The past three weeks have been complete insanity. Thankfully, it’s been the ‘makes you smile’ type of crazy not the ‘pad the walls, lock him up’ variety. After surviving the 17-hour flight followed by a whirlwind start to the new job and then a week of meeting and eating in Hong Kong, I finally got to have a normal week in Sydney. You don’t realize how important a stable, predictable week is until you have it temporarily ripped away. Here’s what went down…
Saturday 30 Jan: The trip back from HK necessitated an overnight flight back to Sydney so I arrived on Saturday morning. This worked well as Daniel arrived from Dubai about an hour before so it was an easy meet-up at the airport. We made the most of the day with some shopping at Bondi Junction and had one of my favorite style meals – conveyor belt sushi! This exists in the US as well but here in Sydney there’s a chain of restaurants called Sushi Train which are fast, easy and fresh. If you’ve never experienced, they simply make sushi dishes, drop them on little conveyor belt-friendly plates with lids and off they go in to your hungry hands. It’s like a factory of food fun.
We also took care of another critical need. I could have continued to hide my shame in DC a bit longer as the winter raged on but here in the Sydney summer I was just too exposed.
We wrapped up Saturday with a really lovely meal in Annandale near the apartment at a restaurant called Fish & Co where they only serve sustainable catch (and prepare it deliciously, I would add).
We ate outside at enjoyed watching one of many Sydney rainshowers roll through town. Great way to wrap up the evening!
Sunday 31 Jan: This was a spectacular weather day and Daniel wasted no time loading us in to the car for a little excursion down to La Perouse in south-east Sydney. It’s a gorgeous little peninsula in Botany Bay that has nice views, calm waters and a few small beaches. It’s also a well-known jumping off point for SCUBA divers and there were plenty of them splashing in whilst we were there! I was admittedly jealous of those gearing up for a dive but excited to know we would be experiencing it at some point in the not-too-distant future. We had a quick and tasty lunch at La Perouse Thai and enjoyed the rest of the weekend with relative calm.
Monday 1 Feb through Friday 5 Feb: So I know I referred to this post as a ‘normal week’ in Sydney. The fact that I had Monday off as a ‘day in lieu’ to make up for working on Australia Day the week prior (a ‘comp day’ as we would say in the States) makes it slightly less than normal. But that doesn’t mean I sat around watching Aussie reality TV and basking on the loggia (I’ll define in a future post). Instead, I made the most of the day by researching how I would be commuting in to the Hilton office (as I’m sans vehicle and also don’t know how to drive here), finding a new hair salon (possibly more critical than Saturday’s pedicure!) and catching up on all kinds of financial tasks.
I also knew it was time to let go of the luxury of Daniel driving me in to the office every morning like he did my first week (sigh). But with a bit of research on Opal, it was obvious that taking the bus to the office every day would be easiest. It didn’t take long to realize that if I picked up the bus on one corner of our building it would be $3.50 but the exact same bus on the other corner of the exact same building was only $2.10. Not to sound like a total cheap ass here but I’m saving $1.40 2x per day because the bus zoning happens to change in the matter of a half block. Glad I sorted that out! *hair flip* The bus is pretty easy to deal with I’ve since learned. Although a tiny bit ‘quirky’ as in the bus drivers kind of decide when/where they will stop at the end of my route apparently. NBD.
Also, if you’re curious I dropped in a pic of the apartment complex we live in. I’d also share a link to their website but someone thought it was good idea to build it in Flash (oops!). Guess they should have talked to a digital expert first…
The week continued as weeks do all over the world for all kinds of people. Particularly business people like me. I spent the majority keeping up with my email, learning new systems, onboarding with various team members and reading up on new processes…truly the most normal stuff you can possibly imagine. It would be so sexy to think that I did this all under an umbrella at Bondi Beach or that that the work day ended at 3pm and all business people stripped from suits and ties down to Speedos and ran out to the ocean in unison. Such was not the case. At the end of the day, Sydney – like any city – has a Monday-Friday rat race where you daydream about the amazing things you’re going to experience on the weekend. And we also have a common bond about Friday night…party time.
Daniel and I treated ourselves to a true Newtowner Friday night out in, well, Newtown. It’s a short 15-minute walk from our apartment so rest assured there was no one behind the wheel of a car (ohhhhhhhh thank god). It all started with the incredible open air beer garden at The Bank, boozily continued to the edgy-but-welcoming Newtown and wrapped up with sinful (but stunning) gelato sliders at Cloud 9 Chocolate Cafe (and let’s not kid ourselves, the ice cream obviously wasn’t the best decision but it wasn’t made in a state of complete sobriety so yea. Not guilty). One of the best parts was when I recognized the BuzzFeed Oz team there with us at The Bank and – like a good American – went up to their table, introduced myself and thanked them profusely for helping prepare me for Aussie culture. AND I MEANT IT. Seriously, they are hilarious and informative. Win win.
And with that, a normal week in Sydney concluded. It involved sleeping, showering, commuting, emailing, meeting, working, eating, drinking and good ol’ partying. Sounds pretty much like your week, eh? Good. That means real life is starting to happen, and trust me I’m thankful for it. XOXOXO – JW