There’s a common misconception about my home city. It has this reputation for being dull and lifeless, full of murderers, dole bludgers and all manner of other misfits the normal person would have nothing to do with. Frequently the butt of many a joke by interstate stand-up comedians looking for a cheap laugh, Adelaide cops more than its fair share of mis-informed city-bashing.
I find it baffling that such a pretty, friendly, cultured city cops so much criticism. Why all the negativity?
Is it because we’re “small”? With a population of 1.2 million people, we’re on par with the likes of San Diego, Dallas, Prague and Montevideo. Definitely not the biggest cities in the world, but big enough to have a lot going on and small enough to keep its friendly vibe.
Is it because there’s nothing to do? Surely not. There’s always a concert, musix festival, fashion show, food and wine festival, pop up bar opening, EP launch, or some other event to head along to. I hear complaints that anything good only happens in March and yes, while the Clipsal 500, Cabaret Festival and Adelaide Fringe occur then, they aren’t the only events Adelaide has to offer. Plus, take a short drive and explore the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Riverland or the Barossa Valley. Head a little further afield and you could be four wheel driving in the Flinders Ranges or on the Eyre Peninsula.
Is it because we have no culture? Impossible. South Australia, the only state to have been founded by free settlers, has always been a melting pot of many amazing cultures and traditions. We embrace all of these and have developed our own unique versions. For a taste of German-Australian heritage, head up to the Hills, particularly Hahndorf. For Asian flavour, head to Chinatown (even better during Chinese New Year). Or for a fun day out, try the Croatian Festival, the Glendi Greek Festival, the Carnevale Italian Festival or my personal favourite the OzAsia Festival. Speaking of favourites, another event close to my heart is WOMADelaide. The whole world’s worlds best music played in a beautiful garden.
And the food! Every place I’ve mentioned has an amazing variety of foods to try and some of the country’s best wines and beers to go with it. Cheese Festival anyone? Schutzenfest? It’s all here.
When you’ve eaten too much, drank too much, partied too much and generally exhausted yourself, head down to any of our white, sandy beaches for some R and R. A dip in the clear, glassy waters and you’ll be refreshed and ready to go again.
These reasons, among many others, are reasons why I live in this beautiful city and why I love it so much. I might take any opportunity to hop on a plane but you’ll always see me coming back home to Adelaide.