One of the rules of Sydney is that you are only supposed to speak about your part of it, so here goes: I grew up in the west, have lived in the inner city and the inner west, studied in the north, went to school in the outer southwest, worked in the Sutherland shire, which is where half of my family live, and have spent enough time in the east to thoroughly lose the chip on my shoulder about it.

All these places were and are inhabited by drongos, derros, bible-bashers, wowsers, wankers, ockers, snobs, molls, junkies, airheads, revheads, dickheads, bogans, dags, ratbags and bludgers from every imaginable part of the world. (Yes, even the Shire.)

In my lifetime, the city’s material environment has been homogenised by franchises and rising standards of living – when I was a kid, most of the roads in Granville didn’t have kerb and guttering, and the flashest car you were likely to see was a Holden Statesman – and its population has become ever more diverse. (Yes, even in the fucking Shire.)

All this is by way of illustrating why it is that when people talk about ‘western suburbs’ or ‘the Shire’ or whatever, as if that means a single homogeneous chunk to be used as an element in political debates, I think they sound like idiots,* or, even worse, pollsters.

*When I was young I used to generalise about Sydney areas all the time and my Mum used to try to correct me. She was right.

One response to “Sydney

  1. I lived in Glenbrook 1956-1960, Penrith and Emu Plains 1964-69 & 71-72; Burraneer Pt 1969-70, and spent many, many weeks at a time over many years in Blakehurst and Bexley, as recently as 2009, with my Mum’s family.
    Your Mum was right!

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