Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Top 10 Best and Worst so far...

10. The friendly people. Even strangers are always willing and eager to lend a hand. I've been given countless directions by smiling strangers, offered rides places by complete strangers (I know what you're thinking but really the nice lady offered me a ride after I asked her for directions!) and eaten the free (well donation only) food given out by the Hare Krishna Food for Life Truck. 
9. The variety of cultural/ ethnic foods. Jam packed together in every neighbourhood is a smorgasbord of Italian, Portuguese, Brazilian, French, Australian and every type of Asian food all sharing the same street! It really is a wonderful break from the cookie cutter fast food joints that proliferate at home. Even the smattering of McDonald's restaurants look out of place amidst the glorious bounty of international offerings here in Sydney. 
8. Gus, my consummate host who rescued me from what was about to be two weeks at a hostel. Ugh!
7. The wonderful fruit here... overflowing piles of grapes, bananas, mangoes and strange looking fruits that I've rarely seen before (starfruit?)
6. Sunshine. So much of it (well until two days ago)
5. You can order beer and wine at movie theaters. Wow!
4. The beaches. There are so many and they are GORGEOUS!
3. Aussie Barbies (BBQs)
2. Wine seems to be the only thing that is less expensive than at home.

10. Everything is so expensive. Seriously not exaggerating on this one. About $1000 a month for a ROOM in a house? Seriously? yes. Train tickets range from $3.20-$8.00 depending on the distance and that's just for a local, one way trip within Sydney. 2L (the largest quantity you can buy) of milk is $5. 
9. Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. Ever.
8. Having to take public transportation. Hot, smelly, crowded, late and in the case of the buses VERY slow.
7. Beer does not come in pints (despite this, it still costs the same as a Canadian pint). A "Schooner" is the size of a happy meal softdrink and lasts about as long as it takes for a cat to get pregnant. 
6. High density of deadly animals. Hard to get a good night's rest knowing hundreds of angry plants and animals could be plotting my death at any time. So far I've only seen a handful of roaches and a jellyfish, but still. A navy diver did lose his hand and most of his thigh in Sydney Harbour yesterday. Bet that shark was pretty full after that juicy meal. 
5. Lights at some crossings take FOREVER to change
4. People laughing at the way I say out and house. 
3. Crime and dodgy people everywhere. There's been a rash of ATM bombings all over the city recently and last week there was a biker gang hangout bombing that even though it was about half a km away from where I'm staying, still brought down plaster and made a light fall out of the ceiling. 
2. No weekly US gossip magazines. Am seriously missing my US weekly etc. What will I do not knowing what happens next to Brangelina?!
And my number one top thing driving me crazy?

1. There are no street signs anywhere in this whole $^%&$ing city! I am not lying. On numerous occasions I have been attempting to follow my google map directions whilst hauling a#$ on FOOT and come to a large 4 lane intersection with streets branching off in all directions (sydney is more like a spider web than a grid; very difficult to navigate) and have not seen even ONE stinking street sign. It is SO frustrating and infuriating. Not only that but sometimes roads are called one name by some people and another name by others. Curses!


  1. I agree with you completely! Especially about all the bad stuff. I have to say, SO many people love the fruit here and I'm REALLy disappointed in it. It's expensive and not nearly as good as the stuff in CA. I guess I've been spoiled in that regard!

  2. Why does no one leave comments?
    Are the prices in Australian dollars? Still high.
    What are the wages compared to Canadian? Minimum wage?
    Oh well a least you are not slogging through snow and wind. I walked to the Y last week on the coldest day of the winter. Really it was not too bad though. It is easier to dress properly for the cold than dress for the heat.