Australia 2001 (Part 1)
Well, I just have to say that I . JUST . LOVE . Sydney. It really is awesome. The people are friendly, the weather is nice, and the city is just pretty. How I would love to live here!
Okay, well after the mad dash through NZ, I was tired and needed a rest. I was just worn out. So I spent the first couple of my days in Sydney being a bum. Actually, a little more like a bohemian. I slept late, hung out at cafes, walked around the different neighborhoods and just got a nice feel to the city. A great place to start is the Rocks, which is at the base of the Harbor Bridge. It's the oldest part of Sydney and it's a little maze of old houses that now host a gamut of cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and galleries. I found this one photo gallery with the most amazing photos of Australia. The one I liked was $1200AD. Which is a little over $650. For a photo? But it was really nice. I also did the customary walk around the Circular Quay, which is the transportation hub on the harbor. Walked around the Opera House, the botanical gardens, and the main city park. Then I checked out the Darlinghurst area (where my hotel was) as well as the Kings Cross section. All different, but all very nice.
So are you ready for it's a small world story. I went running on my first day in Sydney. Down around the Opera House, through the botanical gardens, back up through the city park around a fountain and I hear someone call my name. I stop, and of course I don't recognize him, but it turns out that he and I had met when I was at SPAWAR and a good friend of mine worked with him at NCTC. He's out of the Navy and just moved to Sydney with Accenture. HELLO! So I took a small running break and we chatted a bit. Of course it was good to see him, but I was really digging for info. He's been out awhile and just decided to move to Australia. Really can't say I blame him. One of the things that I have heard is that there is no way for an American to come over and save any kind of money. When I talked with some people, they say that I should get paid around $60K Australian, which they say is good money here. The cost of living here is okay, so that might be true. But say I manage to save $10K a year. Okay, now exchange that into US dollars and I'm saving under $5K a year. He pretty much agreed with what I said. But he's looking to stay here for 2-3 years and then go back. So you basically spend everything you earn here since you really wouldn't be saving any money. Pretty interesting. When I get back to Sydney at the end of the month, we are going to try to get together to lunch or a drink. Hello networking!
Anyways, the weather in Sydney was poor the first couple of days. Sort of reminded me of DC in August. Hot, humid, overcast. Then a torrential downpour and its bearable for another couple of hours. I did make it to Manly Beach for a day to work on the tan and get some swimming in. The good thing about going to Manly is you have to take a ferry, so you get a mini harbor cruise as part of the ride. Sydney's Harbor is just amazing. So many different coves, points, and harbors. Of course, all of the houses on the water were magnificent. Just lovely homes. Manly was good. Kind of quiet to start since it was a workday. Manly is a bit touristy though and I really want to go to Bondi Beach when I come back.
I actually did go to the Gold's Gym in Sydney. Which only proved that after not working out for a month, one really shouldn't try to lift too much. But then going to the gym (and running) became OBE due to my other activities. Apart of my mis-spent days wandering around Sydney, I've been going out. A lot. The pubs and clubs here are very good. I mean, I went to one club in Auckland and then that was it for NZ. New Zealand's South Island makes Wyoming seem exciting. And I have discovered the wonder drug. It's called Red Bull. It's an energy drink here that is all the rage. Energy drinks and smart drinks are very popular here. All I know is that I can have 3-4 beers then have one Red Bull and I am up and dancing till 4-5 in the morning. It's awesome. Not sure what exactly is in it, but I'm going to see if I can smuggle a case back into the US. I can't believe someone hasn't started making this or importing this into the states. The down side of dancing for 4-5 hours till late in evening/morning is that your feet begin to hurt a bit. So between walking around all day and dancing all night, I decided not to continue running for a while. At least until my feet aren't swollen
One of the many good things about Sydney is that it is full of tourists. I ended up talking with some guys from the States about Australia and stuff and I made a startling revelation. I really miss being sarcastic. I mean, they just didn’t' get it in NZ. They took everything at face value. Here it’s a bit better, but only an American can really appreciate how deeply sarcasm has become a major mode of communication. Anyways, it was good to talk to people from the states for a bit.
Despite that fact that I am traveling alone, I do seem to meet and talk to the most interesting people. So I am in a pub and start talking to a local, turns out he works for an IT recruiting firm. Do I have good karma or what? (Actually I'm probably going to be punished later (and badly) but I'm going to milk this for all I'm worth right now). Anyways, I was telling him about my "issues" with searching for a job in New Zealand and apparently shot-gunning my resume to a number of recruitment agencies in NZ was not a good thing. If more than one recruitment company submits my resume to a company, then the company will feel I'm just a "cowboy" (his expression, which I assume means not serious) and toss my resume. So I'm not going to make that mistake here. I'm not that upset about NZ; I'd rather live in Australia and then visit NZ. Hey, it's my dream.
So after a brief fun filled stay in Sydney, it’s time to move on, by air this time, to Adelaide!