OPINION: 5 reasons to love Warwick (from a former hater)
AS A 16-year-old I couldn't get out Warwick fast enough.
I left town the morning after Year 12 finished and didn't look back.
For the next 20 years, I'd come back for special occasions, maybe once a year, and grab a Crisps coach out the next day before anyone knew I was here.
Then, a little over three years ago, when I was faced with no other option but to move back here for among other things, financial reasons, I couldn't believe it.
I was gutted I had no choice left but to go back to the place I'd spent so long running away from.
And guess what? I'm glad I came. I'm sorry I doubted you Warwick and I'm happy to say I was wrong.
Here's a few reasons why.
1. It's cheap
For the price of a tiny two bedroom apartment in Red Hill, you can buy a four bedroom, two bathroom palace in Pratten St with a tennis court. If you don't play tennis, that court would make an almighty chook-pen. Four bedroom, two bathrooms, 100 chooks, a few sheep and two dogs. You don't get that in a two bedroom apartment. If you don't need a palace with a tennis court, then in Warwick you could buy a one bedroom apartment and a Ferrari for the same money. Admittedly it might be an older model, second-hand Ferrari, but still the only Ferrari chucking laps past Leslie Park on Friday night. That's prestige.
Rent? No worries mate! You don't even have to share if you don't want to. No weird flatmate smells or noise.
Kick back and bask in the glory that is living by yourself. However, if you've got a partner and a job, then you are laughing. $250 a week will get you a very nice place. In Brisbane, $250 a week will get you a cardboard box in the middle of the road.
2. Get everywhere in no time flat
One side of town to the other in 10 minutes tops. Peak hour? Ha! It doesn't exist. No traffic congestion, no parking woes, it's not a struggle to leave the house. You're in the country in less time than it takes a city dweller to get their car out of those insanely tight spots in their flash, underground apartment complex carpark.
Imagine having to get up at 6am to be at work by 8.30am. You can get up at 8am. That's an extra two full hours of sleep, which means you'll be happier, more productive and smug about the fact to every city person you ever meet.
Running late to get the kids to soccer? Don't stress, you'll probably be there early.
3. People are friendly
It's a big cliche, but it's true. It's easier to meet and get to know people in a place like Warwick because there aren't a million people to try and get to know.
In the big city, people don't even bother, here they do, and they're genuinely happy to about it.
If a city person takes an interest in another city person or tries to strike up a conversation, they're likely to be assaulted with an umbrella or have the local constabulary called. Whereas in Warwick, making a new best mate at the supermarket checkout is not uncommon. They generally know someone who went to school with your mum or their kid plays soccer with your neighbour's kid. This familiarity does make it harder to keep a secret, but let's face it, some of the stuff that comes out of the rumour-mill can be pretty entertaining.
There's no old friends like old friends too. They have all the dirt on you and you have all the dirt on them, it's a wonderful arrangement.
4. It's safe
Major crime is non-existent. It's unlikely that you'll be broken into and it's safe to walk the streets at night. Most people will have you believe the days of leaving the house and car unlocked all day and night are long gone, and police want us to be "better safe than sorry" and they're probably right, but you could probably leave everything unlocked and never be bothered.
At certains time of the year though, Warwick's streets can be terribly dangerous and should not be underestimated. Innocent victims terrorised for merely walking along a footpath or riding a bike. Gang warfare at it's most terrorising; although it can be simply combatted by wearing a ice cream bucket helmet with cable ties sticking out of it.
5. Enormous opportunity
It's a small pond, so it's easy to be a big fish. You want to run an entire football club just like you did from your Playstation in FIFA 2006? Here you can. Is your favourite sport Curling? Chances are you'll be the best in the region.
Want to work in your dream job but have no qualifications or experience. Don't doubt for a second that it's possible. Own your own business.
Start an expressive movement dance class for single balding men. Set a Warwick parkrun record in a pink onesie. Fancy yourself a photographer? Send your photos to the local paper and see them published every single day.
New to town and want to run for Mayor? Then go ahead, run for Mayor and win. Opportunity. Simple.
And that's only five
I could go on, but space and time dictates I stop now. There's the weather, the proximity to major centres, the scenery, the local produce, the Sandy Creek pub, the chicken parmigiana at the Condy, the view from the top of Bracker Road hill, it's great place to raise a family and it's a great place to fish.
Sure, there are whingers. There are whingers everywhere, they'll whinge about anything. Boring.
Warwick is a belter of a town, we're lucky we live here.