Scrolling through social media, I ask myself, why do I react so negatively to the pictures of Sydney rooftops and everyone enjoying their beverages in their well-dressed, well-heeled splendour?
Why do I get so many ads for wineries, drinking, alcohol and bars? I rarely got these in my tiny European city. That’s not to say that I didn’t go. I follow my favourite bars and coffee joints on social media but rarely did I see any ads for wine subscription boxes, drinking events and alcohol in general. It’s like the only thing we do in Sydney is drink.
As I scroll through and see those and try to compare my experiences abroad, I realise it’s the lack of authenticity in all these ads. These contrived scenes of people ‘enjoying’ themselves just screams fake to me. And that is what I hated the most here: pretentiousness, fake and shallowness.
To borrow from Mean Girls again, Sydney is Regina George and she just complimented me on my gorgeous skirt. Fake fake and fake.
At least in my tiny European country, they were genuine in their compliments and if they weren’t, they simply didn’t give them. They were ruled by societal norms and wouldn’t step outside of them but at least they were nice. They didn’t put on airs, they didn’t show up to bars dressed inappropriately for the event and climate just so that they could look fabulous. You know what I’m talking about. Its almost 5 degrees out and these women will come dressed up in their short and tight cocktail dresses, lengthy heels and immaculately done up hair and make up – completely ignoring the fact that a) its fucking cold b) everyone has to ride a bike everywhere c) cobblestones.
There was only ever one bar in town that was like that and I avoided it like the plague. Each to their own, it’s OK but it’s overwhelming here and it’s not something that I can ‘avoid’ anymore.
Things weren’t perfect in my tiny little European city but I had come to grow fond of the brown cafes as old as time itself that had poorly retrofitted toilets that’d back up once a month. Yes, it smelt like stale beer but the floors were never sticky. There is a feeling of cosiness at these ‘cafes’ that made them inviting even when they looked shit or were half falling down (exposed walls over there is not a design statement, it’s a reality).
I’d be hard pressed to find a bar in Sydney like that. In fact, a lot of people would not be caught dead in a bar like that. You might find these at the local pub but the types of people who go are most definitely part of a vehicular club one way or another.
Where are all the normal places to grab a drink with some friends without being surrounded by poker machines, overpriced beers and bar tenders with attitude and bad service?
Fact of the matter is, I don’t even drink that much anymore. I just want to be able to hang out with my friends in a warm and inviting environment where I don’t have to feel uncomfortable if I’m not always 100% on. I want to put down the mask at least one day a week please.