It was our first real day in Sydney and after much debate we decided to hit the famous Manly Beach to see what the city has to offer in terms of a beach front.
Manly beach is the equivalent to Cape Town’s Clifton shores. The beach is lined with Million Dollar Houses that make the most of its pristine clear waters and high cliff’s.
Along the edge of the surf, there is a perfectly manicured walk way. Ideal for those who like a scenic run in the morning or a bike ride in the late afternoon.
The Aussies have made extreme efforts to keep their beaches and city’s clean. And with Manly this is not an exception. Unlike SA an extensive recycling programme is efficiently run, and it is a rare case to see a cigarette butt lying around let alone overflowing trash cans and plastic packets to line the sea water’s edge. It kind of hits you in the face that our beaches at home, although just as beautiful, can be so incredibly tarnished with rubbish. I can’t begin to imagine the impact this is having on SA wildlife.
In addition, there is also the benefit of there being a warm sea to swim in too let me add so much more appealing than Clifton’s “too cool” temperatures.
There are however some things that just don’t compare with our African homeland. The first and most obvious of these is the fact that prices in Aus are outrageous. There is nothing that is decently priced. One should expect to pay around four times the price for drinks , R70 -more, as well as almost R300 for the average meal. This is not the location for a budget vacation. The roos will suck your wallet dry on everything they can including charging R20 to rent a shopping trolley.
We are struggling to find the strength to resist such evil temptation and often a shout or deep shocked breathe will result once a simple Rand to Aus dollar conversion has been made. Alas some members of my crew seem able to overcome this powerful resistance and are drawn like moths to a flame to each and every dress store sale present. (I shall not mention her name but you know her quite well.)
So far I have managed to pull myself out of having to share the…experience.
I can see why people want to come live here. They mood is generally jovial and one can expect the nightlife to start buzzing from about 10am (yes I mean that Aussies start drinking early). In the peak of summer the sun sets at around 8pm. There is a fantastic array of city lights and small cafes spring up like coral reefs under the skyscrapers during the day.
Yet I still feel incredibly out of place here. Here. There is nothing like the open friendly interest as with my journeys through Spain, but rather it’s like talking to a succubus politely chatting to its food while it’s in the cooking pot. There is just something that is too artificial about Sydney. Everything is too perfect. Everything is too clean. Under the surface there is nothing that would draw me back here. There is no raw South African flavour. Everything is under tight management and its reflected in a culture that has gotten used to being told to beware of strong currents ( Manly beach was closed due to strong currents that day, there was even a loud speaker that would shout at people on the beach to get out of the water) or follow the pathways.
Where is the adventure I ask? Where can I go to find a place that has been unexplored that doesn’t have over the top security signage? My arty spirit feels like wanting to challenge the rules and regulations of Sydney’s lifestyle rather than become a part of it.
I guess in the end its better being South African in Aus. It’s much more fun seeing this outside lifestyle than trying to be part of it.
Thanks for all the news! Keep us up to date.Looking forward to the T.V.!