It’s a little off the topic, but getting a coffee this morning I passed a couple who live in the next street. I know they live in the next street because I’ve seen them around, and I’m a stickybeak – it comes with being a journo. They were at their front gate after taking their dog for a walk. I smiled at them, being neighbourly, and they looked at me then looked away. Now, I don’t live in a cold, high-rise suburb. I live in the inner west, in a suburb previously known for its freaks, but now filled with prams. And yes, I do know the names of my immediate neighbours, but not that of the scary woman two doors down who glares at everyone, especially me after a late night hula hooping incident.
Anyway, a few weeks ago a Brazilian friend (as in someone from Brazil, not someone I wax with, that would be weird) was talking about how hard it is to make friends in Sydney. Another friend, from Melbourne, agreed, saying that even alcohol doesn’t help because if you start talking to someone in a pub they think you’re trying to pick them up. Or steal their wallet. I’ve spent a bit of time in fabulous Melbourne because Man Friend’s sister lives there and it is easier to start up a conversation with people you don’t know. I was there for a conference in March and even in the city, people smiled when you made eye contact. When’s the last time that happened in the Sydney CBD?