Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sydney Lights

I have to admit I'm not much of a Big City person. Nashville is about the perfect size for my taste, and I only love Chicago so much because I have such great memories walking around when I was younger. Sydney didn't exactly knock my socks off at first, when I got here it looked more like Seattle or London. My first night I went to bed at about 930 so I didn't really get a chance to explore, however last night I walked about 12km (roughly 8ish miles) all around the city, on a bum knee. I have to admit though it's not my favorite city in the day time, it is absolutely breath taking when they light it up like a Christmas Tree at night. I'm about to take a walk of my own to go see the Botanical Gardens and Kings Cross because last night those were about the only two things in the whole city we didn't see. 
If you are thinking about coming to Sydney or Australia in general there is one thing you need to prepare for. It's not a bad thing and I had heard about it before hand but I guess I just didn't really expect the sheer magnitude to be so high. Just based on walking around downtown Sydney last night and in the last few days I would say the rate of Asians to every other ethinicity is 2 to 1... at least. Now again this isn't a bad thing by any means it's just a little... weird I guess, wasn't what I was expecting. I mean there were times last night when besides me and my two roommates I didn't see a non-asian person for ten minutes. So if you've ever wanted to see what it's like to go to Asia without it being quite so packed, stop in Sydney and see how you feel. 
Asians aside, this is a really cool city. Very easy to get around, very friendly, but a little weird in other ways too. Everything here strikes me as very European in the city structure (the two most common structures are banks, and 7/11's), but it doesn't have the douchey ora of Europe. I understand it basically is just an extension of Europe that happens to be a few thousand miles away but from what I heard Sydney was supposed to be very Americanized, and though it is, it definitely more European than anything.
Not really, but by American standards they all fit the description. Close crop hair high and tight on the side, but with some kind of crazy part or comb-over on top. I saw a dude last night that had everything shaved except for the top where say a Mohawk would go, but instead his hair on top was all pulled back in a little samurai ponytail. Jeans and pants so tight you can tell who's circumcised, all hugging and coming up to the calf. I asked my roommate from Canada why they all dress so metro, and he said that's the style and it's awesome! I disagreed and told him in America we make fun of those people for drinking PBR and riding fixed gear bicycles. Turns out while I'm over here, I guess I'm the hipster, except I'm not hip just hopelessly out of style, and I don't plan on buying any skinny jeans. Ok, that's all hipster rant over.
I did all the main stuff you have to do in Sydney last night, except the botanical gardens which I'm doing today. We saw the bridge, we did the opera house, Darling harbor, it was all gorgeous and really makes you appreciate the beauty of this city, at least with the lights off. Sydney is like a 6 pretending to be a 10, you turn the lights down and put her in a club, and every guy in the place is drooling over her. But you wake up the next day and the makeup is smeared all over the pillow her weave has fallen out, and you're pretty sure she might have peed the bed. You swear you'll just drop her off and never talk to her again, until the next time you see her at the club with the lights down, and you convince yourself you must've been wrong the first time, there's no way she's not that hot. 
I can't wait to get a little work around town and save a little moolah and move on though. I think what I really need is the beach in my life. I don't really care which one I just think to wake up and walk to the ocean could be life changing. I think all my friends from Florida were just spoiled and kind of took that fact for granted growing up. For me I don't really care what I do, bartend a couple days a week, pick fruit, whatever, as long as when I have my free time I can walk to the beach and surf or do yoga, or run, or just sit down and enjoy. Cheers!

