Yesterday was a really hot day; the kind of day where you sweat buckets just thinking about walking down the street. It was hot, and humid. So - how many Sydneysiders did I see dressed in ankle boots, black jeans and long sleeve tops? Too many to count. Yes, technically it's autumn but it was super light sundress weather, not jeans and boots weather. And this is not an uncommon occurrence. Unless it's a blue sky beach kind of day, Sydney just doesn't seem to bother with the whole weather thing.
But Melbourne, Melbourne takes its weather seriously. Being a Melbourne girl the almost-first thing I check when I wake up in the morning is the weather forecast. (I say almost first - it goes email, Facebook, Instagram and then the weather.) I don't just use the standard iPhone weather app; I have one I paid good money for (okay, a tiny amount of money for). It not only tells me what the temperature is going to be, but what it will feel like too, because it cares about those things. And every morning I check the app and dress appropriately.
The one thing that suggests I've been a teensy bit Sydneyfied? I've just got the one weather app on my phone. In my experience most Melbournites have at least two, one of which has to show the BOM radar. Yep, Melbourne takes its weather seriously.
Being a Melbourne girl I also often turn to the weather as a conversation kickstarter whenever I find myself in an awkward social situation. In Melbourne this will usually generate heated debate and / or generalised concern about what the next week will bring. Melbournites will discuss emergency plans for upcoming outdoor events; they'll debate how hot the summer will be, how cold winter might be. Brows will knit and phones will be consulted.
In Sydney, I get blank looks. Worse, I get ignorance. "Really? It's going to be hot today?" they say. Yep, I reply, but there's a cool change coming later; there'll be rain. "Oh...really?" they say with a look of vague disinterest.
The only time this topic of conversation works is right now, in early March, when pretty much everyone in Sydney is over the sticky heat and is willing autumn to arrive. At this time of year, they relish the chance to talk about the weather, but outside of that it's just not something that
obsesses interests people in Sydney as much as it does people in Melbourne. Maybe you just get complacent when you live in a temperate climate where the difference between summer and winter is only ten degrees? Maybe it really doesn't matter so much if you wear ankle boots on a hot humid day?
But I'll be sticking with my Melbourne ways, I'll continue to check the forecast every morning before I choose the day's outfit. To be honest it drives me completely nuts that Sydneysiders don't seem to think or care to do the same. So I'm trying to change this, one Sydneysider at a time. I ask them about the weather, I discuss umbrellas and summer frocks and appropriate footwear. I recommend weather apps. I know I'm only one person, but I think I can make a difference, one ankle boot at a time.
Winner: Melbourne. Clearly.
I grew up in Melbourne, and loved it. I'm now based in Sydney, and I'm completely besotted with it. My family is still in Melbourne, so I visit on a fairly regular basis. All of which is me telling you that I am absolutely qualified to wade into this completely ridiculous Sydney / Melbourne thing.