Although there are plenty of amazing things about living in Sydney like access to loads of awesome beaches, having incredible weather year round and living a healthy lifestyle that has an abundance of amazing food, there are some things that just drive me mental about living here. Let’s face it, us Brits love a good moan!
Yes, every city has it’s good and bad points so here’s my light hearted view of the 11 things that drive me mental about living in Sydney which pretty much revolves around transport and people. There’s absolutely no need to get over-sensitive about this post, it’s purely a bit of fun.
1. Taxi’s – do they know where they are going?
Every single time I get into a taxi in Sydney, the driver has no idea where anywhere is. Seriously. The most annoying part is, they always ask ME for directions. Mate, you have a sat nav on your dashboard, why am I now getting my phone out to show you where to go on my maps app? This city isn’t that big. I couldn’t believe it when I went back to London and all I had to say was a street name and they new exactly where to go. I’d be lucky if a cab driver knew of any suburb in Sydney. Praise the lord for UBER. Just saying…
2. People driving
I often ask The Aussie whether you can pass your driving test with your eyes closed in Sydney because no one knows how to drive at all. Every single day I drive to work, I’m in nearly 10 accidents that revolve around people not looking and walking out into the street, other cars undertaking me on the motorway, because driving in the slow, middle and fast lane doesn’t exist here, or people cutting me up or not letting me in. You can seriously sit at a junction for ages because everyone is in their own little bubble and has no concept for anyone else when it comes to driving.
3. Spatial awareness
Which brings me onto the next annoying thing, people have zero spatial awareness in Sydney. Like seriously, no awareness for anyone else. If I’m in a queue in a shop, I always have someone standing on top of me. Back the hell up, you don’t need to be that close to me in the line.
This is the same for people being on transport and getting onto transport. If the train is busy, everyone stands in this squashed space next to the doors. Why wouldn’t you move down the train and fill up all of the standing space? It’s something I’ve just never been able to get my head around as the claustrophobic within me often thinks.
Here’s another example – you’re so used to getting the train, you know where the exact spot is to wait at the station, you know, where the doors will open. People tend to stand there even if their train isn’t the next one to come. Why are you blocking the entrance so no one can get onto the train? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??? People also tend to go in very slow motion when getting onto trains and more recently, my latest anger issue is with lifts. You’re waiting for a lift for a while and when it finally comes, you want to get into it asap. Oh no, not here. The amount of times people decide it’s a good idea to walk in slow-mo that the doors actually close when they are mid way in is unbelievable. What’s wrong with you???
4. Cafes closing by 4pm on weekends
One thing I find really annoying about living in Sydney is you have to make sure you’ve gone out for food before 4pm because every cafe in Sydney seems to think no one will want to eat or get a coffee after that time. There have been so many times we’ve wanted to eat out even after 3pm and struggled to find anywhere. Our goto in this situation has always been Speedo’s in Bondi because it’s open until 5pm and has incredible views of Bondi beach.
One of the downsides about living on the other side of the world, which because of the opposite seasons to the northern hemisphere, is fashion. Sydney fashion is very questionable (think The Only Way Is Essex and it’s about right), and I’ve figured out Australian retailers are between 2-3 years behind the UK when it comes to fashion. Thank god we have Topshop and Zara here which make up for the latest trends. To be honest, I’ve stopped bothering about fashion in Sydney because it’s just not the same as London and there’s barely any individuality over here because everyone wants to look the same.
Seriously, I went to a salon and every single girl was getting the same hair cut. It was weird.Just an example of everyone getting the same hair style in Sydney!
This is just a Sydney thing and it’s refreshing seeing some interesting people in Melbourne. The good news is, I’ve stopped spending money on fashion and have totally immersed myself in what Sydney is best at… the outdoors. Hiking, beaches and the great outdoors are now on the agenda for my weekend rather than going to a boring shopping mall or just sitting in the pub.
6. TV advertising and scheduling
How many times have you seen this ad?
TV is abominable in Australia and everyone knows it so it’s not a specific Sydney thing that annoys me. People usually respond with the I don’t watch TV reaction when I talk about it to others over here. The TV ads and TV scheduling – am I in the Truman Show? Honestly, the same movies (notably The Pirates Of The Caribbean) are played all the time. There are so many movies out there, why play the same over and over again??? And TV ads, it’s the same ads being played out all the time. Back when I had my first career as a TV ads buyer, I remember if the same ad played out more than once during a TV show, we’d get in so much trouble but in Sydney, you’ll see the same ad during every single ad break. It’s bizarre.
