Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A question came in via the Email Machine:

Hi Sean,

A Guy referenced you as a source on Oz / Melbourne. I can't find your blogging on either. Were you born there? Did you choose to retire elsewhere due to how cut off Oz is?

We are planning to immigrate if Victoria will have us. We chose Melb as It is has a European flavor, good climate and liberal cosmopolitan attitude as well as being one of the most livable cities. I appreciate your help. So I'm all ears...



My Reply:

Sydney versus Melbourne? I lived in both cities for many years. They are both terrific cities, for several different reasons.

Sydney's got the Harbour Bridge:

Yes it really DOES look like that at night.

Me? If I was fabulously rich, I'd live in Sydney. I'm not, so I would probably choose Melbourne, I like it's style. On the other hand, if I was fabulously rich, I could live in BOTH. As far as I'm concerned they BOTH have European flavor, good climate and as you say, a "liberal" cosmopolitan attitude - although be advised: Down Under, the Liberal Party is synomynous with the Conservative Party in Canada, or the < gasp! > Republican Party here in the Good Old U. S. of A. Sydney is like a big North American metropolis (a lot cleaner though) and Melbourne is somehow more civilized, sophisticated in it's own way.

Melbourne has a LOT going for it:

The Great Australian Pub Culture is celebrated to its highest form in Melbourne.

Chloe, seen at the Young and Jackson Hotel, Flinders Street, Melbourne.

Australian Rules Football is a product of Victoria.

The Mighty 'Pies.

Sydney on the other hand has the amazing harbour, and some of the greatest scenery in the world, especially the North shore.

Here is the link to my posts on Melbourne:


The follow-on story, about the bird infestation in the place I was born:


Funniest thing happened to me about the last six months I was in the Army; I was babysitting the fresh meat just coming out of jump school, coming into our program. This one new guy, he was Australian. I had to say something, so I asked him where he came from?

"Australia, Sergeant."

"Yeah, like no sh*t Sherlock, I meant what part?"

"Sydney, Sergeant?"

"No sh*t? What part?"

By about now he's looking me in the eye. "Uh, Bondi, Sergeant."

"NO SH*T???"

I had to reveal myself then - I used to live in Bondi, went to Bondi Elementary, learned how to surf & swim on Bondi Beach and damn near drowned in the process; I know that place like the back of my hand.

Bondi Beach

You see and do a lot in the course of a military career but that moment floored me. Turned out he'd done a hitch in the Australian Army, in their airborne battalion, then he came over to give Uncle Sam's Lean Mean Green Machine a go. Good on ya, kiddo.

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