Given the events of this week, it seemed a perfect choice to do a Throwback Thursday to Sydney. Sydney was my home for a while a few years ago, and a place I’ve once again visited in the past six months. In fact, as I sat here twelve months ago, the plan was to be living in Sydney right now. So the siege this week was something I saw with the detached sense of someone who wasn’t there, but could quite easily place myself at the scene mentally.
The ‘I’ll ride with you‘ hashtag, appearing so quickly and easily during the events, reminded me of why I love Australia (and Aussies) so much. While much of Europe takes its typical approach to these sorts of things – I’m thinking the approach that always seems to lead to war – and America certainly isn’t much better, Australia instead embraced the theory of mateship that it knows itself for. No one needed to feel unsafe because of the actions of a madman. We’re all in this together. Not send them back to their own country or they’re all coming over here and stealing our jobs/benefits. It is a different culture. A different world. One which is far away, but always in my heart.
This is how it looked when I first saw it and digital cameras were very much in their infancy. There is something about being in Sydney that is so unique – there is no way you can confuse it with any other part of the world:
Sydney is my favourite city in the world. I’m not a huge fan of cities. I never dreamed as a kid of wrapping up all my possessions in a knapsack and leaving home to find my fortune with the big lights. But Sydney gets so many things right it’s hard not to fall in love with it a little bit more every time.
Of course, the fallout from one madman’s events will continue to land for a while to come. I just hope that the people of Sydney are able to continue with their first response of compassion and understanding as the grief rolls through.
It’s no understatement that my time in Sydney went a long way towards shaping who I wanted to be and what I wanted from my life, in terms of quality, writing, experiences and relationships. And this summer, when I walked back to Manly Wharf, it was a place that still felt like home…