Of course as Melburnians in Sydney, we need to argue about which city is better. I’m not particularly confrontational but I’ll take on a fight if I know I’ll win. Sydney is beautiful. But Melbourne is categorically better. We know it. And everyone from Sydney knows it too. They have the sunshine. We have everything else.
Still, it’s easy conversation to fall back on at a wedding reception. It’s something everyone has an opinion on. Like English people discussing the weather, state-rivalry is an Australian tradition.
The reception is in a pub courtyard. A huge frangipani tree stands in one corner with fairy lights wound all through its branches and everywhere white balloons hang with gold confetti inside. Along the back fence, huge silver balloons spell out the couple’s initials: A & C.
At 9pm, a bunch of cops with sniffer dogs raid the pub and a couple of people are arrested. No one from Sydney is surprised. We look at each other. Our eyes say This would never happen in Melbourne.
After the raid we talk to a guy from the Gold Coast. He has a son who lives in Melbourne but he’s never been there himself. He tells us how cheap the rent is on his three bedroom house that’s a hundred metres from the beach.
But we all agree Sydney is beautiful. F says he likes the view flying in, that the city looks incredible.
The man from the Gold Coast agrees. He says he likes looking at all the houses. So many houses. He says that there are all these people that live in these houses and they have these whole lives that he knows nothing about. He says he really likes that.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 23rd March 2019 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.