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5 Things I Hate About Sydney

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If you want to know how beautiful and wonderful Sydney is, I am pretty sure you will find plenty of resources on the internet. Sydney is a great place to live after all. But, although Sydney always ranks as one of the top livable cities in the world, there are lot of things I hate about the place. And I am actually pleased to find out that I am not the only one who thinks like that!

There are many articles on the internet externalizing feelings of hate for the city. Many of them are written by Australians who are – or were – living overseas. I must admit that I didn’t find many complaints coming from foreigners living in Sydney, but it didn’t surprise me. It is so much easier to criticize the place where you are from instead of the place you chose to be your home, isn’t it? The grass isn’t always green on the other side.

Tired of all the same flattery about Australia everywhere, and after reading some quotes about what people hate the most in Sydney (and agreeing with many of the things from the list), I have decided to share my own top 5 things I really dislike about the city. Sydney is awesome, yes, but we have to admit that there is no perfect place in the world.

1.       Wind

It is always windy. It doesn’t matter the season. In the country, with so poor natural ozone protection, the wind is so strong that it is impossible to use big umbrellas on the beach.

I had a sore throat for one month when I first arrived in Australia just because of the wind!

I also don’t know why I bother to straight my hair to go to a party. It is particularly difficult to take pictures outdoors.

Ah, and good luck hanging your laundry outside on a windy day.

Trying taking a pic but the wind didn't really helped
Don’t bother straighten your hair if you have an outdoors’ party. Phote: Clarisse Kent
Wind in Sydney
It is a beautiful view. Just a shame we could not stay out for longer because of the wind. Photo: Clarisse Kent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.       Traffic lights

It goes together with the first point. In winter, the wind is not only strong but also extremely cold. Since the traffic lights always take forever to change for pedestrians, it is very painful to wait to cross the road when it is cold. Do I need to mention the hair again?

3.       Too many tourists in summer

I have a love/hate relationship with Sydney in summer. I love it because… well, it is summer!

I hate the fact that everything gets so packed. It is impossible to walk quickly in the city, and it is even worse to go to or come back from the beach. I lived in Bondi once, and believe me Bondi can be pretty stressful in summer. Need to take public transport to or from the beach? Be ready to wait in long and messy queues. Are you driving? Good luck with traffic and finding parking spots. Buses to Bondi are always full in summer. It doesn’t matter if it is 3pm or 3 am.

traffic of big umbrelas in Brazil
Just for the comparison: Guaruja beach in Sao Paulo in summer is as packed as Bondi. But they can at least use the umbrellas for sun protection.
packed Bondi Beach
Bondi beach perfectly packed in summer. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald.

4.       Everything closes very early

I find the new Westpac commercial “Australia doesn’t close at 5 anymore” very funny. Everyone finishes work at 5 or 5:30 pm, but the shops close at 5 as well. So, if you work until a bit later and need to do some shopping after work, forget it. The only day the shops are open late (9:30 pm) is Thursday.

5.       Taxi drivers

This is perhaps what I hate the most in Sydney. Of course there are exceptions but generally taxi drivers in Sydney are rude, don’t put any effort to communicate properly with you, always get lost, and never arrive on time when you book it in advance. They always try to rip you off by taking the longest drive home, making sure they go via every single tol in the city. Even worse: THEY DON’T OPEN THE DOOR FOR YOU IF YOU ARE NOT GOING FOR A LONG DRIVE. Getting a taxi after a party has become my worst nightmare. Even if I manage to stop a taxi (which can take several minutes), the fact that I live only 20 minutes away from the city is enough to make many of them to refuse to take me home.

Although I hate a few things in Sydney, the truth is, overall, I don’t really hate it here. There are many more reasons why I, and thousands of other immigrants, have decided to live in this city. And who would blame me for that? It is not difficult to love this city when you can work from home on a balcony with this view every day.

Sydney: how not to love it?
How not to love it?