7. The News
I took this photo recently as an example of the news stories in Sydney
This one needed a whole section dedicated to itself – The news. You see, I often wonder whether it’s a good thing or bad thing – do we really need to know what’s going on in the world? Australia is in it’s own little bubble that I honestly wouldn’t really be able to tell you what’s happening in the world because they report on topics like “Man steals chickens from a Primary School” (TRUE STORY!). This was also classified as breaking news. Wtf??? It angers me that they don’t talk about actual serious matters at all but sometimes I think there’s so much going on that maybe it’s OK to pretend that it’s not.
I remember going back to England last year and I learnt more about what was happening in the world in a 20 minute news program than I had in 5 years in Australia.
There’s also lots of news shows and the questions journalists ask in interviews are absolutely terrible and embarrassing. I’ve never understood why is it so bad over here?
8. Australia Post
Obviously when you order stuff online, don’t bother to have it sent to your home address because the likely-hood of being able to pick it up from your local post office is slim to none. The post office hours are usually between 9-5, you know, the exact times when we are all at work, which makes it incredibly difficult to pick up any parcels. If you’re lucky, some suburbs might open on a Saturday morning.
9. The Police
I actually never had a problem with the police until I moved to Sydney. Every single policeman I have come across has been so rude to me. I once drove down the road to pick The Aussie up (no more than 5 minute drive) and I got stopped by the police for an RBT (random breath testing). Why on earth they were there was beyond me. Whoever thought to send them to a yummy mummy suburb on a Saturday afternoon on a very quiet street to check if people had been drinking alcohol was bizarre. Because I didn’t have my wallet on me, they made me leave my car, walk back home to get and they did loads of checks on me. The worst part was, they are so incredibly rude to me, and all I could think of, there’s just been bombings and stabbings in London this morning, and you think it’s appropriate to treat someone this badly over a drivers licence? The funny part, is, I don’t even drink so there wouldn’t have been any point in making me do the RBT.
I also picked The Aussie up recently from work and within 1 minute of him being in the car, we got stopped as he hadn’t put his seat belt on yet. He was fined $340 for it.
I’d be alright with the police if they weren’t so incredibly rude. It makes me wonder why all of our tax money is going on 10 policemen doing an RBT in a quiet area rather than actually doing something more worthwhile?
This actually goes for the same with doormen/bouncers in pubs in Sydney. They are always really rude and intrusive, like they need to know how many drinks have you had, what other pubs you have been to and so on which is part of the reason I just don’t go out anymore or even drink. If I was a drinker, I’d probably be mentioning the lockout laws as well in this post.
10. Bugs and damp
When you move to Sydney, you quickly realise that you’re going to need to spend a lot on housing to get something that’s half decent as most houses are old, full of damp thanks to the climate and are freezing in winter thanks to the lack of insulation. I’ve had plenty of shoes and clothes ruined due to damp. Just be careful when selecting the house you want to live in as you’ll be able to notice the damp smell instantly.
The bugs as well – this is a question I get asked a lot about. Funnily enough as someone who was an arachnophobe before I moved to Australia, my fear of spiders has pretty much gone. Although, I’ve only seen one spider in my house in 6 years in Sydney. Cockroaches seemed to love one flat I lived in and in my current one, ants seem to appear in the kitchen a lot which I think is because it’s hardly rained for months. This is something you just manage to deal with over time.
11. What is the actual cost of things?
One thing I’ve learnt about living in Sydney is that when it comes to electronics especially, every shop charges a completely different amount which can be quite a surprise. You can always ask the retailer to match the price with another one and they always will. For example, I use a Philips Sonicare toothbrush which I know, yes, it’s quite pricey but I managed to get it from $300 to $175 in one store purely because I had seen it cheaper somewhere else. You just need to make sure you can show the retailer the cost somewhere else on your phone that’s also an actual shop in Australia and not just an online shop in somewhere like China.
If you shop at The Good Guys (it’s the equivalent to Curry’s in UK), you can always ask them what their best price is on anything you buy and they will always give you a discount. Never think of it being the final price because it’s insane how big the mark up can be over here.
So that’s me signing out of my top 11 things that drive me mental about living in Sydney!
Obviously this entire blog is dedicated to the great things there is to do here, but I probably wouldn’t be human if there wasn’t some bad things about this city as well!
Is there anything I’ve missed off this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!