Is it just a Sydney thing?

The other day Mr. Woog and I were walking through a park when our paths crossed with an elderly gentleman. You know the kind, got the long pants on with shiny shoes. He had a buttoned down shirt with a woollen tie. Over that he had a v-necked vest on and over THAT he had a tweed sports coat. He was quite tall and wore a tweed hat, like this one….

As we drew closer to each other, as I usually do I called out a chipper “Good morning!” and he looked at me and smiled BEFORE HE TIPPED HIS ADORABLE HAT TO ME AND SAID “TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU TOO!” Well gosh darn it, it just about made my day!

We kept on walking and I spoke to Mr. Woog about how it is the little things that make me happy. I also told him that when I walk Isobel every day (I call that my small white dog therapy.) I always say good morning, what a lovely day or good afternoon to people whose path I cross. And the reactions are very mixed.

They can range from giving me a pained, tight smile, respond with kindness and enthusiasm, but mainly they startle, look frightened as if I am about to mug them, and scurry away. But this just isn’t in my hood, I think it is Sydney wide! I get that some people might have had a terrible day and the thought of speaking to a deranged lady with a manly haircut dragging along a fluffy dog with really fucked up teeth, isn’t high on their agenda, but surely this is not applicable to everyone?

For example, when I travel to Queensland for either work or fun, as SOON as I get my bags and head to the taxi rank I know that I am in for a treat for I have never met a Queensland Cabbie that was not a complete delight! So laid back and knowledgable and happy and cheerful! Sydney cabbies (generally speaking) are rude assholes.

Mr Woog told me that sometimes when he goes mountain bike riding at a well established track in Sydney, someone might stack it and he is amazed when no one stops (when it is he who has stacked). Or if he does catch someones eye while riding (bike people are a special breed I think) to have a bit of bike chatting, it gets shut down real quick. And what is with the stony faces sitting in the perpetually shit traffic that under no circumstances will allow you to merge into their lane. Even when you are motioning a cheery LOOK AT ME AND LET ME IN AND I WILL REWARD YOU WITH  SMILE AND A GRATEFUL WAVE!

Not to mention you tend to tear up a fifty dollar bill every time you leave the house and you have to leave the house an hour early to deal with traffic and allow yourself twenty-five minutes to drive around cavernous, black car parks trying to find a spot and then shell out a mortgage payment for the privilege. And don’t get me started on the cost of parking at Balmoral! Did you know it is cheaper to park in the back streets of Mosman and catch an Uber to the beach? I shit you not.

So come on, people of Sydney! Let’s band together and be less assholey to each other! I am going to try harder.

I cannot think of an answer apart from having the City of Sydney infuse our drinking water with vitamin D. Or LSD. Or something…..

And it turns out she was a cranky Sydney Sider after all…..

Where do you live?

What is it like?



  • There are many reasons I live in a quiet beachside town. Such as nearly always having the beach to myself 🙂

  • In our little village people are generally friendly and it isn’t uncommon to see two cars stopped in the middle of the road with their drivers having a chat. It isn’t considered polite to toot your horn and rev them up. They tend to quickly finish their conversation and move along. I think the bigger the population the more insular and anxious people become.

  • Dinge

    I hate it that when you give way to traffic NO-ONE gives a little wave of thanks any more.

    • kjr

      I do! Especially to the persons who try not to let you in, but you get in anyway. For them I have an especially big wave.

    • Vicki

      I do and I taught my children to do so when they were learning to drive.

  • GoddessMel

    It’s a mixed bag here in Canberra. I too give a cheery ‘hello/good morning/good evening’ if I cross paths with other humans out on a walk (if I cross paths with dogs, well look out because there’s going to be much mutual love!!). Generally, I receive a positive reply. If I’m cycling on a path – which includes ‘footpaths’, which are in fact mixed use here and adults can ride their bikes on them too – it’s a combination of the passing cyclist nod, the polite side-step response to my bell so I can pass them without either of use running off the path, adults telling me to get off the path (returned with a cheerily passive-aggressive ‘have a nice day’ because they’re probably tourists and don’t know any better), or the shriek and jump of millennials with headphones wedged so far in their earholes they haven’t heard my frantic bell ringing and yelling of ‘excuse me!!!’ until I practically run them down. I tend not to ride on the road or the on-road cycleways because Canberra drivers think it’s some kind of sport to knock you off your treadly. I don’t get that at all, particularly when it’s people I know who also ride motorcycles and would do their ‘nana if a driver treated them the same way.

