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Published: August 24th 2009
I'm happy to report, i'm reporting from the other side of the world!
I've only been here the better part of 2 days, but as usual, i'll report my completely subjective reflections on the city. Sydney is in a word, "surprising" on several accounts. First off, it's SOOOOOO unbelievably expensive. The conversion rate is roughly $1 US to $1.1 AUD, but with credit card fees, I think it's closer to 1:1. I don't know how people survive here. Here are some prices: Snickers bar- $2.40, small bottle of coke: $3.00, 1 liter bottle of water- $3.00, ice cream cone- $5.00. It's shocking. So much so, that i already found my way to the cheapest grocery store i could find and bought some spaghetti and sauce to cook in my hostel. I took $60 out of the bank yesterday and spent it all. good god.
Other reflections- tons of second hand smoke, VERY crowded. City center is full of tall buildings and resembles NY or Chicago. I had no idea. As I didn't expect to find what seems like 50%!o(MISSING)f the population to be Asian. Makes sense I guess. The money here is really cool- plastic and all
waiting to board
So onto the highlights so far...
I boarded the plane at LAX at midnight.
After the longest night ever, (16 hours of darkness) and a 14 hour flight,
dawn rose over the wings of the plane, and it was the most beautiful sight ever. The flight wasn't bad at all really. And the sounds of Australian accents started at the LAX airport.
Arrived in Sydney to absolutely perfect weather- sunny and short sleeve shirt weather.
Got stuffed into a shuttle van full of people, in between a young Aussie guy returning home, and the driver of the shuttle, on the right side of the car! The Aussie guy was so incredibly nice. We talked the whole time.
And yes, most Australians are as easy-going and nice as everyone says. Found out quite early though, that the bus drivers are quite crabby and unhelpful, across the board.
At any rate, I was a trooper and got right off the plane, into the shower, eyed the bed but instead put on my walking shoes and started exploring. I hadn't done any research on Sydney and so I was just winging it. I found my way to the
After 12 hours of flying and 16 hours of darkness, this was the most beautiful sunset i've ever seen!
famous Circular Quay and hopped on a ferry to Manly where I visited a very busy beach, resembling Venice Beach. It was a little disappointing really, but the ferry ride was nice. I watched a movie at our hostel in the evening and ended up crashing by 8 pm (3 am LA time). Rest was in short supply as i was reminded of all the joys of bunk living in a hostel-my bunkmates coming in and out, flipping on the light, talking in full volume. They settled down by midnight at which point one of the gals started snoring so loudly that even through my ear plugs, she was keeping me up. Around 5 am, she got quiet, at which point, my bunk mate below me started packing her backpack, obviously full of crinkly plastic bags, for over an hour. So much for sleeping, so I get up head out to my first adventure- the bridge climb!!!
to be continued.... i'm out of time and internet is $3 an hour!!!!!
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