Saturday, June 01, 2013

Country hicks

We have just returned from 9 days in Sydney. We hung out with the Grandies from NZ and my mum. But each time we go to the city now we find it so FULL ON! We have many conversations about how different it is now. We love to visit but its always very hectic and I drink too much coffee when I am there (to keep pace maybe? And eat to much sugar!)

 We noticed:All the big roads are wider and there are more cars on them. All my secret back ways to certain places are not secret anymore. What is with the yoghurt shops?? A few years back there were cupcake shops everywhere now it's yoghurt. You can't pay on the bus anymore- convenient: no. The Bay  (Canada Bay/ Rodd Point) where I hung out as a child is now a serious exercise thoroughfare and there are hardly any Califronia bungalows left like the one I grew up in, ( in Drummoyne) which has been replaced by a hideous McMansion looking thing. Lots of mums wear expensive exercise gear. No one wears daggy trackies. Prams are shiny and new looking with no mud on them. When we went to the Zoo Busy remarked the houses in the street to the zoo looked like castles. We agreed they were in fact castles. The traffic drove us mental. It just takes so long to get anywhere... And parking.... We are use to driving non stop to where we want to go and parking out the front of the shop. I foolishly pushed my bladder to the limit on more than one occasion.

                                        (Koskela, kitchen by mike- so good)

Chef and I had lots of conversations about where we think we would live and what kind of house it would be and would we do our weekly shop here? There? Would we be happy? 

We loved lots of stuff too. We were excited to be there for Vivid Festival and the night we went, early, was not crowded and the small ones loved it. It is exactly the kind of thing I read about and wonder, if we were in Sydney still, would we go? Would we be to busy to go? 

                                                               Vivid Sydney, so great!!

I forgot all those bizarre experiences you have in public in a city. I had an interesting 45 minutes in Broadway shopping centre. I was  waiting outside the supermarket Breastfeeding RomPomPom* and a man approached me and told me there was a parents room where I could feed my baby I said I am fine here thanks, he said, you may be more comfortable there (in my mind I was screaming START RUNNING BUDDY. ) I said I am not UNcomfortable you are so GO AWAY. 

Next a woman sat next to me who was clearly off her head and proceeded to tell me how beautiful my baby is in a slightly alarming and over the top way to the point where it was making me feel a bit anxious, her boyfriend arrived so she left. 

                                           R was loving being in the sling full time!

Next came a man with his elderly mother. He explained to her at length that he was going into the shop and she must stay here. I said we could stay here together, he was grateful and off he went. This lovely elderly woman said "I have 2 children a boy and a girl." I said I have two girls. She said "your baby is a picture" I said she is. PAUSE.... then she said "I have 2 children a boy and a girl...... Then it all made sense. So we just had the same conversation 4 times in a row and I realised why her son was worried about her. He came back and thanked me and off they went. 

NEXT I see a little red haired boy, about 18months old toddle out of the supermarket... I am watching him waiting for his mother to appear around the corner, she doesn't, he keeps walking without looking back. I watch end so many people see him and not do anything. So I got up and chased him, another mother looked around and saw me and I yelled to her "he isn't mine but grab him, he just walked out of the supermarket" so she did and I walked him back to the supermarket saying to him we have to find mummy. Next thing mummy comes out of the shop hysterical, she ran over and scooped him up and I said he is fine he is fine he didn't get far I saw him as soon as he came out. She was crying thank you thank you.  I felt so sick for her and I can feel my chest tightening just thinking about that feeling, she hugged me and I got tears in my eyes.  Then we went home and I felt emotional all afternoon. (Not helped by the motion sickness tablets I took as I sat in the back seat of the car that made me crazy!) 

We caught up with friends who showed us great places they have discovered. All night boozing has since been replaced with somewhere the kids can rumble and requirements such as does it have a high chair? We marvelled at the price of "vintage" and thought we could really make a fortune reselling is lot of stuff we see at the tip all the time! 

We went to  Taronga Zoo, highlight being when we all ran over to the Gorillas as they were right up against the glass and Busy didn't realise there was glass and couldn't believe I was going to let her pat a massive male Gorilla. 
At The Aquarium where RomPomPom saw her first dugong as it swam over the top of her:

I finally got to go to Koskela and Chef was happy to finally go to Kitchen By Mike- both were great. We saw the Harbour and all its bays and inlets on many beautiful Autumn mornings and I still think Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world but as Tom Jones once sang "it's good to touch the green green grass of home."

*not her real name, just what we call her.


  1. We feel the same when we go to the city. Makes you realise how you adjust to where you live. I grew up in Sydney too and it seems so alien now. Friends have such big houses, new shops everywhere .....

  2. Gorgeous post Cath. I go back 'home' to Sydney every year and I fall more in and out of love with it every time. Loved going to the zoo last time, and showing my son Centennial Park, where I spent huge chunks of my childhood and adolescence. Didn't love the traffic or the expense one little bit though. But those jacarandas... I could weep just thinking about them.

  3. I also have a love & hate relationship with Sydney. I only go to see my nieces and nephew. I hate the traffic and Bondi where I grew up. I much prefer Melbourne.

  4. Such a sweet post. Visiting Sydney from NZ recently, it was the crowded sidewalks in town that blew me away - anytime of the day or night, just so many people! But definitely a beautiful city and everyone I know that lives there loves it.

  5. Ha! I so get it.
    And each time it's harder and more foreign.
    But very fun to see you pop up here again and to read about your trip.
    I'm happy you got to have some fun times.

  6. Ah yes. It is strange to head back to ol' Sydney town. I love to visit ... but I know in my heart that I would not be happy to live there... not unless I came into a totally unexpected fortune!

  7. Hi Cath,
    Give me country any time. What experiences you had
    on that visit to the city. Touching story about
    the little boy at the supermarket. Feel for his mum
    too, I would've been destroyed!!! We visit our city now
    and then, we get as far as the suburbs and want to turn
    around and go home!
    Cheers, Anita.

  8. HI Cath
    I grew up in the country but moved to Sydney for love 15 years ago...yes, Sydney is crazy busy but it depends on how you let it get to you - we live a pretty chilled life here on the northern beaches and dip our toes into crazy city life every now and then! mel x

    1. I agree! Depends where you are and how you live for sure!

  9. I too feel like a country hick in the city - I just can't get over all the shenanigans that go along with living in the city. The traffic. The public transport. The public transport ticketing systems (I'm thinking Melbourne here). The shops blaring music. The advertising billboards EVERYWHERE! Blurgh. All I can ever think of is getting back home and sitting on the verandah!

    As for the crazy expensive vintage stuff - I saw a large glass jar filled with old lightbulbs today, displayed as "art". It was, apparently, worth $299. Of course I raced straight home, found some old jars, some rusty nails, a dirty kitchen sponge, a few stones and some dirt and made my own...

    (Gorgeous blog, and great stories, by the way!)

    1. Thanks Lauren.

      We saw a machete you can get for $10 in the local hardware, yetthisone was rusty and just looked like it had been left outside in the rain for a bit. $85!!

  10. That is exactly how I feel when I go to the city. Wow no cash tickets on buses.... craaazy.
    Vivid looks pretty amazing. And I would love to go to Koskela and Kitchen By Mike.... Maybe one day :)
    One day I will go and play in Sydney again...


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