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Sydney is shit

At last count my possessions and I have travelled the Hume highway no fewer than seven times from Melbourne to Sydney or back in pursuit of gainful employ over the last 20 years. So I am eminently qualified to deliver the verdict on the Sydney versus Melbourne debate.

Sydney traffic jam

Now that looks like fun!

Except I am not going to do that. Because I don’t give a floating turd on Bondi Beach for this insane and inane interstate rivalry. Listen very carefully, I will say this only once: There is no rivalry. It is a fictional construct of ego-driven, delusional Sydneysiders desperate to distract themselves from the horror of living in such a foul-smelling and unfriendly city.

It fills me with sorrow every time I hear a Sweatysider regurgitating some trivial platitude as to why they feverishly believe Sydney is superior to Melbourne. Dolts, every last one of them. If these poor northern yokels would shut their traps for one moment and used their much neglected brains, they’d realise that dissing Melbourne for whatever spurious reason du jour makes Sydney worse, not better.

Alas, Stinkysiders are too shallow to realise that continually dumping on their self-imposed rival is a fundamentally flawed strategy. Would Muhammed Ali be half the legend if, instead of vanquishing world heavyweight champion George Foreman in 1974’s Rumble in the Jungle, he’d beaten world’s heaviest short-chef George Columbaris?

Sydney cockroach

Sydney’s most famous resident

Sportspeople know this truth to be self-evident, and they’re not rocket scientists — except Russian welterweight boxer Gregor Slivovitz who actually is a rocket scientist. Dumping on rivals diminishes both the dumpee and the dumper. Furthermore it makes the dumper look like a petty, supercilious malcontent munching on a fistful of sour grapes. A lot like a Sydney person, when you think about it.

The dominant deplorable trait of those who haunt that seething sweatpit north of the border is their fixation on the superficial. They are too busy with careers and climbing ladders in the maddening pursuit of becoming someone other than who they are to actually enjoy life. Nothing like 14 hours a day, six days a week in some malodorous, claustrophobic cubicle, wilting despondently under fluorescent soul-suckers to make you glad to be alive. No doubt Slipperysiders console themselves with important-looking business cards and by striving to push bigger buttons in the lift in years to come. And I always thought Hell was down.

If Steamysiders could get past their perception addiction, they might realise the error of their ways. But no! Ask a Smelly-dweller why they love their city, and they’ll gush ad nauseum “We’ve got a Harbour! And a Bridge! Beaches with waves! An Opera House!”.

Only, you can’t swim in the first because it’s full of sharks and is only marginally cleaner than the Ganges. You can’t cross the second because there’s always a traffic jam to get on and off and a crash in the middle. So you spend forever getting to the third one only to find it packed with racist yobbos and drunken British backpackers (is that a tautology?). And as for the fourth… really?! It’s opera. Who gives a shit.

These ‘things’ are Sydney’s crowning glories, apparently. A house, a bridge, a beach and a large body of fetid water. Not a thriving multinational food culture or a nightlife that never quits. Not world-class sporting events in a city whose primary football code attracts 80,000 to a mid-season game, not 8,000 unemployed plumbers. Not a vitality and soul that makes just being in the city exhilarating. No, because that’s Melbourne.

Melbourne’s appeal is its atmosphere, its vitality, its hunger for life and its multicultural bounty. To understand you must immerse in it.

Sydney’s appeal is that of a postcard. Actually, send me one next time you’re there. One of my table legs is a bit short.

43 Responses to Sydney is shit

  1. Ben Smithurst Reply

    March 3, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I wish I’d seen the 1974 version of Muhammad Ali biff George Columbaris. It would explain why George eats like a hunched over hunchback who can’t use his utensils. But I agree that, like Ali, Sydney is a clearly far superior – prettier, more dynamic, acres smarter – specimen whose legend was magnified by witty and justified put-downs of his rivals (notably George ‘Melbourne’ Foreman: hairy, angry, confused by things). Good point. Sydney is to other Australian cities what ’70s Ali was to other boxers.

  2. Malibu Stacey Reply

    March 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I have to laugh at city slickers who boast about having the Opera House. A couple of months ago I took my son to the Dr Who Symphonic Spectacular, our first sighting of the inside of the Opera House. And I was speechless.

    What we saw of the interior is drab, dull, bland, and reminiscent of a cheap motel trapped in the 70’s, but without the burnt orange Laminex to cheer it up a bit.

    This is our world-famous icon? I kept expecting to round a corner and find a Chinese restaurant circa 1978 with gold-flecked red velveteen wallpaper and paper tablecloths.