  • Well, we’re coming up nearly to a year since we moved from Sydney to Melbourne… I’m Sydney born and love it the way most of us love our hometowns, because they are home in a weird way that nowhere else is. I lived away from Sydney for a huge chunk of my life and until the move, had been back there for a bit over ten years. Going back as an adult, and carving out a life again there was difficult. It’s a beautiful place, and as I said, I do love it, and miss it in all sorts of ways since leaving again, but it’s a hard place. It’s hard, and fast, and people ARE hard to engage. Melbourne is gentler. People say hi in the streets when you walk, and are chatty in the shops. Nods and waves on the roads too. It’s not perfect, nowhere is, but overall, we’re both finding it a warmer (NOT the temperature…LOL!) and easier place to live.

  • michelle barrington

    When we moved to Melbourne we noticed that people were way chattier here and also when we holidayed in Tassie, god they will have a chat to everyone. We loved it. Sydney definitely isn’t as friendly as Melbourne, but they certainly are better drivers!

  • JP

    I’m a frequent walker in my suburban Brisbane ‘hood. About 95% of people I cross paths with will engage in some sort of interaction – some a conversation, others just a smile and quick ‘morning’.
    I notice a huge difference when travelling / walking elsewhere. And I’m sad to say I agree with you re Sydney. NYC was the worst though – I kept up the usual smiley routine but didn’t even get any eye contact in return.

  • Louise

    I live in a small country town on the far north coast. Whenever I take my small deranged dog for a walk I always say hello to whoever crosses our path. The dog on the other hand hates it when someone else walks their dog at the same time and lets everybody know her displeasure at this turn of events. So after the hello how are you it becomes a sorry she has little dog syndrome. If they are dogless the conversation turns to weather or whatever the local council has done to upset people this week. When we come back to the central coast to do the rellies run and walk said mutt no one says hello but occasionally I say hello and get the startled look back.

  • writeofthemiddle

    Sydney is beautiful but I’m sad to say it has some very rude people. My sister lived there for years and has just recently moved back to Brisbane (where I live). While she lived there I visited at least once a year. In Sydney, I have had people physically put their hands on me on the Ferry in order to move me out of the way so they can more quickly get to the ‘best’ seat. I’ve been told off on the bus because while I was standing for the trip with my handbag slung over my shoulder and my arms outstretched trying to reach the rings that are too high for my shortass self – my handbag inadvertently brushed close to this poor seated YOUNG man. I was told to shut up and was ranted at in the movies when all I’d done was whisper something very softly to my sister just once. That’s just a few examples. I’ve been to Melbourne many times and never experienced rude people – except once – a very rude taxi driver who threw a tantrum because our trip was not going to be long enough or profitable enough for him *sigh*. Good grief. I’m not sure what it is about Sydney – bit sad Sydney people – I think you could do better! Of course, Brisbane is not perfect, there are rude people everywhere, but generally we’re pretty friendly up here! 🙂

  • Judi

    My husband, god bless him, does the whole Mick Dundee thing and says “g’day” to everyone he passes on the street, and gets very mixed reactions. 😂 It’s a country thing and as the saying goes, you can take the man from the bush but you can’t take the bush from the man!
    Ps My dad wore a hat just like the one that you posted, and used to do the hat dip thing. Gosh I miss my dad 😘

  • Kim

    Always give something! Anything from firm eye contact & cheery hello to nod of acknowledgement. I’m in Melb & it’s always well received or given. As an aside I do have to be mindful of my chronic ‘resting bitch face’ which is very off putting for viewers. I can get caught off guard!!

  • deb xo

    I’ve always thought this about Sydney, I used to get in the elevator every morning with the same people and god help us if anyone had eye contact (I moved out of that building). I came here from Scotland where everyone is your friend, Sydney is a lonely city. I’ve learned to deal with it, but I’m always happy to share a good morning and a smile.

