Arriving in Sydney was a bit surreal as I was still partially out of it due to an Ambien induced coma. As we took one of out final turns on approach I looked out the window to a very picturesque view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Finally, it was sinking in that I now live in Sydney. After weeks of putting everything in order the day of my arrival had finally come.
Once off the plane it was off to customs to enter the country. The customs process was relatively painless, but quite busy as a number of international flights landed around the same time. I occupied my time by trying to guess nationalities and languages. Aussie and NZ citizens are provided a type of frequent traveller priority line which made me quite jealous.
After customs I grabbed my overstuffed suitcases an was relieved my smaller ‘big’ bag didn’t rupture in transport.
You then pass through massive duty free shop where I felt compelled to buy two 1 liter bottles of vodka at the discount price of A$49. Compared to prices at the local bottle shops this is an incredible deal. Alcohol in Australia is expensive!
They then separate you into a number of different maze like lines, each with its own scanning technique. One was an X-ray bag check, another a hand search. I got option 3 which was having to set your bags on the ground and have two very cute beagles come by and smell for food.
No issues there, I was of to the terminal to hopefully find wifi so I could call my property manager for my corporate housing. Free wifi (or free anything) is a pretty foreign concept here, but I was able to find a shred of wifi in a corner near currency exchange, call the property manager to arrange a meeting time an also call a few worrywarts back home to confirm my plane hadn’t plunged into the Pacific.
The taxi queue and ride was quick. I was impressed at how green Sydney is. I can’t quite put my finger on where but besides the whole ‘we drive on the left side of the road’, it’s pretty familiar looking.
A few issues with the address later and I Aries at my temporary home. It’s in a great Syd neighborhood called Dalringhurst which is an eclectic mix of different social groups. Kind of a Marina meets Haight meets Castro.
The streets are line with coffee hoses, restaurants, bars, clubs, sex clubs and adult toy shops. Basically, it feels like home.
Here are a few shots of the apartment.
After getting settled in, I had to run a few errands like getting my phone activated and getting some local money. Luckily ATMs work the same worldwide and my account has free global access.
The money here though is much more interesting than the US. I’m sure I’ll cover the minutia in a later post but here are a few shots:
Around noon, I met up with my buddy Phill who is also an American expat and has been a priceless source of info related to the move.
We went to Coles, a local grocery chain, so I could grab some much needed supplies for the apartment. Of course I had to pick up a few new Aussie things.
Once the groceries were packed up, it was time for an adventure. Phill suggested we go out to Coogee Beach and do the Coogee to Bondi beach walk.
This was really a stunning walk and a great way to spend an afternoon.
After this I met up with my old roommate Christoph and had Thai in Bondi.
Stuffed and exhausted I took the bus home and got a much deserved nights sleep.
Welcome to Australia.