    Old Parliament House in Canberra has more vitality (and probably fewer friggin’ steps).

    I can only imagine how underwhelmed international tourists must be when they see inside.

  3. Michelle Lang Reply

    May 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Aaaaahhhhhhhh, thank you Glenn.

  4. Mike Reply

    July 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I have lived and worked in many countries and subcontinents including Asia, Middle-East, Europe, Russia and America. So this is the comment of a worldly man!
    Sydney is beautiful but has two major issues: 1- It’s too busy for its foundations such as public transport, roads etc. 2- Its people are extremely stuck up and terribly stupid!

    Approach someone and ask for a direction or something. They will act as if they have seen a ghost! Drive in the city and you will see some zombies behind the steering wheel! Talk to women and you vomit in no more than 90 seconds! Basically people in Sydney belong to either of these extremes: 1- Snobbish and stuck-up 2- Uneducated, poor and uncivilized

    There is almost no area where you can see educated, civilized and friendly people. If you live in Eastern subs or the north shore you will have to see those asshole poms every day! Or someone will hit your car and leave because they just don’t care! If you want to get rid of them you will have to go to the west or the south and you will have to live with gangs, illiterate weirdos and bored single mums!

    • tj Reply

      March 29, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Mike your reply is everything I have come to realise about a Sydney in my seven months here…. Luckily it’s transitory for me

  5. Acanthus Reply

    August 13, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Moving to Sydney from Melbourne as a student was without the slightest doubt one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Now I will NEVER again say “I’m proud to be Australian” because ipso facto that includes Sydney. Instead I will only say “I’m proud to be a Melbournian/Victorian.” After 2 heavily depressing years of hell, the ONLY people I could make friends with were foreigners (Germans, Bangladeshis, Indians, etc) and those from interstate/the country. If you try to engage with a local Sydneysider in a friendly manner, they will almost certainly just throw it back in your face. It happened time, and time, and time, and time, again. Without a doubt the most unfriendly, unwelcoming, arsehole-polluted place on the planet. It really should just be nuked it’s that bad.

    As I was leaving for the airport I remember clearly there was a Melbourne guy who had just made the same mistake of moving there and had been there for about a week. Without me even intimating anything, he just looked me in the eyes and said: “why the hell are the people here so hostile? I can’t even walk down the street without someone having a go at me.” This guy was also a bit overweight (which in Sydney is akin to a death sentence). I just nodded my head, grabbed my bag, jumped on the taxi, and got F**** out of cultural/spiritual waste-land. Poor guy, hope he managed to get out without resorting to suicide.

    Even if there was a job paying $500,000 p.a. just to sit there, I would not entertain taking it if it meant moving back to Sydney. Also, I’m not even hyperbolic here, it really is that bad…

    .

    • stan the ram Reply

      May 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Acanthus if i came across someone in the street as ugly as you i would throw it back at you also and throw up.

  6. Ady Reply

    August 31, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Sydney has been a constant nightmare for me during the almost 30 years I’ve lived here. ‘Lived’ is not the right word…if a word would exist, it would be,’Zombied’. I’ve zombied in this hole for far too long. To see your post, and others’ expressions of discontent, makes me feel less alone and ‘mad’. Mad, because I feel driven crazy by this souless, cold place with its equally empty, characterless and frozen people. Methinks I’ve woken up in an nightmare of indefinite duration..a very inhospitable planet, where the air is so toxic, I can hardly draw a breath.Where there are beings so strange as to elude any kind of vital mirroring and possibility of connection. There is ZERO community feeling here. Very few are curious about other fellow humans. Because, who cares? How many give you the time of day ? Sydney prefers its people as machines. If not a machine, Sydney will chew you and spit you out. I would not qualitfy most of the people living here as ‘humans’ and the howling loneliness I feel, is the most horrible curse one can feel. It is the pain of EXILE. Like Ovid in Tomis. And exile is worse than death. I often thought it’d be far better, and more beautiful, to be living in the outback, in complete seclusion, than in this cesspool of human misery. I need to move away, very soon, from this…superficial abyss, from this thriving penal colony. Ah Kafka. I truly feel like a giant cockroach.

    • stan the ram Reply

      May 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Ady u feel like a cockroach because you are melbin (grey city) is crawling with cockies they call themselves people.

  7. Terry Yaki Reply

    September 28, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I’ve lived here for three years and I’m blown away by how insecure, childish and pretentious central Sydney people can be. But I have also met lots of nice people. People are much more polite and well mannered compared to London. Overall though, the conversation isn’t great and lacks wit, word play and worldliness.

