Posted by: Nick Ward | 13 April, 2013

So Now We Are Three

Today marks three years since I moved to Sydney. Wow.

The city has grown on me, it’s true.

I have more friends. There’s still not a lot of “let’s hang out, order pizza and watch a DVD” with most of them, but I’d be comfortable inviting them to my kid’s first birthday. And I’m confident most of them would come.

I’ve found some real soulmates, people who I can talk politics, travel and swimming with (although usually not in that order), and those that haven’t nicked off to countries far away play a significant part in my life. Often much more significant than I think they realise.

What I find interesting is that, as I’ve made friends, it hasn’t seen me drift away from my dear friends in Melbourne. Or for that matter, my dear friends in Brisbane, a city I haven’t lived in for over a dozen years. Sydney friends have merely become another flavour added to make the whole that much more delicious.

Meanwhile, Sydney keeps showing itself to be even more beautiful every single day. Well, I should say, the beautiful bits do. The ugly bits still stay pretty damned ugly. But let’s not get caught up in them.

Today we had our last lifesaving patrol for the season, and Tamarama was breathtakingly beautiful. The sky was blue, the breeze was warm, the water was clear and fresh, and the waves, well, I can only describe them as elegently crafted, perfect in every detail. I took a deep breath more than once today and wondered at how you can get such a beautiful beach a mere 10km bus trip from the centre of a city of four million people.

On the way home, the harbour glistened in the distance as we headed along Sydney Einfeld Drive much as it has done so many days on my way back from the beach, calm waters dotted with yachts, the Sydney Harbour Bridge completing the vista. Just stunning.

Life here has colour and vibrance. The Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras this year was probably more fun than it has been for years. Make no mistake, watching the footage of the parade I realised it certainly wasn’t the slickest marching group I’ve been in, it’s true, but gee I had great fun. Meanwhile, I’ve started discovering some really edgy bars and a few outstanding restaurants. Occasionally, the city even puts on some great events. Sculptures by the Sea, Vivid Sydney, Jurassic Lounge, all not to be missed.

Look, this city infuriates me all the time, it’s true. The state of its public transport, its arrogance and reluctance to listen and learn, the infantile behaviour of its politicians who would rip up a rainbow-coloured tourist attraction purely out of spite, it makes my blood boil. But you know, Sydney people can change these things, and being the optimist I am, I like to think they will change these things, given the encouragement and belief they can make a difference.

I’m a Melbournian, and always will be, but I’m happy to be living, for now, in Sydney. It may not be forever, but I know I could never leave it forever either.

I have known since I was a teenager that I would, one day, spend some time living in Sydney, and I was right. A job ended up, finally, bringing me to this city in 2010, and it has turned out to be a brilliant job in an outstanding company, one that makes me excited to go to work every day. Over time, other things came into my life in Sydney so that my job wasn’t the only good thing about Sydney. I came in with open eyes and an open mind, and I was rewarded.

So, I’m now entering my fourth year in Sydney. It’s going to be an interesting one, I feel sure. It will be one with many changes I suspect, and I suspect they will be good. But we will have to wait and see. The future can be like that.

Well, time to hit the sack. Got an early flight to Melbourne. Day 2 of the next year, and I’m already moving between my two cities. Kind of fitting, I’d reckon.

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