Firstly I need to say sorry for my absence – in the past two weeks I’ve moved from the east coast of Australia to the west coast and I managed to pick up a cold along the way. Now I’m on the mend, settled in, and I have internet so I am back on track!
Today’s post is going to be a little different as it’s not about a ‘travel destination’ as such. Today I feel like writing about the difference between the west and east coasts of Australia. As I’ve mentioned previously, I grew up in Perth however I spent the past 19 months living in Sydney and let me tell you they are VERY different.
Believe it or not there are some language differences between the east and west coasts. Growing up in WA our non-uniform days were called either ‘casual dress day’ or ‘free dress day’. On my first Christmas in Sydney the office received an email advising Christmas Eve would be ‘mufti day’. Now I was confused because in my limited vocabulary a muff was a part of female anatomy and definitely not appropriate to write in a work email! It wasn’t until someone explained to me that this means you get to wear casual dress that I stopped worrying about how to dress as a ‘mufti’.
Another confusion came with the word ‘footy’. Growing up in Perth, footy is 100% AFL, Rugby is Rugby (league or union, there’s no difference for a lot of WA’ers). We don’t even have an NRL team! So as you can imagine, footy tipping my first year was very confusing when I didn’t know ANY of the teams on the list. Also, take my advice here, don’t call Rugby League just Rugby over there, it never ends well.
Other things that may confuse you include (east coast vs west coast);
* Devon vs Polony
* Gurney vs high-pressure hose
* Ice block vs icy pole
* Swimmers vs bathers
* Bubbler vs water fountain
Another thing I struggled with was the different styles in each city. Perth is a very laid-back, beach-vibe type place. Sure we get prettied up for a night on the town but for the day-to-day everyone is super casual.
Sydney is a very fashionable city and I pretty much always felt under-dressed. Put it this way, when my favourite pair of thongs broke last summer I was told not to worry as it was nearly winter and I didn’t need any for a few months – I didn’t know how to reply to that because for me thongs are a year-round staple!
Meanwhile I finally succumbed to the Sydney-ness and bought a pair of boots at the beginning of this winter and now I’m back home I feel super over-dressed whenever I wear them (which is nearly every day as they are SO comfortable! Check out Rivers for some seriously comfortable shoes).
Nights out I struggled too. Going out at night in Perth I barely do my hair, I do my makeup but it’s never perfect, and I try to look nice with a dress, heels, and some nice accessories. Going out in Sydney? It didn’t matter how long I spent on my hair and makeup and outfit I always felt inadequate. I’m not sure if that was me or the city though. Even a day at work in the city made me feel very dowdy if I didn’t have heels and some war paint on.
The social scene on the west coast is super laid back. Sundays are for drinking beer in the sunshine and it’s not unusual for this to often be a big night out. Fridays and Saturdays are big drinking nights too. One thing you will struggle to find though is people catching up for dinner. Sure people do it but it’s usually for a birthday or because they haven’t seen each other in a few months. Dining out in Perth is expensive and everything closes up quite early. On the flip-side, you walk down Crown Street in Surry Hills any day of the week and there are people having drinks and catching up until the late hours, even if they only saw each other a week ago.
While it is more common to eat out in Sydney, one thing I did miss terribly was BBQ’s. I never had one or heard of people having one! In Perth you are more likely to be invited around someone’s house for a weekend BBQ than you are a dinner somewhere. A lot of these BBQ’s go into well into the night but they’re always laid back, full of laughs, and way too much food and booze.
Now I’m no meteorologist but the differences in weather, although small, were noticeable to me. The first thing I noticed after my move to Sydney was the humidity! The first month I was sweating just going to get lunch outside of the office! It was disgusting. It also rains, A LOT, over there. I learned very quickly to carry an umbrella 12 months of the year. Some of the biggest rains came in summer!
While Perth weather is not perfect, it has 4 definite seasons. Sure it may rain in summer here and there, or spring may come a few weeks late, but overall you know what to expect each month and there is something reassuring about that.
This is one area Sydney wipes the floor with Perth. Sydney you can catch buses and trains almost any time of the day, to almost anywhere in the state. Catching a train from Central Station to the Blue Mountains cost a grand total of $2.50 on a Sunday (talk about a bargain!) Ferry rides to Manly, buses to Bondi, train trips to the central coast – you could do it all and get anywhere you wanted!
Compare this to Perth and you’ll be a little disappointed. Yes there are trains and buses and it is possible to get around, however, my local shopping center is a 15 minute drive. If I want to visit it on a weekend and I don’t have a car to drive it will take me 2 hours, and 2 buses, to get there. If you want to visit the beach you need to coordinate buses and leave fairly early if you want to make a day of it. There is also only 1 x bus per suburb so if you miss that bus it’s rare that you can catch another and walk. Compare that with getting to Coogee Beach in Sydney for instance, there are at least 3 different buses that you can catch.
So there you have it – my thoughts on how different Perth and Sydney are. Sydney was just to rushed and busy for me! I prefer the calmer, slower pace of life over here among some of the best beaches in the world. You guys may not feel the same, and that’s totally fine, let me know in the comments if you know of any differences between the east and west coasts of Australia…