  8. Justin Reply

    November 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    I have lived in Melbourne 31 years and thought its about time to move somewhere warmer. Its true the weather in Melbourne completely sucks but every time I go to Sydney, I went 3 times in 2014 to look at properties, I knew within hours that I could never live there, for 1 simple reason. It looks like an absolute shit hole. REALLY!
    Why are all the roads SO bad? All the buildings in the city SO old? The subway stations SO filthy? The traffic SO congested? Why are cockroaches everywhere? I actually feel sorry for Sydney locals, what the hell does the NSW govt spend their money on?
    Sydney has kick ass beaches, the harbour and much warmer weather than Melbourne but the quality of life there is totally shit! Why real estate is more expensive there than here is a mystery. Oh and Melbourne is not overrun with Chinese people everywhere….yet anyway!

    • stan the ram Reply

      May 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Justin obviously you walk around with ya eyes shut because you are comatised on drugs the Sydney real estate is expensive so as to keep out those pretentious cheap morons from melbin their stench is not required in sydney.

  9. tj Reply

    March 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Yes thanks for making Me realise it’s not me…it’s Sydney.

  10. Danny Reply

    August 28, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I regretibly agree and have seen exactly the same.

  11. Phoebe Reply

    January 2, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Sydney is an over-rated shit hole. It and its people think it is New York well Guess what its not, its not even close to London, I have spent alot of time in Chelsea in London and there are less snobs there than there are in Sydney, and those in London have more serious coin than most in Sydney, but people with average wages here think they are the ducks guts, well guess what you are not, you live in the ass end of the world called Sydney, even where Turnbull lives is a shit hole compared to anywhere in London, Sydney fashion what is that about lets all wear maxi-dresses, and thongs, and Oh lets all wear active-wear everywhere too.

    Women in Sydney must be born with Metal Detectors as they are nothing but gold diggers, Men think they are something driving around alone in fancy European cars driving at 5 to 10KPH, Sydney trains are dangerous even during the day,as is the buses, Sydney is a joke but the biggest joke are those that live there, Sydney thinks its the world and the controls the world, well guess what The world couldn’t give a toss about you and your miserable city, Its dangerous pricey and well looks old and ancient and in need of repair, even London which is old looks more modern than Sydney, There is no central location, oh central station with a 1K walk to Pitt street.. come on another joke..

    I am really at a loss, the only things to claim to fame are , Sydney zoo, sorry thats a joke, the opera house see it once nothing changes, the bridge well how many days, weeks months years can you look at the bridge and the harbor thinking its magical before you go and swallow some Valium to give yourself a reality check that you are in the middle of the most boring place on earth, You lot say the western suburbs are the best, well hello what do they have to offer other than Botox full women with awful lips and frozen faces driving BMW’s with Fake extensions, eye lashes, and boobs, nothing is real there, its all plastic like most there, try to make eye contact with anyone there and they look the other way what is that about?

    Sydney’s airport is a joke, 3rd world number 1 city in Australia and its airport closes, Melbourne is open 24/7 says something hey, likewise Perth, so Sydney is backwards and closes at 11PM, you are a joke, nothing there no decent shops or the likes, Melbourne airport has a classic Irish pub there, in a terminal that is both International and domestic unlike your 3rd world one, oh a train line to the city what city? one road called Pitt Street Mall rather small shopping center , you could fit Sydney shopping into Self ridges on Oxford Street London yes the real Oxford street, the one that means something the one that ticks all year round, the one that kicks yours for dead, so when you have decent shopping come and see me, Westfield Bondi is a joke and 3rd compared to Chadstone in Melbourne, and Chaddy is free parking funny that, Sydney you gotta pay, no wonder why people hate Sydney, its a joke, Coffee is a joke here no cafe here can make one that tastes decent..

    I fail to see how Sydney thinks its all that, when wake up folks its nothing but a 3rd world hole, even places like Tel-Aviv are nicer than Sydney, as is Singapore.

    • Notafucktard Reply

      January 3, 2016 at 1:32 am

      You madam are denying a village somewhere of its idiot. Please move there immediately. And take spelling lessons when you arrive. “Alot” of them.

  12. Jim Reply

    January 3, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Notafucktard, only a twat bereft of sound argument plays the (wo)man, not the ball.

  13. Alan Reply

    January 5, 2016 at 2:00 am

    I was born and raised in Sydney but have had the fortune to live in the UK and USA. I would say, without a single doubt, Sydneysiders (Aussies in general) are utter arseholes. Sydney, in particular, has to be one of the most unfriendly shitholes on the planet. It is a very ‘small bowl’ full of characters who think they are very ‘big fish’. Property prices are out of control, there is no sense of community and the place is violent and filled with arrogant wankers.

