Thursday, April 23, 2009

A fresh start: Sydney

Arrived in Sydney for almost two weeks now. The first week was crazily hectic. Apartment hunting, furniture fixing, and utilities and internet connection took up most of our time. Thankful and blessed to have J by my side to settle things one step at a time.

Things did not get off on a good start. From the airport to my friend’s place at Haberfield cost close to Au$80, about double the price that we were supposed to pay. Talk about getting ripped off! Does not only happen in third world countries.

The next unexpected surprise came when we realised that we HAD to find a new place to stay no matter what. Haberfield, also known as the “little Italy” of Sydney, was no doubt a lovely neighbourhood. If I had continue staying there, I would have been blessed with the Italian delis, paticceria and the kind company of an Italian couple. However, the place was about 2hrs from my school and about 50 min bus ride to the city.

Once we set our minds of seeking an apartment, more obstacles came our way. The leasing system in NSW is very much different from what we were familiar with. There were apartment viewing slots, tedious application process that foreigners had to contend with and competition with several other interested tenants. It was a total landlord’s market.

Through three gruelling days of seeking, searching, applying, we finally found this gem situated just a few minutes from St Leonards Station. It’s a very new and extremely secure building. It also has a indoor swimming pool and a gym. The downside was that we had to get our own furniture (Apart from the considerably high rental).

Happy to proceed with the next steps of apartment furnishing, we headed to garage sales, Ikea and trough the internet pages for secondhand items. By Wednesday this week, we managed to get the whole house running. All necessities are more or less in place.

We were fortunate to have set aside some time to do some touristy stuff like the photo sessions at the Harbour bridge and Sydney opera house, hop on a ferry and saw a beautiful sunset, went to Bondi beach and took the coastal walk to Bronte beach, headed to Watsons bay to see the Gap and indulge in fish and chips, went to the Royal Botanic Gardens and on the most informational guided tours of the Government house and of course, walked around the city area. We did most of what we intended to do except to take a short trip to Hunter Valley region.

In overview, I’m starting to get into the rhythm and pace of the life in Sydney, NSW. I’ve stopped complaining about the transport system that seems to take forever. I’ve stopped feeling too lost and confused (For now at least). I’ve started to take a liking to waking up to the cool air and stepping onto the icy cold marble floor. I’ve started to take a liking to taking in the welcoming sight of the freshest produce. I’ve started to take a liking to the warm and friendly culture here(most of the time, at least).

Though a part (a huge part) of me is missing life in Singapore and the people in Singapore, I hope to make the most and the best of my time here.

I’ll be blogging as much as I could to update all at home.


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