Like Melbourne, Sydney Is Just Not for Me

I was so crazy stupid happy. I met a boy. A great, sweet, gorgeous, cool-ass guy.

I’ve spent three weekends together with him; this Saturday will be the fourth. But we’re not gonna make it to the fifth as I’m leaving Sydney for good.

You didn’t just misread that. Yes, I decided to move elsewhere after being here only for 6 weeks, way sooner than I planned. Why? Because things don’t go as expected. Just like Melbourne, living in Sydney doesn’t really work out for me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty as fuck. From my traveling perspective, Sydney is still my most favorite city in the world. And Melbourne is still a very chic city I’ll always want to go back. But it’s different when you have to make a life and a living there.

Last year in Melbourne I was lonely. And underpaid. Both my social & working life didn’t go well, plus all adaptation shit & cultural shock I had to deal with. I met countless new people on my first month in Australia. However, all of them had no intention to make new friends, especially because I’d gonna be in Australia for one year only. They preferred to stick with their old friends and ignore my existence. And my shitty Indian boss, he paid me below the minimum wage. It was also impossible to find a better job, hence I had no more reason to stay there although at the moment I was seeing a real good man.

Now in Sydney the same loneliness strikes again, even worse than in Melbourne. In Melbourne at least I could have some good conversations with the people, but not here in Sydney. Because the people don’t really speak English. I’m not shitting you, it’s serious.

I used to work at a café in the city for a week. Beside the small pay, I left that job also because it’s fucking hard to speak with my fellow waiters (they’re from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan), both professionally and personally. Even the girl from South Korea has been in Sydney for half a decade, she’s an Australian citizen now. When we gave instruction to each other, I had to struggle. And I work not only to earn cash, but also to make friends. But it’s impossible to make friends with people who don’t even know what you’re talking about.

I got hired by a hotel’s housekeeping team. At first I thought, “Hey they have 20+ room attendants, I bet at least half of them can speak English.” But no, I was wrong. They’re even worse than my coworkers at the café. They’re mostly from Thailand, China, France, Spain, and Chile. I actually don’t want to judge people by their English ability, but frankly it kills me. On our break or after work, I had zero conversation with them. Chance to make friends = zero.

I live with five other people in my flat. They’re very nice, but it’s also difficult to get myself close to them as three of them start working at 5 am in the morning (hence they must go to bed verryyy early), and the other two work night shift. So basically when I get home around 7 pm, I can only say “hi” to my friends who are going to bed soon, and “see you” to those who are off to work. They stay at home on Sundays, but I don’t.

So yeah, it gets lonely. The fascinating city turns to be boring as I can’t speak to anyone. I only have one friend, a high school mate, who’s been living in Sydney for 11 years. She works at a takeaway coffee shop in the University of Sydney. Sometimes I visit her if I have my afternoon off, but of course I can’t do it everyday. I can’t hangout with only one person until the next five months.

And speaking about the boy I mentioned in the beginning of this article, he’s not a Sydneysider. He lives in a small town two hours from Sydney, therefore I can only see him once a week when he’s not busy. That’s also not enough for me. But I had to think twice before hunting for another job in other cities, because a part of me doesn’t want to leave him.

Based on my experience, small towns are friendlier than big cities. It was so easy to make friends with people in small towns because: 1) they’re all Australians who speak English (although the accent is weird), and 2) they’re more open to new people coming to the town. I made good friends in Cowes (Phillip Island), Launceston (Tasmania), and even when I lived in a rural farming town in Queensland. Aannndddd… small towns pay better too. When I was in Queensland I earned twice than what I earn in Sydney right now, with less working hours!

Last weekend, the God of Luck played his magic wand on me. After sending my resume & alcohol serving certification and doing a phone interview, I got a new job! It’s a very well-paid job (in fact, the highest-paid job in my life!) as a kitchen hand & bar staff at a roadhouse*) in a small mining town in the north of Perth. Yup, I’m moving to Western Australia next week! The better news: they provide cheap accommodation & meals for the staffs. That means my chance to make friends with fellow staffs is higher (I have made sure, they speak English), and I can save up more money for my big plan after leaving Australia at the end of this year!

So now I reallyyy hope this new place will work just fine for me. I’m excited to embark on a new journey. Adiós, Sydney!

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Til I see you again, beautiful!

*) in case you’re not familiar with roadhouse, it’s like a rest area by the highway. Truck drivers and road travelers go there to refuel their car at the gas station, eat/drink at the restaurant/bar, or take a rest at the motel room.

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