Friday, April 21, 2006

Brisbane & Sydney

Coming from International House, having friends all over the world from every single obscure nation, religion, sexual persuasion etc. I forgot how much culture shock there can be just travelling in Australia.
I headed up to Brisbane to see my best friend, I hadn't seen him in ages and had promised to be his family a couple of years back and more or less done nothing up until then about it.
So feeling guilty, tired and excited, a potent combination even for someone as versatile as gumby I got off the plane and walked into the arrivals lounge. First off what I like about my friends is they are laid back, they are laid back because they are capable of rational thought and use this process to create confidence. I hadn't arranged to be picked up yet Q was there we shook hands, got talking were in the car and chowing down on breakfast in no time.
Brisbane is overwhelmingly green to me. I couldn't get over it. Running around the hilly district of wherever the fuck I was staying, I saw no other runners, plenty of trees and cyclists and it was beautiful. Brisbane was beautiful and wasted on fucking Queenslanders in their Bundy rum paraphenalia and handle bar moustaches. Crows garnished the trees too and they are an unbeautiful bird, waking me up every morning. The trains too had spikes coming out of the ceilings in the doorways so in rush hour the people clusttered in the doorways had a central object to hang on to, which was great because it was an admission of defeat that they can't cater in rush hour.
In melbourne ticket inspectors are an admission of defeat that train tickets don't deliver more value than risking a fine.
Anyway in brisbane 20 minutes out of the city I was in bush, bush plots like some people lived on in ballarat. Decking, Big free form garden, an acre of bush sloping downhill and no sign of your neighbour. It was my dream house. I chowed down on some tasty prawns and tuna just thinking that. I really chilled.
I could relax in Brisbane. The roads made no sense to me. The surroundings were beautiful and compared to melbourne it was quite quaint.
But you know that episode where homer goes to New York and has the worst day of his life trying to get a clamp off his car wheel. This is how I feel in Sydney.
I read a good weekend article about how some minority of yuppies had hijacked Sydney's culture. They had written 'People in SYdney are cool, going to nightclubs, wearing trendy designer clothes and drinking cocktails. They do not engage in anything tribal like football or drink beer.' It was in-fucking-sane.
I am always overwhelmed by how beautiful Sydney is. Again it seems much greener than melbourne, the harbour is beautiful and their architectural triumphs are architectural triumphs.
How can Melbourne have been rated the world's most liveable city? (that really is some fucking title not to be taken for granted) I've had many a friend say they've had a relative visit them in Melbourne and they couldn't do anything there. Two days I spent in Sydney. In two days as a tourist I had to conclude that Sydney has nothing more to offer than views of the harbour and eating seafood.
Like Kyoto in Japan where you get overwhelmed followed by 'templed out' Sydney gets old fast. It's roads are crazy, you need a seperate ticket for every form of transport. I've had it explained to me the ways to get around town in order to tolerate it, but in melbourne even with shitty public transport you'd never be expected to make the same sacrifices.
People don't seem to care about anything either. Most of the people I try to hang around with are big AFL fans, most of the people I end up hanging around with are left wing pinkos who just don't appreciate what a great thing AFL is to our culture. You go to Sydney, people don't care about anything. That was the overwhelming impression I got, just scratching the surface I know but even cruising the harbour most of the audio tour commentry started with 'On your left is one of the most expensive properties in SYdney harbour foreshore...' seriously every minute was another real estate tidbit.
If there is anything that defines the baby boomers it is real estate fever but I don't give a fuck. There was no multicultural vibe in the CBD. No visable graffiti, posters for rock concerts, nothing. Just a beautiful ornamental tourist snap town. Like being stuck in the docklands. I've camped in Sydney, 'worked' at the ABC and stayed at a university college the place still makes my skin crawl.
I'm feeling hostile even now home again.
Brisbane is endearing I could retire there and take it easy and talk to bogans on the train. In Sydney I would be hunted down and put on a cattle truck for going bogan and my skin would crawl from my face into my colon.
Fuck you Sydney and your fucking impolite shabby service and overpriced beer.

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