Tell a Sydney native you’re going to Melbourne and he’ll tell you Sydney is much better with its Opera House and lovely harbor. Tell a Melbournian you want to go to Sydney and he’ll scoff and remind you Melbourne was voted the most livable city and is the fashion, arts, cultural, and sporting capital of Australia.
There’s a rivalry between the cities that led to Canberra being established as the capital instead of either Sydney or Melbourne. I want to visit Sydney. Theo, a Melbourne native, has been there and was not impressed. He has no desire to visit Sydney again and every time Sydney is in the news for something bad, which has been quite a bit lately, he half-jokingly checks it off as another reason not to go there.
The Sydney Shootings
Sydney has been plagued by a series of shootings lately in an ongoing war between “bikies”. That’s right, biker gangs. Like in the movies. In the U.S., gang violence is largely associated with black Americans. It has to do with the legacy of slavery, racism, inner-city poverty, and so forth. Hispanics also account for a large number of gang members. Australia doesn’t have a legacy of slavery and, although racism exists here, race relations are different. In Australia, drug dealing, trafficking, and extortion are associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Apparently it rains a lot in Sydney. So much in fact, the city has experienced flooding. There’s been traffic chaos, hundreds of homes without power, and rescue missions.
The Sydney funnel-web spider is found in – you guessed it – Sydney. This large spider has a highly toxic venom that it gets to deliver fully because they maintain a tight grip and bite repeatedly. There haven’t been any recorded fatalities since the anti-venom was developed in 1981, but that doesn’t really make me feel better. These spiders make their homes in burrows, but when it rains, and it rains a lot in Sydney lately, their burrows are flooded and spider activity is increased.
With less than two weeks to go now before my vacation comes to a close, we won’t be visiting Sydney, not this time anyway, but I still want to go despite bikies, floods, and killer spiders. I want to see the Opera House, take a Harbour cruise, hike in the Blue Mountains, and go whale watching. Next time, Sydney.