Featured Photo: A bit of the Sydney skyline from my post by the Sydney opera house. Taken just after an interview in CBD (Central Business District).
Sunday – April 10th
We arrived in Sydney Sunday morning. The flight from Perth was just under four hours. Getting to the hotel from the airport wasn’t much trouble, either. We arrived at the hotel around 9 am in the morning… only to find that we weren’t allowed to check in until after 3 pm.
We were able to leave our suitcases (4) in the hotel lobby, then we took off to explore around the area we were staying in: Bondi Junction, NSW.
There is a ridiculous amount of ramen around Spring Street, Bondi Juction. Just walking around that morning, we found 3.
We bought Opal cards immediately. It’s a transit card that uses the same technology as pay wave. It also gives you discounts off of the regular fare based on how often you use transit. Seeing as how clean Sydney transit is (bus and train), it’s likely we’ll be using these Opal cards quite a bit.
We saw Bondi Beach that first day as well. I foolishly thought I could wade in the shallow waves and cool off. I was dragged down by them immediately and I banged up my shin pretty well. Turns out everything is deadly in Australia, including the ocean.
Guess what we had for dinner that night?
Monday – Saturday
Jamie was off to work that Monday. I spent most of the day spamming jobs. While I do have a job offer from an ex client here, I also wanted to know what my options were. The website Seek seemed like the website that had the most postings.
I also spent some time looking for places to live. Because we were looking for share housing, I used Gumtree. From what I saw, Gumtree seemed like the Australian equivalent for Craigs List.
We worked fast. I spent the rest of the week commuting to different areas. I got an interview with a hiring agency on Wednesday in CBD, then I was traveling around the rest of the week to other localities (Bondi Beach, Maroubra, Randwick) looking at places to live.
Sydney, like Vancouver, is a huge tourist city. The areas closest to the beaches were often renting rooms to backpackers for cash. This made it a lot more difficult for us to weed out the serious renters from the sleazy ones. Although, there’s something to be said for the places I visited on weekdays… perhaps they were more sleazy because they weren’t at a full time job.
Folks in Sydney also refer to rental visits as ‘inspections’. I haven’t really heard it called that before.
The house hunt came to an end on Saturday, when we found a room share in a 2-bedroom apartment in Zetland. The apartment is on the expensive side, though the building is very close to work and it’s mid-range flashy.
I was actually pretty nervous for the interview I had lined up on Wednesday, even though it’s with a hiring agency. As soon as I sat down and was asked to talk about my work experience though, I (somehow) eloquently sprouted off the list of things I did at my previous job. Who knew I had a knack for talking myself up. I remember forcing myself to think like someone who was full of myself.
After the interview, I took a walk down to the pier to see the Sydney Opera House.
The train in Sydney runs much like the Sky Train in Vancouver, although the interior is much larger and immaculately clean. There are 2 levels in each car.
Apart from looking for jobs and places to live, I was able to open a bank account (took 10 minutes) and apply for Medicare (took 15 minutes). The short amount of time that it took to get anything done here was incredibly refreshing. It seems that their government workers are well-paid enough to be happy and good at their jobs. I’m not pointing fingers, but some countries I know could learn a thing or two from Australia.
All in all, my first week in Sydney and second week in Australia has been painless overall. Who know immigrating to a new country would be this easy? Although I’m sure it helps that I was Canadian to begin with.
I’ll check in again next week. I’ve got some job interviews lined up this week so we’ll see how all of that goes.