I confess to never feeling entirely at home in Sydney. Yes, it has a beautiful harbour and the Opera House is stunning; the Bridge is extraordinary, and there is no doubt about it … the beaches are magnificent.
Of course, I’ve never really been a beach person (certainly not in the past 20 years!), and it’s really a question of “seen one beach, seen ‘em all”.
And I first saw Sydney Harbour in 1960, when we sailed through the heads on our first visit to Australia; I was here for two weeks.
But forgetting landmarks and all things physical about Sydney, I’m writing this blog post because I feel it incumbent upon me to comment on the different speeds at which the two cities operate, because it is quite fascinating.
In Sydney, I have noticed a distinct lack of time. The entire population of the place is rushing off to some party or event to which I have not been invited … and probably never will be!
No wonder Sydney-siders never have time to do anything … they’re too busy travelling from A to B to C via J.
On the whole, the arts seem to be reserved for an exclusive clique, all of whom know each other by their first names, and who show no welcome to outsiders … in fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had just acquired a dreadful, visually repellent skin disease, so great is the anathema towards strangers …
Melbourne, on the surface, appears to be quite different. Yes, people are busy, but they seem to be travelling with an end point in mind. It’s A to B, and maybe there’s a C … or not.
It’s all fairly laid back, traffic is far less angst-ridden and you see far fewer drivers cursing and swearing. And yes, there are traffic queuse but it’s taken in it’s stride … as it should be!
The arts in Melbourne are well served and I haven’t spotted an ‘us and them’ attitude anywhere. Although it may be lurking quietly somewhere, yet to surface.
On the whole, there is a lot more to do in Melbourne. The list of events during the week, and especially at weekends is fantastic. This is not something I found in Sydney.
I’m enjoying living somewhere with less stress, a more relaxed atmosphere, always something to do and plenty of theatre.
BUT … I miss home still!