Make comments about Melbourne and Melbournians and that you can not literally escape AFL coverage either on telly or print, or that despite the fact that the city thinks that it is all cosmopolitan and liveable, the second you go more than 10km from the city centre, public transport is non-existent and there's roadworks every fifteen metres because of a pothole which was caused in 1973, and people start using four letter words and blaming Jeff Kennett for everything.
Make comments about Adelaide being "boring" though and half the internet wants to slice you in two wit' bread knife. I discovered this much to my chagrin via Twitter this week.
Thinking Adelaide is dull and uninteresting though, isn't just a matter of opinion, it seems that the world is full of evidence as this being fact.
John Safran in "Not The Sunscreen Song" wrote:
"Travel as often as you can, live in New York City once, live in Northern California once, never live in Adelaide... It's a hole. "
Ben Folds wrote of Adelaide that:
"Dropping in from outer space, takes a day.
Now I see the Bogans, at the motor race.
Here you know the world could turn, or crash and burn
And you would never know it."
Google's auto-complete function in its search bar provides an amusing little insight into Adelaide. If you type in "Adelaide is", then this is the result you get:
Despite Colonel William Light's brilliant planning when he laid out the city, Adelaide has the worst metropolitan rail services in the country, is the only capital city not to be served by electric trains and due to the complete and utter failure of government forethought, destroyed the vast bulk of its tram lines in 1958.
To compensate though, Adelaide has a weird network of bus-track things called O-Bahn and as far as I know, has the world's only one-way tidal motorway, which is nothing short of an annoyance if you happen to be at the wrong end when traffic is going the other way. At least you don't sit in traffic jams though. Nope, I tell a lie. I got stuck on Wattle St in the city's south once, when two chaps in utes decided to stop in the middle of the road and have a chat. Also, although speed limits are sometimes posted as 60km/h, it's not infrequent to be doing 30km/h because someone just feels like moving slowly. In that respect Adelaide is more like a big country town than Brisbane is.
People from Adelaide still find the O-Bahn confusing though.
Adelaide also has a unique habit of being completely shut at 4:05pm on a weekday. I had quite a number of experiences of walking out of the building in Angas St, wanting to buy a snack and discovering that everything had closed.
Rundle Mall doesn't fare much better; although shops are supposed to be open from 9am to 7pm, the only ones who bother opening beyond 4pm are Myer, David Jones and Woolworths. Even then, Myer and David Jones call closing time at 6pm and kick everyone out as quickly as they possibly can, for fear of the customers actually wanting to buy something.
The people of Adelaide are friendly; simple folk. They aren't fussed with competing news outlets and Adelaide's single daily newspaper pulls no punches when it yells to the world what it thinks that its function is, right across the masthead - The Advertiser.
The big oval in Adelaide where cricket is played is called the Adelaide Oval and the big park where football is played is called Football Park. It is a little like Melbourne in that the big news stories revolve almost entirely around Australian Rules Football and actual news stories fill up the first 9 or so pages in the newspaper.
Back to Australian Rules Football though and confusingly the state competition is called the South Australian National Football League, which suggests to me that perhaps that they don't quite understand the concept of the word "national". Mind you they also don't understand the word "river" either, for the River Torrens is usually barely more than a glorified creek.
South Australia itself is the most urbanised state in Australia with 73% of all South Australians living in Adelaide. If a capital city is reflective generally of the state, then the fact that most of South Australia is comprised of mind-numbing expanses of not very much, then perhaps it's asking a little bit too much of the state to produce an interesting capital. Sure, it's a very nice capital city but it's still a tad boring.