10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Sydney

Preface: I really don’t know where the time flies in this country. And I am not even busy fighting off kangaroos for my burger or rescuing people from getting eaten by sharks. I genuinely have no reason or excuse for why it has been 21 days since my last post.

– Sincerely Shamefaced.

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So I’ve been here in Australia for close to five months, almost half a year. Where does time fly when you’re having fun, eh? My Master of Design education is wonderful and stimulating, and hopefully continues to be challenging in the coming semesters. I have made some wonderful friends, watched my little sister bloom into a confident and beautiful young woman in a supportive environment, and pinched myself more times than I can count, at all the beautiful things I’m surrounded by.

While it’s easy to wax lyrical about all the great things about the city I’m calling home for some time, there are many that I wish I’d known before I moved here. Not because I woudn’t have still chosen to live and study here, only so that I could have been better prepared as an international student.

  1. The popular stance is that the winter here is unworthy of being considered winter. Cue *eyeroll* and a lot of *shivering*. Pack your thermals if you have them, bring your coats and throw in those extra socks and gloves too. If not, don’t worry, H&M is bound to have sales before you freeze to death.
  2. Crows in Australia, I’m forced to believe, didn’t get the memo on what noise they’re supposed to make. They sound like dying cats or someone retching violently after an alcohol fuelled night. Why do I wish I’d known this? So I could have slept through my jet lag the first few nights without feeling like I was an unwitting participant in a horror movie.
  3. The price of bread here is pretty ridiculous, that is if you want to eat anything other than the ubiquitous and nutrition deficient soft white variety. 5 dollars for multigrain bread. Really!?
  4. You can’t really watch the sunset from the famous beaches in Sydney – no, Siree, not from Bondi or Coogee or Maroubra. Because it’s the east coast. So if you’re like me and have no hope of ever catching a sunrise, you’re going to have to kick the ‘watching our big happy star go to bed in the sea’ habit.
  5. While I have not experienced peak summer here, let me tell you, the Tasman Sea is a chilly, chilly woman! I cannot, with complete confidence, say I will ever go swimming here if the water doesn’t heat up beyond 25 degree Celsius! Which isn’t likely either from what I can glean from the wise ol’ Internet.
  6. If you wear anything below AU size 6 shoes, your hopes for finding inexpensive shoes or even cute thongs (flip flops, for the uninitiated) are very narrow, my friend. Read: Bring all your shoes!
  7. Be prepared to get lost, quite literally. The road system here is tricky at best, as baffling as the Mad Hatter’s riddles at worst. If I had a dollar for every time I got lost in Sydney, I’d be cozying up to a glass of expensive bubbly as I relaxed in my very own hot tub.
  8. Which segues nicely into the activity of walking. If you no like, no come here. Seriously. I’m not saying there aren’t buses and trains to everywhere but you’ll still have to put your pins to good use. Upside though – great legs, come bikini weather!
  9. You will want to eat out very often. Even if you’re an avid cook like me, the temptations at literally every corner are sometimes too much to ignore. Heavily leaning towards, though not limited to, all things Far Eastern, the aromas are irresistible. This can also be interpreted as ‘work on your willpower, because your pockets may sometimes be threadbare’.
  10. And lastly, clothes shopping isn’t expensive enough to be prohibitory. Unless they’re that great, avoid stuffing your bags with excess clothes and instead bring all your teeny tiny shoes!

Thanks accepted in the form of cash or presents. Please contact me for address and bank details! :p 

Until next time! Which I can’t promise will be less than 21 days. 

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