    If I could afford to relocate to London, Vancouver or somewhere similar, I would drop this shitheap in a heartbeat.

    Ps hot weather sucks way more than the cold, you poms are mad to move around the world just because you get a bit of rain. I’d take cold and rain any day over nonstop fucking shit heat and burning fucking sunshine.

  14. joel Reply

    January 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Melbourne leaves Sydney for dead … Melbourne ftw

  15. 56 Reply

    February 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

    $8 for a beer in the pub ! $30 for 25 cigarettes . $50 for a 10k cabride. 1 million bucks for a 2bed apartment . Most workers on $20 -$25 per hour. If you’re lucky to be working .

  16. stan the ram Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    sounds to me like you are under severe stress glen must be the grey weather or your dreary pursuit of a pointless occupation in a worthless GREY city eg (Melbin) bet u have grey hair and your a Butler.haha How boreing.

  17. stan the ram Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Well Sydney may have its sharks in the water which means its clean,but in Melbin the sharks are in the streets houses and cars always on the bite.

  18. stan the ram Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    There you go Glen you said it all at very end,Melbinites cant even make a straight table because they are all bent and have short legs,unbalanced to say the least and suffer lack of length in the middle leg,very unstable indeed.

  19. Unraveller Reply

    August 3, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Coming from New Zealand, I find Stralians a bit socially backwards and superficial. That’s just an honest opinion and I’m not even born and raised in Kiwiland. But Sydneysiders are probably the worst lot, they’re like wanna be Americans (who are worse than them by the way, that’s some consolation for you). I thought Aucklanders are dickheads but they’re actually nice compared to Sydneysiders. As for the Brits, they quite a breed… nasty, contemptous, and conceited. Understandable when you come from a place with such shitty food, landscape and weather. Just saying.

    • jolly farmer Reply

      August 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Sydneysiders are ridiculous grosssssssssssssssssssssssss

  20. jolly farmer Reply

    August 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Melbourne is 100% better

    • SR1968 Reply

      October 20, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Coming from Sydney, I couldn’t agree with you anymore Sydney is rubbish.

  21. Bridget Reply

    August 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Melbourne is the most liveable in Australia and the world Sydney doesn’t even rate amongst the top ten sooooo…….. Yeah Sydney is shit

  22. Q Bristow-Smith Reply

    October 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Third world middle eastern and Asian city and I know now why they think Australia is part of Asia. Bets me why China is building islands in the China sea, probably as a diversion as they have Sydney, like a bad case of acne black heads everywhere. Over priced and Melbourne is no better.

  23. SR1968 Reply

    October 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    As someone who was born and raised in Sydney, I have to wholeheartedly agree with this editorial on Sydney. Sydney is an overpriced, overrated shit hole full of arrogant, superficial, shallow wankers, and arguably the most self centred women on the planet.

    I actually like Melbourne, I have visited Melbourne several times, and found it to be a well planned, cultured city, unlike Sydney.

    One of these days, I will leave Sydney, and will probably settle somewhere in regional NSW.

    • Holly Reply

      November 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Is Sydney really horrible? I’m moving from overseas I can’t decide between Sydney or Melbourne? Reading this posts has made me re think my plans, Perth was my other choice but there’s more work opportunities for me in Sydney or Melbourne. 😐

  24. Holly Reply

    November 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Any recommendations for another place, maybe outside of Sydney? I’m really stressing now!!!

    • Bill Reply

      November 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Wouldn’t move to Sydney if you paid me, Brisbane is nice if your a young professional and enjoy a more relax pace. Melbourne has shit weather but I would live there over Sydney. Sydney is too hectic, it’s also dirty and boring once you get over the harbour bridge etc as mentioned above. People are rude, it’s expensive, inner suburbs just look old and dilapidated. Perth I don’t know much about but have heard good things

      • Bella Reply

        November 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

        Sydney is a f- hole

  25. fuuhyy Reply

    November 27, 2016 at 10:28 am

    jlah nlag blah blah fuckn bullshit

  26. Leonid Drescu Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Who cares about you and your cyber rant? Achieved nothing.
    BTW get your kids to learn to speak Chinese or they will be left behind.

    Have a nice day

  27. Allison Reply

    December 18, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I wish I would’ve read this before. I’ve been in Sydney for 10 days and it’s been a nightmare. I come from a 3rd world country in South America and trust me, I lived in better conditions back there. Why is everything so pricey here?! It’s just ridiculous. And transportation completely sucks! The other day I waited 50min to catch the bus… 50 freaking minutes! A joke.

