Sydney’s public transport is pretty terrible too. The average commute in Sydney involves either a tedious commute-combo of having to drive to public transport before taking one or two trains and/or buses or a mind-numbing crawl along Sydney’s clogged roadways (with some of the worst being Military Road, Pennant Hills, Road and the M5).
If you’re from the East you’re a snob, a beach-going doll-bludger or a Bondi hipster. If you’re from the South you’re a Shire bogan or a Cronulla racist. If you’re from the West you’re a redneck, a gang member or an immigrant failing to assimilate. And if you’re from the North you’re a blue-blooded conservative, a private school alumni, an Asian immigrant on the “take-over” or a North Shore mum. It doesn’t matter where you are from in Sydney — each area carries its own connotations and you will always be judged for them.
Did I mention Sydney’s public transport was pretty shocking? When most of Sydney’s trains and buses have stopped running (which is usually, and annoyingly, around midnight) most Sydneysiders are left with no alternative other than the infamous Nightrider. Anyone from Sydney will know that you can rarely catch Nightrider without witnessing a physical fight, a break up, someone in tears or someone throwing up.
You’re definitely from Sydney if you can give yourself a self-five for sneaking into North Sydney night spot, Greenwood, underage.
Sydney’s property prices are notorious across the globe and, with the average cost of property now over $1 million AUD, most Sydneysiders don’t have a problem admitting their dream of owning a home in the city is unrealistic.
You can’t call yourself a Sydneysider without having, at some point, begged your parents to take you to the magical land of waterslides known as Jamberoo. You may never have actually made it there but all of us who grew up in Sydney shared the childhood dream of going.
No matter how divided Sydneysiders can be at times, I am comforted by how much we have in common — however idiosyncratic.