Friday, August 8, 2014

First Day Down Under

So something weird must be happening. Maybe its just the jet lag and the fact that I was up at 4am yesterday, but that's never stopped me before. Last night after an incredibly long day and flight I decided to call it quits and head to bed around 830, passed out by 930 and if you can believe it, up by 6am. All because I wanted to. Granted I'm sure the Tylenol PM I took, and the six beers I had (they're only like 3% here) didn't hurt, but it was definitely based on my own free will. 
I feel like there's so much to see here and I'm still so nervous and anxious that I don't even want to think about getting drunk and sleeping in late for fear I might miss something awesome. Today won't be so awesome, at least at first. I get to spend 6 1/2 hours at an alcohol training course, apparently they make you do those everywhere, but Sydney and NSW in particular, have by far the most expensive cost to do the course. So the bartending gig I booked next weekend at a rugby game is basically just a wash.
After arriving super early yesterday morning I spent the next two hours stressing about customs and trying to figure out which bus to take. I'm pretty positive they put me on the wrong bus, because everyone else had a ticket print out and I simply had a screen shot I saved that said "Free Bus Ride" that my company had sent me. The bus driver proceeded to tell me to write down all the details of my ticket, so I stole someone elses and copied it but just inserted my information, I wonder how long it took him to figure that out. Regardless I was dropped off first at the hostel I'm currently residing in. It's call "Wake Up!" and as far as hostels go it's pretty freaking sweet! Granted my experience with hostels thus far had only been in Thailand for $5 a night, so I don't know why I was expecting a room with just a fan. 
Upon going up to my room I was met by a couple of very awkard Indian kids and because I had arrived so early my bed had yet to be changed and made. So for about ten minutes I stood there awkardly then decided I should go brush my teeth. When I returned I met a new roommate named Fredderick, he's Danish (That's from Denmark) I had stupidly replied, "O so you're Dutch" he did not like that. First impressions aside Fred and I hit it off and soon realized we were both heading to the same orientation. We decided to head downstairs together and ended up eventually spending the whole day hanging out and walking around Sydney.
The orientation was um... a little weird. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into but they bombarded us with so much information it was hard to keep up. How to setup bank accounts, phones, insurance, etc. but they all seemed to do this so much that they sort of sped through their power point the way a nervous high schooler would. I left that portion knowing just as much as I did when I came in, which was basically nothing. Thankfully they were a lot more helpful one on one, but I still have a huge checklist to figure out before I leave Sydney.
The best part of the whole presentation was the Matthew McConnahey esque young surfer dude (if Matt weighed about 100 pounds less and had an Aussie accent) who came to talk to us about surf camp. Surfing was high up on my ToDo list while down under, and while its freezing out and my balls may be in danger of lodging themselves perminantley up in my throat when I go in the water, I decided to nut up or shut up and sign up for surf camp. His whole pitch was basically, it's $99 a day all inclusive, that's cheaper than staying in Sydney and you get to learn to surf. Sounded like B.S. but after a day here I'm convinced it's the truth. So surf camp here I come! Fred even signed up with me!
The rest of the day was spent running around town trying to setup bank cards and tax file numbers, and eating pizza. I have a feeling if I stay in Sydney I'll be forced to eat lots and lots of pizza.
I still haven't really figured out a game plan yet but I decided the surfing thing would be a good way to get my feet wet (no pun intended). Nothing like starting off your year long vacation with a vacation I always say! I'm also not sold on whether or not this program was worth it yet, that parts still to be discovered. But I do know that for anyone thinking about going but who's too nervous it's definitely nice to have something kind of setup for you when you get here. Once I get back from surf camp I'm gonna make myself fully available and see how much work they actually get me, but for now the jury is still out. I've also got some opportunities lined up elsewhere so maybe if I can find something on my own it'll be worth having them as a little supplemental income on the side. 
Next step is continue to meet new people, be open, and hopefully get all my shit done before I leave for surf camp. That part probably isn't gonna happen though since I don't think the banks here are open on the weekend, so hopefully what I've already taken out will be enough to get me through till next week. I can't wait to do some yoga on the beach and meet some new Aussies, and others, and hopefully get in touch with some friends of friends and start making this adventure awesome! But as a good friend of mine told me, "Don't have any expectations Logi, just go and meet new people and see where it leads you."
Thanks Ging.