  • Moved to Queensland in 2004 and before that had travelled to Sydney city work by train every day. Qld is in dire need of better public transport but gosh it is so much friendlier x

  • sheribombblog

    I am a QLDer born and bred and the first time I ever visited Sydney I was expecting everyone to be rude and pushy and that I wasn’t going to like it. But on our first night there we were walking to a restaurant when a woman got off a bus and approached us, saying she thought there was a man following her and could she just walk with us for a bit please. Well of course! Turns out she was headed to the same restaurant as us and was meeting someone there for a date! While we were enjoying our dinner, a waiter appeared at our table with an (expensive) bottle of wine, compliments from the lass and her date! So lovely, we drank it all and met up with them once we had finished our dinners. Ended up getting TRASHED together in some dive bar. It was a great night!! But oh the hangover the next day (we missed getting to Taronga Zoo). It certainly improved my opinion of the people in Sydney. I’ve had some great times in Sydney, but I’m sure I couldn’t live there.

  • I’m in suburban Melbourne and pleasant exchanges with total strangers make my day, too! I like to give a little smile of acknowledgement when I pass someone out on a walk and I always respond to someone saying hi to me. I find people of advancing age to be the most friendly – lovely old bastards, they are.

  • Kyra

    I moved from Sydney to Brisbane in 2003 & was completely freaked out with how nice & friendly everyone was. I was initially very suspicious of shop assistants asking “how’s your day?”, but they actually meant it & were interested. Living in Sydney, I found it sad that people didn’t react to my cheery “GOOD MORNING!!”, or they thought I was slightly unhinged.

    I love Brisbane’s big country town feel – the community I live in is very close & everyone looks out for each other. It would be extremely rare not to get a hello or smile back anytime you walk past someone. It used to take me 30 minutes to do a grocery shop when we first moved here (& knew not a soul), now my husband complains that it takes me hours because I talk to loads of people.

  • I chitty chat to all and sundry; 90% of the time I am greeted with beaming smiles. But along the main drag of the Gold Coast there too are those too cool for school. The biggest problem I have found as an outsider is that people who grew up here have friends and don’t need new ones….in saying that I have come across a few beauties, but truth be told I discover are often Kiwis, they must sense the down-to-earth in me and be attracted to it. xxxx

    • Angela

      Funnily enough that is exactly my experience on the gold coast too. I seem to meet kiwis although I didst know any here when I moved here.

  • kerryac

    I live in WA and when walking in my small town or in an inner suburb of Perth we go to a lot, people tend to say G’day or Morning pretty regularly ( it’s like being in a Monty Python sketch.) But once you start doing the round the Swan River lap that is very busy, no one speaks – it’s too serious or busy or something. Love seeing the same people on our local laps.

  • Louise

    I live in Adelaide and we always get the rap for being the most discourteous drivers but it sounds like we might just be better than the Sydneysiders! A little smile and wave usually gets me into the traffic in the morning. People here are pretty friendly on the whole, especially around where I work. Never stop the friendlies Mrs W x

  • I live on the Goldie but work in a tiny country town where it is almost a crime not to say hello to people on the street.

  • Every day walking and entertaining Dog sees me out and about greeting people with ‘Morning, beautiful day huh?’ or ‘Evening’. Yesterday we met an older couple who clearly live way way down our street. We were all at the BIG dog park, not the one right next to our house, and I saw the lady go all ashen and afraid, cos Dog romped up to her and her fella and their little dog. She knew where we lived cos apparently every time she walks by my Dog goes into one and scares the shit of her and her dog. She was amazed that on the other side of the fence our girl is such a softy. We all had a pleasant chat as the sun dropped. Yeh I live at the Goldie.

  • Another reason I love Hobart. Although our cbd meter parking (8.30am-6pm) has gone up to $3.20/ hour, there’s going to be an outrage I’m sure! Centrepoint car park still have 3 hours free, for the time being…

  • Francine

    This is one of the biggest things I noticed when I moved to Newcastle. I moved from Parramatta. 5 years ago, our daughter was 2 1/2. She was a cheerful, chatty kid who smiled at everyone. In Parramatta, we were lucky if people gave her a quick smile. In Newcastle, not only did they smile, they stopped, they engaged, they chatted to her then chatted to me. They were friendly, they were helpful, they were interested. It was lovely.

  • I’m ex Sydney & now on the Sunshine Coast – and man, are they a friendly bunch!