March 30, 2015

Horse 1868 - 65 Things About Sydney.

1. The only things that tourists know about Sydney are the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
2. Which falls in line with what Sydneysiders like to promote about Sydney, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
3. The Opera House was expected to cost £4m but came in at $110m and 11 years too late.
4. Which again falls in line with Sydneysiders' world view. The only things that matter are property and location; which have hideously overinflated prices.
5. Even though Sydney is the home of fashion week, we know squat all about fashion... but isn't the harbour pretty.
6. We like to think of ourselves as a city of beach lovers despite the fact that most people in Sydney live more than half an hour's drive from the nearest beach.
7. When we get there, we're forced to hand over the equivalent value of the GDP of a small nation to a band of automatic mechanical bandits, for the privilege of parking our car there.
8. As a city, we're incapable of building cars.
9. Or toasters, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, or televisions for that matter.
10. We like to think that we have a rivalry with Melbourne.
11. Even though Melbourne has better theatres, cafés, comedy venues, public transport and sporting culture.
12. Unlike Melburnians, Sydneysiders won't show up to watch our own sporting teams, if they happen to be losing.
13. Which doesn't really matter since Sydney's game is Rugby League.
14. Which is definitively rubbish.
15. As evidenced by the fact that nobody else in the world really cares about it (not even Melbourne).
16. And we hold 10,000 strong crowds in stadia designed to hold 40,000 people; thus creating an atmosphere akin to the moon.
17. Probably because all the matches are too far away.
18. Probably because everything is too far away.
19. Except if you live in Sydney's east where all of the public transport, happens to be.
20. Except the people there won't use it because they don't like having to share with the people of the west.
21. State Parliament is on Macquarie Street in Sydney.
22. Government House is also on Macquarie Street in Sydney.
23. The Governor's house used to be in Sydney's west but even the governor moved out as quickly as he could.
24. Neither the Governor or the Premier of New South Wales seem to know of the existence of anything west of Redfern.
25. Except when there's an election on and they suddenly start talking about the "heartland" and "grass roots" voters.
26. Sydneysiders know of the existence of the Blue Mountains though.
27. But complain when they can't get a skinny mochaccino frappé.
28. Because let's be honest, even baristas are embarrassed by Sydney's faux coffee culture.
29. Syndeysiders like single origin coffee.
30. Especially if we're ignorant of the fact that that single origin created a monoculture in that foreign country; thus driving up the price of other basic staple goods as growers switched crops.
31. Or if those countries are controlled by military juntas.
32. But the people who are displaced by terrorism, war, famine etc. are certainly not welcome here.
33. Because we believe in "stopping the boats".
34. Even if the people who have been displaced are as a result of our air force blowing their countries to pieces.
35. Even though most people who arrive in Australia illegally or overstay their visa, arrive through Sydney Airport.
36. Which we secretly love because it's through there that we leave on our holidays.
37. But we also secretly hate because they don't do a skinny mochaccino frappé there, the same way as they do in our local café.
38. We like to watch loads of cookery programs on television.
39. Whilst we delude ourselves that one day we might actually cook something ourselves.
40. We think that $40 is an acceptable price to pay for a meal in a restaurant.
41. When the total area of the actual food on the plate is smaller than our fist.
42. But the area of the plate is larger than a Pacific island nation.
43. So we'll buy a pie afterwards anyway.
44. We think of ourselves as great intellectuals as evidenced by the Sydney Writers Festival or the Vivid Festival.
45. Most people in Sydney have read less than three books in the last calendar year.
46. Less than one in five of us buy a newspaper in a week.
47. But we'll gladly accept the free newspaper handed out at railway stations.
48. Even if they are filled will smut from cover to cover but are surprisingly lacking in actual news.
49. But given the quality of journalism contained therein, the price of zero is about right.
50. Because our daily newspapers are either a stream of erzats intellectualism or illiterati masquerading as news.
51. Given that we only have two to choose from; that's not surprising.
52. More people in Sydney get their news from the BBC website than they do from local media outlets anyway.
53. Our most trafficked website is the Bureau of Meteorology.
54. And we go into a panic every time there is a storm.
55. Which is weird because Sydney gets more rain than Melbourne.
56. Even though we accuse Melbourne of being the "rainy city".
57. We cut each other off in traffic at every single possible moment.
58. We drive as close to the car in front as we possibly can, so that no one will cut in front of us.
59. When we do use our indicator, we make sure that it only flashes once or twice.
60. We think ourselves so important that all of the single digit motorways are in Sydney.
61. And we still refer to the F3, the F6 and the F7, despite those names being removed ages ago.
62. Lots of us drive SUVs despite never ever leaving the tarmac because we're afraid of getting out cars dirty.
63. And because we're afraid of being seen in a hatchback.
64. But at least that's better than sweating along with humanity for 120 minutes as we're all packed in like sardines in a train system that was designed for the 1930s.
65. And sharing smells which probably contravene Article 5 of the UDHR which deals with torture.

I think that the perfect metaphor for Sydney is an Easter Egg. It's brightly coloured in a shiny piece of foil but ultimately hollow; leaves a slightly sour taste in your mouth and doesn't smell quite right. It's overpriced for what it is and unlike a Kinder egg, doesn't even come with a fun toy.

Sydney - As flash as a rat with a gold tooth. No style; no substance but isn't the harbour pretty?

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