Sydney = Awesome (Sept 3 through September 18, 2011)
|Back To Civilization|
Coming from Fiji to Sydney was somewhat of a culture shock. We had spent the last five days living the slow paced “Fiji time” way of life and now we were in the center of a vibrant city with all the hustle to go with it. I think we both were a little relieved that we no longer had to buy all our drinking water.
One of the First things we notice was that Sydney (OZ in general) is expensive. I guess Sydney is now like the 7th most expensive city in the world. Also, since the dollar has been suffering up to this point it made things worse for us. We initially lost more than we expected on the exchange rate, but we figured no point in stressing about it now. Besides, even though things are more expensive, tax is already included in the price of everything. Also Australia is not a tip culture so that makes things a bit better.
|"Where'd You Get the|
Pink $20s You Cheating Whore"
One thing that does suck in Oz is the price if Beer. To buy say a 30 pack of beer it runs about 38-45$ (AUS) depending on the brand and specials. A six pack is about 12-14$...and since we are on the subject, the beer here is shit. Perhaps it is because we only buy the cheaper stuff, but so far all of them have been unremarkable with limited options. If you want to drink cheap then you buy a box of Goon which is wine. Again not the greatest but you get four liters for like 12$. It seems to be the backpacker’s way of doing things and it gets the job done, so I cannot complain too much.
At the suggestion of the front desk at the hostel we took a“free” 2 ½ hour walking tour around Sydney. It turned out to be a great way to get a feel for the city and to see most of the main tourist sights. Also the guy giving the tour was hilarious. Apparently the walking tour was his company and he worked on tips based on your enjoyment of the tour. For a culture that does not work on tips, this guy is an exception. But everyone in our group gave him at least a “lobster” so he knows what he is doing. The tour its self was fun. We walked around the city and learned the history. Went through the botanical gardens and fed the wild cockatoos and saw the flying foxes which are enormous fruit bats. The tour ended at the famous Sydney opera house where our guide told us that “a private tour is about 65$ or you could walk into the middle doors and use the bathroom for free.” So of course, we did that.
|Watch Out...They Bite|
|This Guy ROCKS!|
Sydney is a very clean city, which was very surprising to me. It also felt extremely safe. I did not feel the need to examine any shady looking characters in passing on the streets. That being said, I had my laptop stolen from my room by some shady French guy who checked out one morning. It was my fault I should have had it locked up, but lucky that my insurance paid replacement cost so now I have a netbook which is smaller and easier to travel with. Positive attitude, so it worked out for the best.
|Believe It Or Not|
This Was One of the Tame Nights
The Rugby world cup started a few nights after we got to Sydney. It is hosted in New Zealand which is the favorite to win the cup but apparently never do. Needless to say, people are in a frenzy about it in this part of the world. And wouldn’t you know it, the USA has a team and I read somewhere that we are ranked 18th in the world out of 96…who knew?
|Look Up Bondi Rescue|
|Not As Easy As it Looks|
On our last night in Sydney we went with a new Canadian friend named Mandy to the Australian hotel for their famous kangaroo and salt water crocodile pizza. Apparently Kangaroo is very lean and healthy for you. I am not sure if it was because it was on pizza, but it tasted a bit sweet. It may be different in steak form which I’ll try at some point in the future. As for the crocodile, well, it is rubbery and fishy. Not too interested in trying it again.
|Any Other Country Where You Can|
Eat The National Animal?
|Rub the Nose For Luck|
|Rub the...To Get Lucky|