I had an interstate guest stay with me recently, who was rather puzzled by my response when asked if I would consider moving closer to work. (I am currently living very, very North, and working very, very South. ) My response?
“No way! I would NEVER become a Southsider. I’d rather travel 45 minutes to get to work every day than move Southside.”
When asked to explain what was so bad about the South, I became a little stumped. While I always have been, and always will be, a north side girl at heart (I’m saving up for my 2913 tattoo) at the end of the day, I don’t actually dislike our southern Canberra brethren or their end of town.
I’ve had Southside friends, Southside colleagues, hell, I’ve even dated a Southsider before. I currently travel there every day for work. However that hasn’t stopped me from declaring that, “the further South you drive in Canberra the lower the IQs drop” and other such North vs. South statements. (Where, of course, North always comes out on top.)
This bemused my Adelaide friend, who assumed my aversion to the southern end of our fair city was just a personal quirk.
So I had to explain that it’s not just me—most Canberrans are prejudiced against their compass counterpoints, but they really don’t mean anything by it, it’s a friendly rivalry thing. Kind of like Australia vs. New Zealand. We make jokes about sheep-shaggers, but when push comes to shove, we actually do enjoy the company of those funny-accented fellows.
But then that got me thinking, if we are one united Canberra community, why all the jokes? Is it really just a friendly rivalry? Or is there something more sinister at play?
And why, after typing “I don’t actually dislike our southern Canberra brethren or their end of town” do I suddenly feel horridly squeamish, like I’ve betrayed generations of staunch Northies?