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Sydney’s Subversive Subculture
Overall, Sydney is a jolly pleasant place to live. And I’m not just talking about the beaches and the weather – things just seem to run pretty smoothly here, and people seem to play by the rules. Public transport is not too crowded. People get on the bus, the bus driver smiles and gives a nod, and when people get off the bus they shout ‘thankyou driver!’. The beaches are spotless, through a combination of tight regulations (no smoking, no dogs) and conscientious residents cleaning up after themselves. Gangs of teenage boys tend be on their way to football practice rather than on their way to mug a pensioner. People do their seatbelts up in taxis and taxi drivers give you a choice of which route you would like to take. Pedestrians wait patiently for the green man before crossing the road. In New South Wales it’s illegal not to wear a bicycle helmet. Australians are even better then the English at queuing, mostly because – unlike us Poms, who seem to join queues purposefully to give us an excuse to grumble to the person next to us – Aussie’s seem to be of a more cheerful disposition, and grin and bear queuing with fortitude.
But look more closely and you can see signs of Sydney’s dark undercurrent. Standing lonely and forlorn on a street corner; being led up the road loaded to the eyeballs; or even lying looking broken and trashed in the gutter. Yes – when it comes to shopping trollies, Sydney is truly a city of kleptomaniacs. And it’s not just around supermarkets that you’ll see them – sometimes they turn up abandoned miles from the nearest Coles or Woolworths. And Sydneysiders don’t scurry off with their trolley looking sheepish, oh no – they’ll stride up the road brazenly displaying their prize wheels for all to see. There is even a job title of ‘Trolley Collector’ – brave souls sent around the city to round up these wire fugitives. And so, in honour of this strange Sydney phenomenon, I would like to present… Sydney’ s Subversive Shopping Trollies!