I guess I see why this city always ranks so high on living a good life index. The weather is quite nice most of the time, the beach is just a simple bus ride away, people generally have high enough salaries to live a comfortable life here, the atmosphere is collected, slow but with an upbeat energetic tempo. People don’t worry much and they answer maybe more often than yes or no. They work to live and enjoy good food and wine. So what else is there?
To me Sydney completely lacks any sense of urgency. Urgency to create, or get better, be faster, achieve something, work on yourself, build something exceptional, strive for the impossible, compose music that pushes boundaries, redefine what it means to be human, demonstrate, go out and express some opinion, feel strongly about anything, urgency to be heard…
Last night, I was walking with friends through the city center after the fireworks. It was a thirty minute walk back home through the entire center of the city and thousands of people were on the streets. But everyone was walking in an orderly fashion, no bottles to be seen anywhere, no loud speakers with music, no one screaming, running, or behaving drunk. There were few policemen in the streets but they were hardly needed for anything other than directing traffic. It felt completely weird to me, this eerie, silent atmosphere.
People were simply content, walking home. And in that moment, I really did not want to be here.
It’s hard to formulate complex thoughts here because they are met with a one sentence acknowledgment. Probing questions almost always end with an answer hinting at a no worries attitude. Meeting people in bars has proved to be easy but somehow not satisfying. Sharing a moment or piece of art with someone else is like exchanging stickers. Finishing work early means not sticking around to do more. It’s a new world for me to get used to and still try to be the person I need to be.