This is going to be a rant, but I’ll try and make it funny and I’ll include the word ‘asshat’. Bear with me.
I’m from Adelaide. I’ve lived in Melbourne for seven years – not because I don’t want to live in Adelaide, but because I wanted to challenge myself by moving away – and I find myself having to defend my city’s honour on a daily basis. That much, I can deal with (since I took up kickboxing). But then, this happened.
A douchebag who shall remain nameless (alright, his name is Anthony Sharwood) recently wrote a sarcastic article* about Adelaide’s recent accolade as one of Lonely Planet’s Top Cities in the World. I read his article a couple of weeks ago, and I put my anger on simmer. And then today I stumbled across a photo I’d forgotten about that I took earlier this year of a man on a tram in Melbourne wearing an Anti-SA t-shirt. And my blood went from simmer to boil. But you know what I realised about these two dickwads who couldn’t tell their ass from their elbow? You know what I would say to these wankers if ever I felt like starting a conversation with two men who, put together, have less personality than a box of hair?
Adelaide doesn’t need your approval. If you don’t want to live here... bugger off. Shut up about it. We are doing fine without you.
|You know what, dirty tram-man? You are wearing a leopard print hat, three old Sexpo wrist tags and a Hustler bag.|
Adelaide didn't want you anyway.
Sharwood referred to Adelaide, among other things, as ‘dysfunctional’ (as well as calling us ‘bitchy’. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw catty articles across the internet, ASSHAT). Our city is fucking brilliant. Everything is easy to find because good ol’ Colonel William Light planned it properly, on a grid. We have a beautiful, syringe-less beach only a tram ride away. Our CBD is surrounded by parklands that harbour far less sexual activity than yours by a buttload (pun intended). Yes, Elizabeth may be our ghetto suburb, but you can bet your ass we’d fiercely protect it against the slumlords that might travel over from Sydney’s bogan areas. At least our ghetto doesn’t cause riots that make the WORLD FUCKING NEWS (way to make Australia look good, Redfern. I mean, Maroubra. Cronulla? Shit, I don’t remember, there’s been too bloody many of them).
And as for referring to the Fringe festival as “an excuse to get really drunk in the park while watching B-Grade acts because no decent act ever makes it to Adelaide”. Come a little closer and say that. Our Fringe is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, second only in the world to Edinburgh, with over 4000 performers and 1.5 million audience members. Yours is three years old and the biggest in New South Wales between Woy Woy and Wollongong. Accept defeat and don’t be a bitch, Sharwood. Your city is also notoriously bad at nurturing the Arts and new acts. You may have NIDA and the Sydney Theatre Company, but when it comes to the Arts, we are more supportive than a DD-cup push-up bra. You also used a forty-year-old photograph to criticise our fashion sense, and made fun of a lagoon ecosystem. Were you running out of ideas, much?
I frigging loved growing up in Adelaide. I love that the three most magical places of my youth had magical names – The Lost Forest, Dazzleland, and Magic Mountain. What’s even more magical is that they no longer exist, except perfectly in my memory. I love that getting stuck in peak hour traffic means only having to slow down to 30kph for twenty minutes of the day. I love that you have a good chance of bumping into people you went to school with, most likely out at a pub that has been around for years but a recent revamp has made it become cool again. I love that there are a million great restaurants and bars, and that you people from interstate seem to have no idea where to find them (what are you, idiots? Ask locals, get on Google - the good places in any city are easy to find if you have half a brain). I love that I have no knowledge of wine, but I feel safe that it will be good enough when I read ‘made in SA’ on the label. I love that we speak with a slight English accent. I love that, on my 21st birthday, I got to dance with a local celebrity – Johnny Haysman**. I love that we reportedly live longer than Melbournites and Sydney-Siders (maybe from being kinder humans, dicknose). I love that we have special terms like ‘heaps good’ and ‘fritz’ and ‘yiros’, like our own little language. I love that I once saw some door graffiti that said "Look at yourself. Go on, look. You are beautiful." (And a week later in Sydney saw door graffiti that said "You are a c*nt-fucker"...). I love that Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee outsells Coca-cola by almost three-to-one, the only city in the world where a milk drink is more popular than Coke. I love Adelaide.
I casually snapped this myself (and then instagrammed it in a never ending attempt to be cool), of one of my many favourite Adelaide spots.
And you know what the absolute best thing about Adelaide is? We laugh at ourselves. We admit we aren’t perfect. We admit we have a stupid expressway, and a few shark attacks. We admit we own the heritage of Snowtown as proudly as you admit you own that of Ivan Milat (a.k.a. not proudly at all). But at least we have never required a season of Underbelly. We don’t feel the need to be arrogant about which is the best city or put others down (unless they piss us off with stupid sarcastic articles). We are also happy to openly love other cities. I love Melbourne. Despite my rant, I actually love Sydney (so thanks a lot for forcing me to play dirty and say mean things, Sharwood). And maybe it’s that lack of arrogance and bitchiness that keeps getting us voted as one of the BEST AND MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN THE WORLD. And we are more thick-skinned than any of the other cities because we get so much crap from Melbourne and Sydney (except probably Hobart, those two-headed Tassy freaks get a lot of flak). Adelaide is the harmless little kid at school who got picked on by the self-important bullies. She stayed quiet and kept true to herself, and slowly started to get recognised for being beautiful and kind. Unlike the coke-snorting, king-hitting, street-walking bullies, who will wake up one day and realise they have no friends left, no money for rent, and a bad reputation for being a bitch.
I once heard that Adelaide and Los Angeles are the only two cities with lights that twinkle from outer space – something to do with the shape of the hills that surround the city, trapping in twinklifying gasses. Whether the outer space thing is true, I don’t know – I’ll get back to you once I’ve been up there. But I know that I can see them twinkling and blinking from the hill behind my parent’s house. Like the million good things we have to offer, our twinkly lights are only appreciated by those who have the perceptiveness to notice them. So, Anthony Shart-wood and dirty tram-man, come on back to Adelaide. Let me show you around properly (and I promise not to push you in the Torrens... more than once). And if you end up hating it, that’s fine. Thanks for giving it a real go, and have a safe onward journey. Adelaide will be okay without you. In fact, it will be more than okay. Adelaide will still be awesome, quietly rocking out behind your back as you drive away, its’ lights twinkling in your rear-view mirror.
*If you want to read that article, I hope you read it with a sneer on your face and a snarl in your throat. Feel free to leave him a rude comment, or pee in his fuel tank. http://www.news.com.au/national/in-honour-of-adelaide-being-named-one-of-the-worlds-top-10-cities-here-is-why-you-have-to-visit/story-fncynjr2-1226748955491
**For those readers who are not familiar with Johnny Haysman, he is a local who can often be found wandering around Rundle Mall in gumboots, briefs, and a fluoro vest. Like New York’s Naked Cowboy, but with crazier hair and an incredible outlook on life. We danced to a Spice Girls song at Flashdance HQ, and I was giddy with happiness.
By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's in Melbourne... ironically.