G’day from Sunny Perth! Not that it’s sunny today, it’s actually raining. But just go with me for a minute because every other day has been sunny – I swear. As you may know, my handsome boyfriend lives in Perth and we’ve been doing the long distance thing. We got a bit sick of that so I have made the shift over to the West Coast to suss things out. I’ve been in town three weeks now and have noticed a couple of things…
1. I’m no longer from Sydney, I’m from the East Coast. I’ve never thought of myself as an “eastie” before, but now I do. Everybody over this side lumps everyone over there together. And having a good 3000kms perspective I can sort of see why… sort of.
2. People here are so friendly it actually shocks me. It doesn’t matter where – ordering a sandwich, at the bike shop, in the office – people go out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. Maybe living in the big smoke made me hard, but it continues to surprise me how nice everyone is. Back on the mean streets of Surry Hills (which I still love – shoutoutz Surry Hills!) generally if a stranger talked to you they would be asking for money, drunk, or both. So I was genuinely surprised here when a train station attendant asked me if I needed help as I stared confusedly at the train departure screen (now I know that Platform 4 is in fact the front half of platform 5 – thanks train guy! Still yet to discover platforms 1,2 and 3 though.). There are exceptions of course – I’m looking at you grumpy bus driver lady, you were no help at all (probably from the East Coast).
3.They weren’t lying about the sharks. They’re bloody HUGE!
4. Grocery shopping is different in a couple. I’ve never had to buy groceries for anyone other than myself, so hitting the aisles as a couple was (and still is) unfamiliar territory. In the vegetable area I bagged some beans as I usually would, hand-picking about 20 of the brightest perfect looking beans. Placing them into the trolley and proudly telling the big man my achievement I noticed him stifle a laugh. Looking down I saw he’d already grabbed what looked like enough beans to feed a small-medium sized football team… it’s a learning process. Week two’s shop saw me leave the beans to him. However, when I was stacking the groceries on the conveyor belt I found the single onion I’d selected floating around next to the 1.5 kg bag he’d loaded into the trolley. The learning process continues.
5. People are relaxed about most things. Except traffic… everybody hates the traffic. Having said that, the Transport Minister is pretty relaxed about the state of the cities traffic – urging locals to get ‘used to it’.
6. I’ll never get used to the sunsets. Each one is different and uniquely beautiful. And now I can see them from my living room as they set over the ocean. I know it’s not a competition, but sorry East Coast, West Coast has the best sunsets of all time.
7. Public transport etiquette in Perth is off the charts. This town knows how to be polite on a shared mode of travel! On every train carriage there are a number (maybe 8?) of ‘Priority Seats’ labelled like this:
They are nearly always empty – even when the train is packed and there are heaps of people standing. And if they’re taken and someone who needs it more boards the train there is almost a mad scramble for people to offer their seats. On buses I’ve also witnessed much friendly chat with the bus driver and everyone says hello and thank you. On ya Perth – you win this round!
9. The tap water. What is going on there? Does it taste this bad for everyone or is something going on in our pipes?
10. There is a fair bit of nudity going on… I wrote about that here.