Who could ever say they’ve been living in Sydney for too long? It’s such a diverse, beautiful, exciting, and vibrant city that “forever” would not be long enough. But you’ll certainly notice when you’ve assimilated (read this blog post for tips) and have almost become a “Sydneysider” (you can never really be one, unless you’re born there). There are certain little signs and clues that suggest you’re shaking off the US and getting more into NSW and your international move to Australia has been successful.
1. You start finding it a lot easier to get around.
At least once you know where you’re going. And you don’t take the trains anymore. They don’t come often enough and when they do they’re late. They cost too much, there aren’t enough seats, the air conditioning is too cold and you can’t open the windows. Now you travel by car, bike or ferry.
2. You start appreciating the meaning of “traffic”.
Sydney is one of the most car dependent cities in the world and driving is a challenge. You’ve learned to drive EXACTLY at the speed limit, neither above it, nor below – travelling at even one or two kilometers faster or slower than is allowed is considered “un-Australian”…and you’re no longer freaked out by driving on the wrong side of the road with the steering wheel where the passenger would normally sit.
3. You know the best beaches in Sydney.
We’re not talking Bondi or Manly. These are so crowded (mainly with tourists) that you prefer to go to the lesser known, but often far more beautiful beaches along the coast and dotted around the bay. We’re talking about Little Manly and Collins on the harbor side, or Freshwater Bay, Curl Curl, Dee Why on the coast. You probably also like Coogee and many others for surfing or just lazing in the sun.
Image source: https://flic.kr/p/25oF2U
4. You now know that you will not save money; and you’re OK with that.
The cost of living in Sydney is high. You now think it’s perfectly reasonable that a house, or an apartment in the city’s eastern suburbs, will cost millions – that’s to rent, not buy (well, it feels like it). And you’ve accepted the fact that you might starve to death unless you pay a fortune on food.
5. You now get cravings for Vegemite.
You used to cringe at the thought of it, but you’ve acquired the taste and whenever you travel you take a small jar of Vegemite in your luggage, for fear you will not be able to find it anywhere else.
Image source: https://flic.kr/p/qE3LDU
6. You are super into AFL.
Australian Football League, a unique game and a favorite Australian pastime, generally regarded by players and spectators as the greatest game of all time. You love it by now and even have your favorite team – the Sydney Swans?
7. You are no longer impressed by the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge.
While they are iconic and representative of the city, they are pretty touristy, and you try to steer clear.
8. Creatures that could potentially kill you, like spiders and snakes, don’t freak you out anymore.
Cockroaches no longer make you scream – they are like cute, little bunnies in comparison to the other critters you’ve got around. You’ve accepted them all as part of the Sydney home ecology system. Spiders can be huge, but by now you can identify the funnel web’s lair or the redback’s bright slash of body color. Casually catching a huntsman spider or a gecko in the living room and gently releasing it outside will impress your US guests for sure.
9. You now pronounce the names of Sydney’s suburbs correctly.
You actually say “Darrrrrrrhhh-linggghurst” for Darlinghurst: and you can say Woolloomooloo without losing your teeth. Of course you’ve adopted the Aussie habit of either adding “o” to every word or shortening it to unintelligible degrees, like: Arvo, afternoon; Barbie, barbecue; Beaut beautiful, or excellent; Brekkie, breakfast; Cab Sav, Cabernet Sauvignon; Cossie, bathing costume; Kindy, kindergarten; Mozzie, mosquito; Preggo pregnant; Roo, kangaroo;; Servo, a gas/service station; Spag bol, Spaghetti Bolognese; Surfie, a surfer; Truckie, a truck driver; Uni, university; Ute, a utility vehicle, a small truck. And naturally your tone lifts up slightly at the end of each sentence.
Now that you’ve been in Sydney for a while, you probably consider that moving to Australia was the best thing you’ve done and you won’t want to leave this most beautiful of cities. So, good on yer mate, have a bonzer time and you’re on your way to becoming an ocker Aussie. Cheers!