House Hunting in Sydney – where the slugs will eat your brains

As part of our move package, we get 24 hours with a ‘local expert’ to help find a new place to live. Twice now we’ve spent an afternoon with Vicky – our expert – doing a drive around of the different neighbourhoods. Each time, we’ve come back only to be defeated by alternative local ‘experts’.

Here’s one example from today’s trip. After arriving back at the office, I mentioned to someone that we were considering living towards the end of the tramline near Rozelle or Leichardt. “Aaron lives out that way,” he said, “Aaron, what do you think of your area?”

“Oh, it’s great! Certainly better than the last place we lived. We do have a bit of a problem with slugs.”

“Oh, I don’t mind if there are slugs in the garden. Just a bit of salt and beer will take care of that.” said I.

“No, no, not in the garden. In the house. The houses in that area aren’t sealed very well, and it’s quite moist, so we frequently find slugs in like the living room, or crawling up the kitchen walls. They aren’t that bad.”


“Oh yeah, you gotta watch out for slugs. I knew a girl who ate a slug when she was little. She got a brain parasite and lost an eyeball.”

Then the people around me went on to warn me about the dangers of slugs, snails and other land based gastropods. Apparently the slugs around sydney can carry really nasty bacteria that will cause brain parasites, meningitis, encephalitis, etc. Because they are slow moving, occasionally crawlers and toddlers will catch/lick/eat them and run into problems. Wonderful.

So that’s a no to Leichardt and Rozelle for slug related reasons.
What else?

Pyrmont: “Jeremy lives in Pyrmont. He normally drives in, but he had his car stolen from there this morning. Don’t worry, he’ll get it back.”

Glebe: “Jon lives in Glebe.” “Didn’t he have his car stolen too?” “No, that was Tom. Jon’s car was set on fire.”

Pott’s Point: “Oh man, that’s a super nice area. Don’t walk more than a block past the metro station though; you’d likely to get stabbed by a heroin addicted transvestite” (I’m told that this is an exageration; the stabbings have lessened a great deal since the 90s, and the heroin addicts moved out to Wooloomooloo, and the Transvestites are rather upstanding.)

Wooloomooloo: This is where my recruiter suggested I live. See previous comment about Pott’s Point.

Bondi, Clovelley, Coogee: Overpriced. Low transit. 2 hours of bonus commute time during peak hour.

And the list goes on.

I think this is a chronic problem with Sydney dwellers. Everyone shares the same opinion that where they live is amazing, but the guy next to them lives in a dilapidated former whorehouse with cockroaches for curtains. I guess the real goal is to find a place where the roaches match the cushions and you’re golden.

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