My (now tanned) ass hails all the way from Anchorage, Alaska. Yes, Alaska. Many of you reading this already know that, but whatever, someday in the future this blog will reach MILLIONS OF PEOPLE NOT FROM ALASKA, ok? As an ex-pat, I get to see the city of Sydney from a different perspective. I wasn’t born here. I wasn’t raised here. I was pretty much tossed into the bustle of it as soon as I landed.
My rent is $320 AUD per week in the spare bedroom of a Balinese style house smack in the heart of Bondi, an ever-exclusive Eastern Suburb, basically the Manhattan of Sydney. Loads of tourists, backpackers of wealth, and the good ol’ boys who have been here since their grandparents stole bread and were exiled or whatever.
Sydney is THE SHIT and I say that confidently while I’m simultaneously absolutely broke, single, and essentially jobless.
Here are 10 reasons why:
1. ENGLISH IS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF AUSTRALIA.
The POS American that I am revels in this shit. I never have to stumble on words or conjugations like the hell Madame Clifton put me through during high school. There is beauty in saying, “where is the bathroom?” correctly and understanding the answer. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had to take a dump in a foreign country.
2. It is 70 degrees right now at 11:51 PM on November 24th.
Shout out to my big homie, the MUTHALOVIN AXIS. But for real, the weather here is usually heavenly. Save some nasty ass storms that no doubt came straight from the palms of Poseidon, Sydney has gorgeous, sunshine filled days.
3. Everyone is healthy. Like, too healthy, but it’s not annoying.
It’s easier to eat healthy stuff when its hotter than Hell outside. Also easier when produce is like, always in season. Take that, Alaska. You shithole.
Recycling is also a social requirement. Everybody does it. There’s no arguing or side-eyeing your stupid neighbor who only drags out the black trashcan. I’m talking about you, Hank.
(Also, the minimum wage here is 17.70 AUD/hour making nutritious food affordable and attainable. The United States keeps the poor unhealthy so they can poke and prod at them and say things like, “you can’t be that poor if you’re that fat. Maybe you shouldn’t spend all your money on food,” and asshole comments of the sort. The Man keeps you down, man.)
4. Its gorgeous everywhere.
This city dedicated a lot of land to public use. Parks, beaches, walkabouts. There is no shortage of beautiful shit to look at. Even the birds are stunning. The other day a rainbow lorakeet made me feel insecure, I swear to God. Nature is overwhelming here. They’ve even sprinkled plants on the busiest streets to make the city smell like your grandma’s best candles.
5. Poached eggs.
The first time I was introduced to the word “poached” was in a Roald Dahl book and I inferred it was a bad thing until these ethereal things called POACHED EGGS appeared out of a vellum covered brekkie cloud and graced my lips. Being able to make poached eggs is some wicked power and the Australians have been gifted this power from the dark lord, himself. Seriously, poached eggs on toast. Poached eggs on rice. Poached eggs on peanut butter. I’d eat it. Any of it. All the time.
5. (expanded) BREKKIE.
I have a Leslie Knope level admiration for breakfast food. Crepes. French Toast. Generic-Os or whatever my mom bought us growing up. I LOVE IT ALL.
Australians do breakfast like no one else. This is an event. This is sacred. Smashed avocado. Smoked salmon melts. Muesli with yogurt. This is their wheelhouse. Their bread and butter. Every bite is like a prayer.
(Low-key their coffee sucks, though. Alaska – I hate to admit – knows, owns, and runs the coffee game.)
6. Public Transportation
All right, I know I complain about this a lot. The maps were definitely drawn by Hellen Keller (THERE IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION*) and make absolutely no sense, but hold on. Public transportation here includes ferries. You can literally ride a boat for like, two dollars, and get to where you need to be. Usually on said boat, you will see SYDNEY HARBOUR, which includes the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This is an everyday thing, you guys. You can do this every, single day. Like… holy shit. Not naming any names, but it definitely beats having to drive past a rundown Sears and the litter that dances on the corner of I don’t know, Borthern Bights and the Bew Beward Bighway.
The bus drivers are typically cranky jerks and you can’t put your feet on the seat in the trains (I learned the hard way), but the public transportation system is an incredible way to see this massive city.
*When the city of Sydney was founded, there was no anticipation that the population would grow to what it is today, so the public transportation routes are likened to scribbles. Seriously. Getting to a place that might take me 15 minutes by car WILL take me at least an hour by public transport, which is cool with me because driving on the left? Um, no thanks. I like living… most of the time.
I’MA LET YOU FINISH, BETTE MIDLER, BUT SYDNEY HAD THE BEST BEACHES OF ALL TIME.
Bondi. Bronte. Clovelly. Coogee. Curl Curl. Whale. Tamarama.
Ok, these words might mean nothing to you but they are the beaches I could think of off the top of my head. Some of the best surf, sands, and people watching in the world. Let your Tumblr dreams come true with actually seeing (and hopefully going in) those pools that are NEXT TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. Oh, and speaking of Pacific Ocean, it isn’t brown here. It will still make your nipples laugh at the Mohs Hardness Scale, but it isn’t brown.
Australian residents hardly pay a dime for healthcare. I, however, got a lovely case of pneumonia and had to pay. Being brilliant and traveling without insurance, my hefty fine came to $70AUD. When I expressed my disbelief, my doctor for real thought I was upset. I swear I was cured then and there, laughing through mucus filled lungs. Having grown up without health insurance, reluctancy kept me from going and I moaned the entire way thinking of how much I would have to pay. That bill was the biggest relief and I will sing my praises to this government until I die for that reason. Oh, and diflucan (the pill for yeast infections – come on, lets normalize this already) is OVER. THE. COUNTER. Over the counter. And only 12 dollars. I choked up. A bitch might’ve cried.
I had coffee with an Italian man and a Chinese woman at a Brazilian restaurant the other day. The buses are filled to the brim with different languages and customs and levels of personal space. But the city embraces the diversity and there are many events to honor and respect the hundreds of cultures that call Sydney “home”.
10. No judgment.
Australians are the nicest people you will meet on Earth and I mess HEAVY with Canadians. Canadians are eclipsed by the kindness that is an Aussie native. “No worries” is the national motto.
Side note: I’ve taken up yoga (ew, who am I?) and the women in my classes sometimes date me by DECADES. One woman rips ass the entire time. There is no judgment.
Have you ever been to an American gym that isn’t the YMCA or Curves? I have. A handful of times. Until I felt like eyes were tearing me apart and I was more than elated to slug my 10-pound curling self back to the YMCA.
10 REASONS WHY SYDNEY IS THE SHIT. COME VISIT. OR DON’T.
REASON 11: ITS FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING ELSE.