Sydney, I'm just not that into you.

Melbourne vs Sydney

It’s the debate that’s divided, well, Sydneysiders and Melburnians since Sydney’s first settlers sent letters to Melbourne to brag about the sunshine.

Sydney has beaches. Melbourne has laneways. Sydney has ferries. But Melbourne has trams. Melbourne has Top Shop, but Sydney’s blessed with an airport train and free wi-fi in the domestic terminal.

It’s a tough one.

Wendy Squires knows all too well about the pros and cons of both cities. She’s lived in Sydney all her life, but moved to Melbourne a year ago. She writes about the move – and the city that’s stolen her heart – in this article for The Age.

Wendy Squires

DEAR Sydney,

This is possibly the hardest thing I have ever had to write but after a few years of trying, it’s time. You see, I can’t go on as we were.

You have to know that things between us haven’t been good for a while. Well, maybe you don’t, because let’s face it, we haven’t been communicating lately. I feel that as close as we once were, it’s like we’re strangers. I don’t know you any more and in a way, I feel like you don’t want to know me.

She goes on to write about the good times they shared together. She was smitten by the the Olympics in 2000, but in the decade or so since, things have changed. The spark disappeared. The chemistry just wasn’t there. Sydney, she writes, “you became ageist”.

More from Wendy:

Let’s take our social life for a start. We go out and it’s the pretty young things you seem to be interested in. And they are everywhere. Model types, hip wannabes, hangers-on – where did all our real friends go? I’m so tired of that flash of eye over my shoulder to see if anyone more interesting or, even better, famous, is around.

You love your celebrities, don’t you? But we all can’t be one, you know. And some, like me, have no interest in ever being in the social pages or hugging a flute at some pseudo social event or got to-be-seen-at trendy new restaurant.

Wendy, I hear ya. I moved to Sydney a few months ago. When one of my work colleagues today implied that I had broken up with Melbourne to do so, I corrected her. We’re in a long distance relationship.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Sydney. It’s beyond charming. But it’s like dating a musician and then a supermodel. Both have their perks. But they’re different.

Anyway, back to Wendy and her breakup. It’s the drug problem, she says, that’s the ultimate deal breaker.

Do you know how long I have had to wait outside packed toilet cubicles when out? Hours. Then out stumbles a ping-eyed mob of poseurs all pinching their noses. Does anyone ever actually use toilets for their proper purpose these days? I can’t see how they can.

There was the dinner party that left her lying in bed feeling lonely, disconnected. The tone of the party changed when word spread that the dealer had been called.

“I longed for people I can relate to, adults who have actually grown up,”  she writes. She goes on:

I know what you are thinking right now. Damn, you are vain. But OK, since you ask, yes, there is another. It’s early days yet but so far I am happy. I feel included, valued and relevant again. I don’t know if it’s love yet but, well, it just might be heading that way. No, my new romance may not be as attractive as you, but it has depth. And I need that.


You can read Wendy’s the full article here.

Do you have any thoughts on the characteristics of Melbourne or Sydney? What about the town or city you grew up in? How do you feel about it?