Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Learning Big-City Lessons on a Jaunt around Sydney; Alexia Purcell Experiencesthe Highs, and a Low, of a Visit to the Big Smoke

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Learning Big-City Lessons on a Jaunt around Sydney; Alexia Purcell Experiencesthe Highs, and a Low, of a Visit to the Big Smoke

Article excerpt

WHEN you take a naive, small- town girl to the big smoke, you can't expect the trip to go off without a hitch.

So when my husband, Matt Co a city old-hand from way back Co took me, this born-and-bred girl from Cooroy on the Sunshine Coast, to Sydney, he expected me to be overwhelmed, maybe even to get lost but not to publicly embarrass him and almost get us beaten up.

The incident occurred on the train.

We had squeezed into a seat on the top floor of a full carriage. Around us, commuters from all walks of life read books, listened to music, ate lunch, did paperwork, talked on the phone, reapplied makeup, painted nails.

I stared out the window watching Sydney pass by. Industrial buildings, leafy suburbs, busy suburbs, train stations.

Then the graffiti started: words 2m high in bright pinks and yellows, skilfully drawn illustrations, and thick black tags adorned every available surface. We passed an apartment block with the windows barred tight, then an industrial building with every window smashed.

I turned to Matt and said Co in no particular words and not particularly quietly Co that essentially we must be approaching a dodgy area. He threw me a glance that said: C[pounds sterling]Do you want to get us beaten up?C[yen]

I cast a nervous eye around my fellow train riders. Thankfully, no one was giving me a dirty look but that was my first big city lesson.

As it turned out, I was upstaged anyway by a young man in a suit, telling off an American traveller for texting Co not predictive but one letter at a time Co on his phone, with the volume up loud.

With the purpose of our trip out of the way, we headed back to the CBD so I could get a real taste of Sydney.

As soon as I saw Sass & Bide, Zimmerman and Louis Vuitton, I had seen all I needed to see.

But Matt insisted I have the full Sydney experience and that included seeing the city from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye (sydneytowereye.com.au).

Rising 250m above the Westfield Centre, the Sydney Tower Eye is the tallest building and offers 360 degrees of amazing views, from the harbour in the north to the Pacific Ocean in the east, Botany Bay in the south and the Blue Mountains in the west. …

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