Sydney Acclimatisation

I’ve been here a little under three weeks now.

London to Sydney.

I am not used to being a stranger. London was so familiar by the time I’d left, I didn’t appreciate how easy it made everything.

‘You’ve made the right choice moving to Sydney,’ people tell me time and again. Maybe I take it the wrong way, but it implies two things to me:

1. These people think they have life cracked (they don’t) and 2. The places I’ve been living in for the past 36 years have been shit (they’re not).

Sydney is not better, it is simply different.

Of course the weather is a draw for many. Not me. My proclivity for facial hair might suggest otherwise, but I’m not exactly a short-wearing beach bum. I like trousers, jeans, leather jackets, suits (and the odd roll-neck jumper). I’ve compromised by buying a few pairs of linen trousers, which I think make me look like a Columbian drug baron (although actually probably make me look more like The Man From Del Monte).

 

(I did not know until I just watched that ad that Tom Baker did the voice-over. What a wonderful piece of geek info!)

So yes, weather and clothes.

Of course the food here is wonderful. Well, the Asian food is, anyway. And the fish. Prawns as big as my fingers.

(Dominos pizzas are smaller, but that’s no bad thing.)

And wandering around the beach at night (breathtaking views from Bronte to Bondi), or jogging around Centennial Park in the morning are both lifestyle pluses.

But then there are the bars. If the bouncers think you show the slightest sign of inebriation, they’ll either kick you out or not let you in.

The dichotomy of mandatory happy hours in every bar you visit and the intolerance for people being pissed is something I can’t get my head around. It’s like they’re baiting you to get fucked up and then reprimanding you when you take them up on it.

A lot of people tell me how expensive it is here. Well, I suppose it’s true. But Sydney is not the most expensive place in the world. Property (and certainly rent) is far cheaper than London. Although, strangely, avocados are extortionate.

These little differences give me nice ideas for writing. Most of the my WIPs are currently London-based. I’m relying purely on memory for those right now. It’s actually making them far more surreal (my memory is a strange, twisty thing).

My new ideas are based here. There’s a lot of material for horror. Blistering heat, weird creatures (check out the fucking evil Ibis bird pictured above), psychotic bouncers.

The nanny state thing also provides great material for dystopian sci-fi.

I did text one of my best friends and said I missed the relative leniency of London. He replied, ‘Mate, it’s Christmas. Work parties all over the place. People are vomiting on the street by 7pm most nights in the City.’ And then I remembered that London’s fucked-up in its own, unique way.

And I thought, well, maybe a little regulation ain’t so bad.

 

10 comments

  1. Whether you made the right choice or not is irrelevant. What matters is that you actually MADE a choice and acted on it. That’s a damn sight more than any armchair warrior can boast about, and something that can’t be taken from you, even if an evil Ibis bird pecks through your jugular one sultry Sydney night. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, you’re still my hero for chucking it and taking a chance. I’d love to do that! I’m surprised at the strictness over drinking. I always had the impression that the Aussies were a partying bunch. How about that… Well at least you’re accumulating plenty of writing ideas! Cheers, Jack!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great move you’ve made coming down to Australia. It’s your call, hope it’s ultimately worth it. Though I am surprised to hear Sydney’s attitude to drinking as being an Aussie myself, I find many locals to be absolute wackos with booze. Then again I live in Brisbane. Might be something to do with the controversial late night lockout laws that’ve been installed in a couple of cities (Sydney might’ve been one of them). Also, you’ll get a chance to wear trousers again; you’ll need ’em for winter in six months. Even I wear them in Brisbane, and it’s further north. Regardless, best of luck in Australia!

    Like

    1. Yes, I think it’s the lockout laws that have made it like that. It’s absolutely killed some bars and clubs. The locals hate it just as much as I do. Still, no law on getting fucked up at home, so it just moves the drinking from the bars to peoples’ apartments. One would almost think the government wanted the bars to close so they could sell the buildings to real estate developers for new build flats. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Sydney is not better, it is simply different.”

    Insert France, and it is exactly what I’ve to tell people. People have it in their heads that France is amazing because they come here on holiday. They can’t wrap their heads around the fact that I live and work here, so it is NOT a bloody holiday. Mind the weather’s way better, I enjoy checking the forecast in Ireland and cackling madly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point! Things like crap public transport are easy to forget if you’re a tourist. Not so much if you’re a local. I’m pretty sure everybody just thinks I’m lying on the beach, eating grilled prawns right all the time. I only do that 6 days out of the 7.

      Liked by 2 people

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