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First day in Australia!

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Apparently the Jonas Brothers also have a song called Australia. This is becoming a strange trend.

Anyway…I’M IN AUSTRALIA. I’m actually here. In Sydney, to be precise. I decided to spring for a taxi from the airport since my bags weigh about a million pounds, and I didn’t quite feel up for public transportation. Luckily, I got to share the ride with a piece of pepperoni.

Pepperoni

Taxi pepperoni

Unfortunately, the peperoni didn’t have money on him, so I had to pay the whole fare, which was $75. I’m new to the whole taxi scene, but that seems quite high! I think I’ll endeavor to avoid them from now on.

Artsy taxi driver picture with weird kilometer speed limit

Artsy taxi driver picture with weird kilometer speed limit

First glimpse of the harbor bridge from the taxi!

First glimpse of the harbor bridge from the taxi!

 

Awkward taxi selfie, part deux

Awkward taxi selfie, part deux

For the next four nights, I’ll be staying in North Sydney at a house with some friends of a friend of my aunt’s. (Gotta love connections!) Pulling up to the house, I had one of those “is this really my life?” moments, because the street is just adorable! And I don’t think it’s even so much how it looks, although that’s a big part of it; it just has the best feel.

My street for the next few days

My street for the next few days

Same with the house itself. It’s quite old, with a tiny front porch, a big bay window looking out to the street from the room I’m staying in, wood floors, a kitchen that gets morning sun through the big window, and a little brick patio out the back.

"My" house!

“My” house!

They also have a music room, with a couple keyboards and some guitars. There’s also a guitar in the room I’m staying in. Score.

Hannah left a note and a key on my bed, since she was at work when I arrived. I felt so welcome!

Hannah left a note and a key on my bed, since she was at work when I arrived. I felt so welcome!

I already love the girls I’m staying with. They all greeted me by name and gave me hugs when I got there, even though the girl I’ve been in contact with (Hannah) was at work. They’re so friendly, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all better! They had also just woken up and were still in their pajamas, so I fit right in with my overnight flight ensemble.

Since I was pretty tired, I spent most of the morning catching up on blogging and emails. Unfortunately the house was freezing (I don’t think it’s very common for Australian homes to have central heating, because winters are so mild), and I couldn’t warm up even after layering on piles of clothes. I later discovered that it’s much colder inside than outside during the day, so it’s best to just be inside as little as possible!

I was wearing two pairs of socks, leggings, flannel pajama pants, a tank top, a t-shirt, a flannel shirt, a jacket, a coat, and mittens I borrowed from Hannah. Still cold.

I was wearing two pairs of socks, leggings, flannel pajama pants, a tank top, a t-shirt, a flannel shirt, a jacket, a coat, and mittens I borrowed from Hannah. Still cold.

After one of the girls (Buz) got home from work, she drove me down to the bay and we walked around for a while. That warmed me up quickly, and the views were absolutely gorgeous! It was also really nice to talk to Buz and get to know her a bit. She was so open and friendly and easy to get along with, and even though I don’t actually know anyone here, I immediately felt like I had a friend.

At the bay. It was seriously beautiful

At the bay. It was seriously beautiful

After that, we stopped by Woolworths to pick up some groceries. The parking lot was insane, and it took us about 10 minutes to find a parking spot. Actually, the roads in Sydney in general are insane. The whole left-side-of-the-road deal is bad enough, but even if that wasn’t an issue, these roads would be incredibly intimidating. The intersections are weird, there’s lots of traffic, and I’m just extremely glad I never have to drive around here!

So intimidating

So intimidating. Sweet car though

Anyway, the grocery store was pretty normal, until I realized that all the prices for produce and meat were per kilogram. I had no idea how much a kilogram is! (I later discovered it’s about 2.2lb. Good to know.) And since my phone is still without a data plan, I couldn’t look it up. So it was pretty impossible to get a feel for how much everything cost, but I bought some stir-fry beef, potatoes, butternut squash, butter, and frozen vegetables that should last me the few days I’m here.

Pretty normal

Pretty normal

I also bought some sushi for dinner (my first actual (raw fish) sushi), and since they didn’t have little packets of gluten free soy sauce, I had to buy a whole bottle. The funny thing is, I was this close to packing three little packets of GF soy sauce that I found in my room just before I left. Weird, right?

I ate the sushi as soon as we got home, and it was delicious. It had raw salmon and avocado, and I’ll definitely be making sushi a regular occurrence in my diet. I also found a bunch of weird wrinkly fruit lying around the kitchen, but there was nobody around to ask what it was. In the spirit of adventure (I’m starting small, okay?), I decided to haul off and cut one open, and it turned out to be a passion fruit! Tasty, and very pretty.

Passion fruit

Passion fruit

I actually arrived on an interesting day, because every Friday, the girls host Gospel group at their house, where about 20-30 people come over and listen to a man give a message about Jesus. It was quite similar to the small group I used to go to back in Apex, actually.

It was so neat, because I hadn’t known ahead of time that the girls I’d be staying with were Christian, and I was actually expecting it to be really difficult to make time for God while I’m traveling. Not so! God is sneaky that way.

Unfortunately, I was feeling the effects of jet lag, and I was more than ready to go to bed by the time everyone showed up at around 7pm. I was also freezing again, and had put on my previous layers of clothing with the addition of a wool sweater that I also borrowed from Hannah. And of course, everyone at the small group was dressed really nice. I felt like the resident eskimo hobo, but people cut me some slack once they discovered that I had just arrived that morning, and everyone was really welcoming. There was also another American there, who lives in Sydney, and he was wearing red, white, and blue for the 4th. It was nice to have at least one other person to acknowledge the holiday with, since I couldn’t celebrate at home with the usual fireworks and hamburgers and watermelon! I actually miss summer a little bit.

It was a great, thought-provoking message, but I could barely keep my eyes open and I kept falling asleep sitting up, so now I can’t really remember what it was about; just that it was good. As soon as it was over, I headed to the bedroom and crawled under the covers. I had just enough time to realize how noisy everyone still was and to wonder if they’d keep me awake before I fell asleep. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep so fast in my life!

All in all, it was a really enjoyable first day, even though I was a bit out of it for the last part, and I can’t wait to explore Sydney some more!

 

P.S. I discovered this bug sitting on my 3lb bag of crystallized ginger (don’t judge) when I opened my carry-on. I hope I’m not going to single-handedly cause The Great Sydney Plague of Flat Brown Bugs from America.

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2 Thoughts on “First day in Australia!

  1. Another awesome post! That pepperoni has a scam going, getting free rides all over Sydney. BTW, Uber is in Sydney if you need a taxi again, might be cheaper, but probably doesn’t have pepperoni passengers.

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