    Living in the Eastern suburbs didn’t help at all. Most people were rude and don’t even get me started on how shallow they are. I mean, sure, take care of your body if you want to, but do you have to be such an asshole about it?

    I visited the harbour once, and it was more than enough. I’m not gonna lie, it was quite spectacular, but it also felt a bit fake. And so did the opera house, with all the rich people wining and dining inside while all of us sweaty tourists were managing to take decent selfies in a 30 degree weather.

    Beaches are okay, if you’re a surfer. I honestly couldn’t take a swim without fearing for my life. Sure, there are pools but really, what’s the point?
    Also, try to have a snack close to the beaches and you’ll go bankrupt within a few days. $12 dollars for an acai bowl? Are you kidding me? I had the real ones in Brazil and they costed less than $3 dollars.

    Coming from a place with unstable climate in my hometown -chilly nights and not so warm days-, I thought I’d loved having stable weather for once and for all. I was wrong. There’s nothing cool about living in a place with constant heat. You get headches, you sweat like a pig, and then you have to sit in a bus for an hour with the strongest air conditioning ever! Not fun.

    I don’t know who the heck design this city -don’t care either- but dude, where you on crack? The streets are nonsense. It’s so easy to get lost if you’re not with your phone. And it’s true that if you ask for directions at convenience stores, people have no idea.

    Now, if you enjoy drinking a beer on a weekday after 10pm or if you enjoy good coffee, get the fuck out of Sydney. You won’t find it. Sure, there are some places that may have it (probably Redfern, Surry Hills, Newtown) but still, no.

    Food is another issue. I had dinner at some of the “best” restaurants but all I got was a huge bill and a bit of heartburn. Yay! Doing the groceries at Woolworths or any organic shit hole was probably one of the worst things I could’ve done. Prices were crazy and people just plain annoying.

    I wasn’t amazed by any of the shopping malls. Not even in the CBD.

    I don’t know who would love this city. I thought I would, but I’ve felt depressed most of the time. I rarely leave comments so I’m just trying to help anyone that’s deciding wether to live here or elsewhere. If you’re 30 something, looking for a job or studying, and you enjoy the music scene, good coffee, good beer, nice people, good transportation and cultural stuff, don’t come to Sydney.

    I hope Melbourne feels more like home than this.

    • Emilyb Reply

      December 19, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Fucking hate Sydney is a shit hole and I agree with you 100% on all points

  28. GlobeTrotter Reply

    January 11, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Could i agree more o whatttttt!

    I came to SHITNEY for a “vacation” almost a month ago, what now seems like eternity though. It’s hot as fuck, transport (the lack of it) is a hewwwge pain, offering nthn more than any other 3rd world country..but most of all THE PEOPLE!!!!! WHT D FUCK IS UP YOUR ASSES?? Forget being helpful or nice, u go help a lady get bck up on her bike (from which she fell and cut her lip) and SHE GIVES YOU ATTITUDEEEE! and to think dt all u do is wear flipflops and drink beer or work out like the future of the world depends on it !! All the above mostly help people arnd d world unwind…but nooooo! U really are in d ass of the world map so i guess it doesnt work that way for you. U pick ur teeny weeny paychecks, live ur pretentious lives playing smug pigs, pay for ur overrated houses and are left with nthn much before ur next paycheck. No wonder you are the way u r, frustrated, stuckup, selfish anf sickening !!!! Even people in London are wayyyyy better..gawwwwly!

    Leaving now. #ThankGodIt’sOver #WasteOfAVacation #FuckYouShitney

  29. soleil6671 Reply

    January 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    What Sydney is really got nailed here.
    I’m visiting now, and it is beautiful – but hoping next job doesn’t end up being here because Sydney can wind you up like you’re a toy.
    Been living regionally for a year prior to this – there were proper yobbos there alright, but hardly anyone was stuck up, total sea change from Sydney.

    • Hal Reply

      January 25, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Sydney is nice for a a weekend but I can’t wait to leave by the end.. I would never ever live there I just could not stand it

      • Gelll Reply

        January 25, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        Sydney: full of ferals and derilict properties

  30. George Reply

    February 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Sydney is truly the worst place in Australia. I left gorgeous Hobart in 2008 to work for a truly disgusting bus company called, Busways which is located in Blacktown NSW and I have found Sydney and its awful and arrogant “people” to truly be the garbage of Australia. Sydney is full of dirty, filthy 2 legged wog cockroaches and is basically full of arrogant morons. In fact the name Sydney and the word arrogant basically means the same thing. Eventually I will leave this horrible disgusting and move back to the most gorgeous, friendly city in the country; Hobart Tasmania.

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