From a real-life expat.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

If you’ve been following my progress for a while, you’ll know two things about me: one, I just recently moved from Melbourne to Sydney, and two, I rock at parallel parking.

And while I could devote an entire article to the incredible feeling that comes when you just nail that reverse parallel park on a main road, and a passer by gives you the ’sup head nod of approval – this is about the other thing, the fact I am a recent expat to Sydney.

Sydney is famous for many things. The Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, an extremely basic but equally Instagrammable pool called Icebergs. However, as a Melburnian, I’ve been trained to hate this place from a young age. Being here a few months, however, I’ve actually started to like it.

With this new found appreciation however, comes many realisations. Realisations that only people from Victoria will understand. And while I’m more than slightly convinced the only people who care about my move are the four people in my family, there may be a lost internet scroller among you. So behold unwilling participant, here are the 30 things that you will inevitably realise if you make the move from Melbourne to Sydney.

1. Late night shopping simply doesn’t exist here, so good luck getting anything past 8pm (unless it’s a tattoo, because those places never close).

2. Prepare to feel inadequate at least 16 times a day, because the amount of attractive Swedish expats here is enough to make you feel like a potato 99 per cent of the time.

3. They. Charge. For. Everything. Lactose intolerant? Gluten Free? Breath of air? Prepare to pay for it.

4. “The coastal walk is FULL of tourists I can’t stand it” *does coastal walk at least once a week*.

5. Tell people you’re from Melbourne and expect the same three topics of conversation to be brought up: bad weather, AFL and Revs.

6. Bus etiquette is NOT the same as tram etiquette.

7. Manual drivers good luck. Sydney is NOT a purpose built city, so prepare for hills galore.

8. If one more person tells me that Bondi Beach is overrated I’ll scream.

9. “I love Melbourne, how amazing is Brunswick?”

10. The people who named notable Sydney places were definitely British, and didn’t strain any brain cells, i.e. Oxford Street, Paddington? OK guys, don’t hurt yourself.

11. AND adding from that, Sydney and Melbourne actually share a lot of similar suburb names, which only adds to the confusion. Epping, Surry Hills, Cremorne - they’re all places here too. Someone needs to fire those guys.

12. You become lulled into a false sense of security with the airport train.

13. Parking will cost you an arm, a leg, and a vile of blood from your first born.

14. The boys here are pretty, like real pretty. But so are the girls so you know, good luck mere mortals.

15. Despite what your childhood trips to Sydney would have you believe, no one actually cares about the monorail.

16. They care about the weather so much, and it’s how 99 per cent of conversations are initiated. God forbid they have a day below 13 degrees, it would probably make the front page of the paper (what those papers are called, I have no idea).

17. People don’t think getting a ferry to work is a big deal, even though its kind of the best thing in the whole world.

18. If you thought Melbourne loved a rooftop – think again. I’m actually starting to wonder whether having a rooftop in your bar/restaurant is a prerequisite to getting on Broadsheet here.

19. Like Melbourne, people dress according to their suburbs. Unlike Melbourne however, people actually embrace colour…

20. If I had a dollar for every time a cafe menu put the word “artisan,”“locally sourced” or “rustic” before the item, I’d probably be able to afford a beachfront property rn.

21. Icebergs isn’t actually that nice. It’s ice cold and you have to pay to get in (told you they charge for everything here).

22. Z-list celebrities are the bread and butter of this city, and spotting them will become somewhat of an everyday occurrence. Fun fact, two ex-bachelor contestants live in my street.

23. Yes, rent is expensive. However, contrary to what many Sydney residents may believe, complaining about it constantly will not make it any cheaper.

24. They don’t have public holidays for sporting events here, and find it completely ludicrous that we do. Sorry we actually enjoy taking a whole day to sit and reflect (drink) on the wonderment that is the Melbourne Cup and Grand Final *mic drop*.

25. If you thought Melbourne menu hybrids were bad, I just saw a legitimate food establishment advertising a ‘chicken nugget kebab burger’ (TBH, still would).

26. Self-diagnosed alcoholics such as myself better plan ahead, because lockout law-affected bottle shops close at like, 10pm??????????? SOS.

27. The humidity does not make for a conducive hairstyle.

28. Expect NRL to monopolise every single TV in any restaurant/bar/pub that you attend. And don’t even THINK about asking them to put the AFL on one, god forbid you want to know the score of a real football game.

29. Sydney is actually a lot more Melbourne than it wants to admit. Newtown is basically the younger sister of our Northside – you know, the sister that copies everything the older one does in an attempt to attain even 1/8th of the coolness. But in reality it kind of just comes off as semi sad?

30. They have this supermarket called Harris Farm and even though I’ve never been to the US, it’s what I imagine Whole Foods to be like. Can the rest of Australia catch up ASAP?

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