Dear Perth – a break-up letter


July 13, 2010 by jessperriam

It’s not me, it’s you. It’s certainly you.

We’ve been together for the better part of 25 years yet we haven’t made much progress, have we?

While you’re still wringing your hands over daylight saving, extending trading hours and the latest Lotto jackpot, I’m looking for something more in a home. Something much more.

You’ve given me the best childhood, a boring adolesence and a jaded, cynical adulthood. And I cannot run farther or faster.

If we stay together our fate is sealed. There will be marriage, mortgage and children all in some outer suburban wasteland. Every year will be a carbon copy of the one previous: Christmas Eve with the Perriams, Christmas Day with the Dickmans, New Years an ill-planned disappointment followed by a drunken, drunken Australia Day. This thought and its monotony makes me nauseous.

And don’t get me wrong, that scenario is some people’s idyll. Otherwise there wouldn’t be 1.5 million people living the seaside West Australian dream. I’m not knocking, I’m merely saying it would never work out between you and me, Perth.

You know what, Perth? You’re beautiful. You have perfect beaches, perfect beer and perfect sunsets. You have one of the most picturesque commutes. But behind the beauty there’s nothing there. There’s no thought, no serious thought. It’s uncool to be pondering, daggy to be intelligent, sinful to break the mould.

Please don’t think I’m ungrateful. To be Australian is to be blessed with a laid back temperament and a good reputation. Being a West Australian makes you unique and isolated with a quaint shade of parochial. Being a Perthling however makes me ill-tempered, unimaginative and cranky. You bring out the worst in me and yes, for that I am partly to blame.

So with my three greatest assets – my passport, my camera and my smile (yes, it’s returned) – I am leaving you, I am not looking back and I am (being completely honest) not distraught in the least.

I don’t know when I’ll be back. I don’t know if I’ll be back. And that’s a good thing.

Be kind, be brave and, be open to new things.

See ya,



6 thoughts on “Dear Perth – a break-up letter

  1. Elisabeth Ford says:

    And now you understand and know why we have relocated to New Zealand, it took me 45 years to work it out though…

  2. Steven says:

    o rly?

  3. Luana says:

    great letter, jess! i think it sums it up for a lot of people. perth will always be my second home though…

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