Published – 2009/09/25
I love city life. That thriving, pulsating pace and the melting pot of mix breeds and creeds. The diversity of people and experiences. The duality of a stinking, diabolical existence with a cultural and creative explosion. Full colour. The warts and all side of human existence.
London was a feast for that, every nook and cranny of it, full to the brim and spilling over. And when I arrived in Tehran I wanted to gobble that mad city up, but my friend couldn’t get out of there fast enough, literally. she got a train out the same day as we arrived. I guess city life is not for everyone.
And sure, I feel the pull of nature, of wide open spaces, of simple country, dense bush, red earth deserts and rugged mountains, they fill my soul cup. But for cities I have a soft spot. I’ve got a bunch of friends that are such nature loving hippies that I feel like cities are the underdog. And you cant help but love an underdog.
I grew up in the outer western suburbs of Sydney and for a long time I didn’t even know there was a city beyond my suburban backyard. Maybe that’s why I love it so much, because I was 19 before I ever experienced any of it. OK, so its hardly like I was a girl who had never seen the ocean, but still…I was green enough that when I moved from the Western suburbs to the yuppie heartland of Bondi Beach, I was completely clueless of café culture.
I couldn’t figure out what the hell all these people were doing milling around drinking coffee while perched on milk crates. Milk crates. As seats. On purpose. Not because it was the only thing to sit on while you ate your hot chips in an alley next to the milk bar. I couldn’t believe it.
Sometimes Sydney really disappoints as a city, but there are many things I have come to love. Like all the houseo’s that dot the cityscape, in suburbs like Woolloomooloo, Hunters Hill, the Rocks, bringing a touch of the lower class to some of them most stuck up and affluent parts of town. (I can say houseo cuz I am of houseo stock).
But now, after over 10 years of inner city living, I have returned to the suburbs. Not the Western ones, the family house out there is long gone. (The houseo connection has taken them to the North Western suburbs these days. Social climbers).
It’s not too bad, this suburban thing, I treat it as the uncharted territory of the intrepid explorer. Its how I keep this city living thing in check; moving around, finding new places, having new experiences. And of course, when it all gets to much, going bush.
For my musings on city life from the standpoint of the suburbs go here