Or, I relate how I came to the City of Lost Souls
Catallaxy reports that, thanks to the efforts of John Thorpe, Sydney will not be getting a bar scene like Melbourne. Thorpe recently came to prominence in this Sydney Morning Herald article, reflecting sagely on the cultural differences between Sydney and Melbourne.
MELBOURNE - a land of skivvy-wearing, chardonnay-drinking book readers - is fundamentally different from Sydney in its drinking culture. So says the NSW president of the Australian Hotels Association, John Thorpe .... "Melbourne is Melbourne. Sydney has a different outlook," said Mr Thorpe ... "We aren't barbarians, but we don't want to sit in a hole and drink chardonnay and read a book." ... "People can sit down, talk about history, chew the fat and gaze into each others eyes and all this sort of baloney but it's pie in the sky stuff," he said. "That's not what Sydney wants." ... Sydneysiders - fit, outdoorsy types who enjoy the fresh air - are more likely to want alfresco drinking, dining and dancing, he says.... "There's a lot more entertainment than sitting there chatting. I think our culture is a little different than Melbourne because they haven't got this magnificent harbour and the Opera House. No wonder they want to sit in a hole in the wall," he said.
Fit, outdoorsy types in Sydney? I'll say. Before I made the move from NSW to Victoria, I was as athletic as they come: leaping tall breadsticks in a single bound! Vaulting steps and doormats with the ease of a Nubian in my journey to the couch! Why, the ease with which I could whip up a spaghetti bologneise was almost equal to that of the Australian Synchronised Swimming team!
Upon arriving in Melbourne, though, things changed rapidly: I became pale and wan and listless; a sad figure who was likely to go to pieces upon opening a book of poetry. (And not at the poems - the mere effort of working myself up to reading the title page was enough to destroy me.) I would dissolve into sudden, unexplained fits of hysterics when struck with the sight of a person wearing their hat indoors.
And instead of walking about the place with a manly stride or a lusty stroll or a vigorous jog, my movements all but disappeared: I took to mooning sadly about, to haunting venues sorrowfully. Now, I hardly move at all: rather, I have almost perfected a process by which I become ever more small and pale, until I dwindle away with a melancholy moan into the nether regions of space/time. It's how everyone moves here in Melbourne, when they don't take the tram.
Why, even my voice has changed! In Sydney and Newcastle, I would manfully occupy a street corner and trumpet cheery greetings to all and sundry. Now, my eloquent waxing and waning has done away with the waxing and is now just permanently waning. Pretty soon it will decline to an endless, peevish whine. (That's when I know I'll have permanently become a citizen of Melbourne.)
People of Sydney! Heed my warning! Don't become like me! (Er, unless you want natty little wine and coffee bars and an excellent cafe culture, that is.)
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