September 6, 2014: It seems as though I have been flying for days because in a weird way, I have. We left the afternoon of September 4 and arrived on Saturday, September 6 according to Sydney time and calendar. We quite literally flew through time. Hence, time flies.
We arrived sometime after 6AM Sydney time and were able to get down to baggage claim fairly quickly. This isn’t exactly a place where most people are flying around within the same country. I watched people move around and gather large luggage for themselves, impressed by the amount of “stuff” so many people had until I realized that we’re on a locked continent. This is a gigantic island! Everyone here – EVERYONE – had come from someplace far. It was only later that I came to realize that this was also the International terminal. So, duh.
Most of our luggage came from another door marked as heavy or unusual packages. It is the kind of place you pick up your car seat or your pair of skis, but here is where we found my computer monitor, our two packed boxes, and the large trunk of my Mom’s we had used with honor to move out of the States when so long ago she used the very same one to move to the States.
Stark’s new manager picked us up. After some strategic maneuvering, we managed to get all our baggage to the 7th floor of the parking garage and then had a bit of a laugh over which side of the car to get in – Step 1 in getting used to right side driving vehicles.
We spent some time just relaxing a bit before taking a small tour of Eastern Sydney, boasting many great beaches and scenic views. We stopped for brunch by one of the bays, and it is true, the coffee here is to die for! Goodbye Starbucks!!! I’m leaving you forever.
Every little thing is interesting. It is less of an “experiencing a new place” adventure and more of a constant realization that “I have to get used to this.” Every pixel of life suddenly has a new light – the portions, the pricing, the taste, the style – and that was just the breakfast!
C-Boss and I were fast friends, relating over a bit of Texas pride and those never forgotten old school days of punk rock freedom. It is good to already know people here and be able to say that we will actually be good friends!
After “brekkie”, we did a short walk to a lighthouse on a cliff that had a far off, amazing view of all of Sydney. But that wasn’t all it had a view of. You can’t be welcomed to Sydney without also welcoming a few tried and true cultural differences like, walking by a nude beach – twice. All of it just makes me laugh. It doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary or different to me, but being from Utah, I certainly know more people than not that would freak out at the sight of an old man tanning himself in the surf.
Now that we had wasted some time with the wonderful wonders of Sydney, we ventured back for our luggage and into North Sydney, past the most amazing views, to the front door of our temporary apartment where we have a front-row view to all of Sydney Harbor.
Just a few steps from the front door, you can catch a jetty, a boat taxi, or the ferry to the CBD (Central Business District) or over to Kirribilli (my first Australian word I have to add to my computer dictionary!). The views will certainly spoil us and make it hard to decide on where to move after our month here is over. But first things first, anyone who knows us well might guess that before we even unpacked our bags, we inquired about the Internet capabilities and wound up walking into North Sydney to grab a pocket wifi to ensure we could get connected wherever we go, for now. While Stark purchased a portable internet plan, I ventured to the grocery store for some quick supplies. We tend to hit the ground running wherever we go.
Like many places, the grocery stores here are inside the mall where a Dillards or Nordstroms may take residence in the States. Being a working, business district, not a lot was open and the grocery stores here aren’t very prevalent so the prices were exorbitant and the selection was small for being the closest suggested grocery store in walking distance. A small bottle of basic spaghetti sauce $11AUS and roma tomatoes were $9AUS per kg. I suppose it is comparable enough once you convert an Australian dollar to a U.S. Dollar and then kilograms to pounds, but these few supplies helped us settle in to our apartment where our next order of business was to ensure we had a television channel that would play this week’s Italian Formula 1 race.
Now we’re right at home…