Five very cool things and five shitty things about Sydney

Having now lived in Sydney for a few weeks, I feel I’m in a position to pass swift judgement on what’s cool about the city, and what irks me.  So here’s my list.

Five cool things

Vintage racers and fixed wheel bikes

In the inner east where I live, everyone rides amazing vintage racers, fixed wheel bikes and old-school Shoppers.  These are clearly cool, though having checked out ‘Tokyo Bike’ next door, the average price is $2,000.

FBI Radio

The local independent alternative radio station is great. They play Aphex Twin in the middle of the day and are allowed to say ‘fuck’ on air.


Hardly anyone I’ve met so far that’s actually from Sydney, which is weird. This means hundreds of amazing Asian restaurants and huge cultural diversity.

The Monorail

Ever since going to Chessington World of Adventures in the eighties, I’ve considered  monorails to be cool and futuristic. So I was delighted to see Sydney had one, and therefore consider Sydney to be similarly futuristic and cool.

Outdoor everything

Everything happens outdoors here as you’d expect. But two of the best outdoor goings on that caught my eye are clubs running day time boat parties across the harbour, and outdoor cinemas.

Five irks

Slow traffic lights

It might just be me, but the traffic lights in the city are really, really slow. I estimate at least five minutes is added to my walk to work each morning. Maybe I’m still working to UK time.

Beer versus wine

Beer, by volume,can be more expensive than wine. I saw a litre bottle of Singha for $16 (10 GBP) in a bottle shop. What’s that about? Perhaps I will start drinking “goon”.


In shops, bars and restaurants, instead of saying ‘hello’, people will greet you by saying ‘how are you’. I don’t like this and it leaves me unclear what to do – answer them? Ignore it? I prefer a curt nod and that’s that.


I could be wrong here, but it seems women only wear black dresses on a night out. Like every woman I’ve seen so far. It’s like seeing a hoard of Italian widows coming towards you. Not a major irk but more of a curiosity.

The animals

More specifically, the bugs. They are everywhere and they are huge. I constantly feel like one is watching me, and the other night I saw a cockroach the size of a rat clambering up a wall.

Images used under Creative Commons on behalf of thomasperry; NeilT; serakate; tuija; tasuki; zoetnet;



Filed under Asia Pacific, Culture

3 responses to “Five very cool things and five shitty things about Sydney

  1. Katie B

    Nice observations Will. The greeting thing is more than how are you, it’s “How you going?” That doesn’t even make sense? ‘Where are you going’ or ‘how are you doing’ would be okay, but ‘how am I going?’

    The crazy thing is, you’ll start doing it too.

  2. Will, I am glad to see you are still using the curt nod as a way of greeting people. How can you find anything wrong with Australia it’s warm and pleasant. The only thing I thought you might mention was the fact it is quite expensive. I will share this on Twitter for you.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Five very cool things and five shitty things about Sydney | Ockenden's Aussie Oracle --

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