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Sydney Do’s and Don’ts
You know how it is. You move to a new place, you need to adjust to your new surroundings, try and blend in with the locals. The last thing you want to do is stand out like a sore thumb, camera hanging round neck, huge map open as you ask a baffled (but usually very helpful) local what on earth a doona is, or the difference between a flat white and a latte. So although my time in Sydney was relatively short, and my experience limited, I’d like to share a few basic suggestions on how to roll like a true Sydneysider…
DON’T take your sunnies off. Ever. Especially on public transport. Yes – even underground.
DO order a soy-skim-cap-dusted-with-gold-with-exactly-5mm-of-foam-and-a-Dali-esque-design-on-the-top. Preferably made from coffee beans hand roasted by naked maidens in the Himalayas. Melbourne may take the crown for coffee snobbery but Sydney’s not far behind.
DON’T wear too many clothes – your mantra should be ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’. Gals? Forget the advice your mum gave you of only showing off either legs OR breasts – for a night out in Kings Cross the more tanned, toned flesh you can display the better. Fellas? Don’t even think about venturing onto the beach without a pair of speedos, aka Budgie-Smugglers. At the very least leave the shoes at home and stroll out in skinny jeans with no top on.
DO complain about the coldest Sydney winter in years. Even though it really wasn’t that cold. At all. I was there. On second thoughts maybe this should be a DON’T – complaining about the weather should really be left to us Winging Poms. Come on – it’s what we do best!
DON’T cycle. There’s a reason the only cyclists in Sydney are dressed like they’ re on the Tour de France. Too many hills. Plus Sydney was recently declared by one American academic to be ‘the most hostile city to cyclists in the developed world’ due to the amount of bike rage from motorists. Take the bus and go for a jog instead.
DO be proudly Australian. Anything can be proudly Australian, from your morning bowl of muesli to the shoes you wear. In many ways this support for home-grown business is a great thing – it’s easier for small independent enterprises to flourish, and means Australia is one of the few countries in the world where Starbucks hasn’t really taken off (this may also be in part due to aforementioned coffee snobbery). Don’t, however, take national pride too far, as one charming Bondi resident appeared to have done: the front of his Ute was decorated with a map of Australia and the phrase: ‘Fit in or Fuck Off’. Charming.
DON’T be miserable. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the infamous laid back Aussie temperament, but a smile and some cheerful banter are the order of the day.
DO moan about public transport being too crowded if you can’t sit down on the train for two stops. For anyone who has ever tried to board London’s Central Line at 8am on a Monday morning, you’ll find this especially baffling.
DO get pissed. But then get up at 7am the next day to sweat it out with your PT. If you don’t already know that this stands for Personal Trainer, you may has well pack your bags, give up and go home now.
Any more Sydney DOs and DON’Ts? Please share your suggestions below…