One of the things I tried to do was to still get out and walk a bit on nice days. I partially succeeded. I’d often walk for my groceries (about an hour return), and I walked to work once (about 2 hours by foot). One day I decided to tackle a bit more of the inner Harbour area, more ‘upriver’ than Sydney and Drummoyne.
With a fully stocked cupboard of my own spices, ingredients and lots of counter space, naturally I fell back to doing something I really enjoy doing for others…BAKING!
Having travelled nearly non-stop for around 16 months, one can get a little travel-weary. Not to mention you start to long for a few things that are pretty standard in a ‘normal’ life – routines/patterns, an income, and a space to call your own. I would find all of these in Sydney.
For routine, being a part-time employee for Kathmandu did mean that my hours would change each week, but even then my manager Karen usually kept some structure to the schedule. Namely, I’d almost always have Monday and Saturday off, I’d always work Sunday (1.8x pay that day!), and I’d average between 20-30 hours of scheduled work. I specify scheduled work here because I’d often get a call asking if I could cover another person’s shift – assuming I wasn’t doing anything, I was happy for the extra hours and money.
So I had a job…but where was I to live? This was actually more difficult than the job part as it turned out.
Hostels in Australia had definitely lost their lustre for me. Unlike their often small, clean, convivial, warm and enjoyable counterparts in New Zealand, the hostels in Australia tended to be large, dirty, bland experiences filled with drunks, miners or just obnoxious people. Not to mention expensive – room rates in Sydney were exceptionally high, usually well over $30/night for a bed in an 8 or 10 bed room. It wasn’t a great environment to spend time in anymore and one that I was keen to escape in Sydney. So once my training started, my room search began.
I’ll be down in Tasmania for the next 3 months, so I’ve got a bit of time to *finally* get caught up with what all happened in Sydney and why I’m now down in the little island state of Tasmania.
So onwards to Sydney! I already chronicled my first week in Sydney through earlier posts here – I was playing the role of tourist at the time. But I thought the city was fantastic and was the first place I’d found in Australia that made me really want to sit down and stay a while. So I started combing through online resources for jobs. Except unlike Melbourne, here I was much more focused. Whereas before I’d apply for pretty much any job opening I thought might hire travelers such as myself – cafes, housekeeping, retail, reception, sales, etc….this time I focused more on an area I might enjoy. Travel and outdoor gear. I applied to a few travel agency positions, at backpacker focused travel shops and several outdoor clothing stores.
While I was wandering around the empty streets of Canberra I received a phonecall. An interview in Sydney with one of the largest outdoor retailers in this part of the world: Kathmandu.
It’s been a while since I did any meaningful updates, but that should change shortly as I’ve left Sydney for the time being and am down in Tasmania for the next 3 months. I’ll chronicle my time in Sydney (finally), but I’ll just write a post on what I’m up to right this moment. I’m working to extend my Working Holiday Visa for another year, as I want to spend more time in Sydney with my girlfriend Tam (whom will feature in my Sydney posts, once I get around to them!). In many countries, you would simply apply online or in person and be granted an extension. But not in Australia. To qualify for a second year extension, you must do 3 months ‘qualified’ work in a rural area before the government will allow you to stay. With that in mind, I chose a vineyard down in Tasmania to help out at for 90 days, owned by a Hungarian family. I lasted 3 days.
One thing Australians seem to love are fireworks. Sydney-siders especially have a propensity to watch things explode. I’m not sure where this comes from. Their original origins as prisoners, convicts, troublemakers? Or they just like blowing stuff up. I for one, can’t blame them, they are pretty darn awesome.
While Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are some of the most well known and famous in the world, that is hardly the only occasion to see a large displace of pyrotechnics. Nearly EVERY Saturday night, a multitude of colour fills the sky above Darling Harbour, adjacent to the CBD/downtown, for 10 or so minutes. It’s quite a sight. Naturally, I wanted to go and find out what the fuss was about.
Finally got the backend of WordPress running again! Silly update broke something, so took a little longer than I expected…
Anyways, where was I…oh yes, I had arrived in Bondi after a pleasant walk from South Head…but wanted to continue further. I had a tasty mid-afternoon break with fish and chips before continuing south. Here I looked back at Bondi Beach stretching out.