If Sydney and Newcastle were people, they’d hate each other, By Ed Vassie / by Ed Vassie

If Sydney and Newcastle were people, they’d hate each other.

Image by @gusengler_photography via Instagram

Image by @gusengler_photography via Instagram

By Ed Vassie

I’m a Newcastle ex-pat, currently living and working in Sydney. I’ve lived in Sydney for close to ten years now and I’ve come to a realisation - I’m chronically homesick.

I don’t regret my decision to move to Sydney at all. I’ve gained a sense of independence and identity that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I stayed in Newcastle, surrounded by my loving and ever-present family. I’ve also, against all odds, been fortunate enough to invest in a broom closet that real estate agents assure me is a one bedroom apartment, without mortgaging my entire future.

But, I’m drained and I miss home. So much so that I’ve found myself regressing into a sense nostalgia that involves me buying retro NRL jerseys and listening to the footy on ABC Grandstand, because it reminds me of hanging out in the backyard on Sundays while Dad worked in the shed.

When I tell Sydney-siders of my plan to move back to Newcastle, they ask me (with expressions of abject horror plastered across their faces) why would I give up on Sydney. I typically respond by beating around the bush as I haven’t been able to put the “why” into words. Until now.

If Sydney and Newcastle were people, they’d hate each other.

And a disclaimer/warning for readers to consider: I am aware that the following analogy cannot be universally applied to all aspects of life in Sydney and Newcastle. Any readers offended by it should probably shut down all of their senses from receiving any form of external information, because there’s no way their delicate mind will be able to handle anything the future has planned for us.

If Sydney and Newcastle were real estate agents, Sydney would tell you that the price guide was “Contact Agent”, whereas Newcastle would actually list a price.

If Sydney and Newcastle were charity spruikers in the street (there’s a- whole-nother rant ‘bout these folk), Sydney would pull your headphones out and start yelling at you, whereas Newcastle would leave you the hell alone.

If Sydney and Newcastle were a guy going on a first date, Sydney would order for their date, ask to sample each red wine before making a selection and be wearing a cravat, whereas Newcastle would simply not be a wanker.

If Sydney and Newcastle were best man at a wedding, Sydney would reminisce about getting tanked with the groom and throwing-up somewhere “hilarious”, whereas Newcastle would thank the bridesmaids and comment on how beautiful everyone looked.

I’m not saying that Newcastle is without its flaws. Anyone who’s heard my views on the Bold & the Beautiful story arc that is the changing infrastructure of the inner city can attest to that. What I am saying is that Newcastle isn’t Sydney and it should be proud of that.

I hope that in the next 20 years Newcastle’s skyline doesn’t start to resemble the diet version of Sydney and that the people of Newcastle don’t resort to violence the next time Aldi has a sale on ski clothing. I’m optimistic for what the future has in store for Newcastle, but also very cautious.