My hometown and Brisbane

We’ve been away from ‘home’ for almost six months now, and I’m feeling homesick. So, to make myself feel even more homesick, I thought I’d tell you about my hometown. There’s an enormous difference between my hometown and Brisbane, where we currently live.

My hometown

I was born and bred in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and lived there for almost thirty years. Then, last year, we moved to Australia.

Bloemfontein is also known as the ‘city of roses’ or ‘the place where dreams go to die’. Okay, well, that last one is debatable – or is it?

City of yawns

Bloemfontein is situated right about in the middle of South Africa, in the Free State. Side note: For a city that is famous as ‘the city of roses’, there aren’t really that many roses there.

I lived there for almost my whole life, so moving to Brisbane was a huge move. My parents also met there when they both went to the university in town.

As you may have guessed, Bloemfontein is not a very exciting place to live. In fact, it is infamous as the most boring city in South Africa. Honestly, there isn’t much to do there. That’s probably why most people my age choose to drink excessively or procreate (sometimes, they do both). It feels more like a big town than a city.

Error 404: Culture not found

Our university’s previous rector explained it like this: The thing about the Free State (the province Bloemfontein is in) is that it doesn’t have any culture. There aren’t any blues clubs or stand-up comedy places. The closest they get to culture is the Free State Arts Festival and Macufe festival.

I hate the weather there

Besides the lack of recreational activities, I also hate Bloemfontein’s weather. It is absolutely ridiculous and defies all logic. It’s the kind of place that goes from warm summer’s day to apocalypse in a matter of hours.

Some days, you have all the seasons in one day. It can go from cold, to nice and hot, to windy, back to cold, and then suddenly it starts to rain.

It’s also not uncommon for there to be a cold front in the middle of summer. One day you are melting and two days later you are wearing winter clothes again. I find it annoying that there’s never an unexpected, nice summer’s day during winter—I wouldn’t mind that, but it’s always the other way around. It’s madness.

Also, these past couple of years, South Africa has been going through a drought (although it eases up now and then). With the drought comes sand storms, so you end up eating a cup of sand if you happen to be walking outside. Then I’m just all too happy about the rain, even if it’s the fourth weather change that day.

Honestly, it’s relatively the same here where we live now in the greater Brisbane area. The temperatures don’t vary that much, since it’s always hot, but the rain is so sneaky. The past couple of weeks, not a day goes by when it’s not overcast for some of the day or it rains. I don’t mind it as such, but it’s annoying when I have washing to do.

Brisbane, on the other hand

Brisbane is known as one of the sunniest cities in Australia with 283 sunny days a year1 (apparently). It’s probably less true the more north you go.

Also, unlike Bloemfontein, Brisbane is quite a large city. It is the third most populous city in Australia, only after Sydney and Melbourne.1 About 2.5 million people live here.2 That’s probably the reason stuff actually happens here. For example, in 2032, Brisbane will host the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.3 Isn’t that great?

Let’s be friends

If you ever come to Queensland, Australia, pay Brisbane a visit. It genuinely has a lot of fun things to do. You can have coffee with me, and then we can complain about the humidity together.


What’s your hometown like? Is it a lot different from where you’re living now?



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P.S. I used these sources: