Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Just back from my run and yoga class.
I am on a HIGH.

I betcha I could WIN that arm wrestle right now. (The one I lost last night, for those who weren't at Scubar last night.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The One Day of the Year was a fantastic play. The lead character, Nathaniel Dean, was hot-city and I got to meet him and ~gasp~ speak to him after the show. Sigh... Oh ya, and I learned a lot about Anzac Day.

Then I met up with Femke and her English friend, Warren, and his friends Bakes (James, actually, but he is "world famous" as Bakes so I am sworn to call him that), Ollie (a "legend"), Chris, Alex and I can't remember everyone's name. It was one of their friends' birthdays (Finnie?) so they celebrated with a bottle of champagne at Scubar. We danced and had a few drinks and closed the bar down.

Femke wanted to leave then, so Warren walked her home and the rest of us continued on to Scruffy's for a drink, where a live band was finishing its set. Bakes kindly ensured that I got home safely, even though I "bullied" him all night.

They're lovely, fun people. I'm glad I met them.
Thank you, HalfTix! I'm goin' to the theata!

Monday, April 28, 2003

I have a bank account!
It's at the National Australia Bank. It took me a while to decide on a bank. They're all a rip-off, actually.

Unlike PC Financial!
<sales pitch> I miss my PC Financial account. Although, anytime I want I can log in to my online banking and get a balance, transfer funds, pay a bill... all for FREE! If I had 1-888-access from Australia, I'd be able to do it all by phone, as well. And it costs me NOTHING. Plus, they GIVE me free groceries. I mean, how good can it get? </sales pitch>

At National, and all other banks, really, you pay each time you request a balance, even on the phone or online! I get free deposits, ONLY. A withdrawal, even at their own ATMs, costs money. If you make a withdrawal in a branch, it costs even MORE. It's robbery. I get $6 worth of transactions a month. That means about 10 withdrawals or, if I do a balance enquiry or a money transfer or even ask a question, then I have less than 10.

But there are really no better options. Certainly nothing like PC Financial.
Woolworths has partnered with the Commonwealth Bank to offer an account. But how many Woolworths are there in New Zealand, or in outback Australia? And it's really not even close to the amazing deal that PC Financial offers.


I say that PC Financial needs to teach Woolworths a thing or two.
Maybe they need to come and TAKE OVER.

If they need a salesperson I'm their ready-and-willing servant. As always.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

I know that the Leafs lost. But I just wanted to report that I have been wearing the Leaf's jersey that my brother got me for Christmas every day.
I took my own advice and decided to just get out there.

Friday was Anzac Day. When I woke up, I still wasn't sure what I was going to do with the day. AS I walked, however, it seemed fitting when I stumbled on the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. So I visited the museum inside (I had already missed the parade and memorial services, though everyone says that's boring anyway).

Went for a long walk around the city, had a coffee at Gloria Jeans, ended up down at Darling Harbour and found out when the next IMAX movie that I wanted to see was playing. Walked back up to Hyde Park to write in my journal, and was just doing so when Alex called. While we talked, all manner of wild animals passed by... bats overhead, a rat, a mouse... I decided to get up and walk. Which was nice until I stopped before the Pool of Reflection (in front of the Anzac Memorial) and an odd drunken man tried to strike up a conversation with me WHILE I was on the phone, by saying "So I guess you got the right one."

Ya, I don't know, either. I hurried away.

I got home in time to get to the gym for a quick run before heading off to Darling Harbour again for the Australia IMAX movie. I got a nice traveller's deal, although it was still too expensive for an HOUR! Beautiful film, though.

Outside, I caught a busker/street performer act... the crazy scot was juggling firebrands. And I do believe that Sydney is best viewed at night.

Back at home, I found my housemate Ander watching movies. I joined him for the riveting documentary: "Reversing Extinction: The Tasmanian Tiger." Well, it was interesting and fit in with my general goal of increasing my knowledge of Australia. Although I'm not sure that I'd recommend it to anyone at home. Except maybe my Dad. I think my Dad needs to get the Discovery Channel. He'd never video-geek again if he did.

Saturday, again I awoke not knowing what the day had in store. Ended up at Paddington Market... it was a lovely walk and a fantastic market, with all manner of artisans and home-grown products. A great place to buy souvenirs and clothes, if I had room in my pack :( But I instead bought a present for my housemate Kate's birthday. And got a nice Chinese massage. Lovely. Stopped in at a Photographic Arts museum and a bottle shop on the way home. Saturday was Kate's birthday party. Had a fantastic time - met heaps of people, several job leads, and made a date to go to Royal National Park next weekend.

Sunday was a bit of a write off, since it rained, rained, rained. All day. Poured, actually.
But I saw a good Aussie movie, "The Dish". I recommend it, although I think Sarah might be the only one who would actually watch it.

And now, it's monday morning and I'm getting back to work.
I'm looking forward to the X-Men release on Wednesday!

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Dear Andy and Jane,

Thank you for writing me today.
Better late than never.

Time for bed now. Miss you!
Day 2 at Turramurra working.
Career-related email newsletter system.

It's tough getting up at a reasonable hour when you're not used to it. In the end, I feel better knowing that I'm not wasting the day. However, I was inside most of the day, so you might consider that a "waste". Depends on your perspective, really.

Finally stopped in at the little bakery on Devonshire St. (the main street that I use to walk from Central Station to my place). Half-priced baked goods are something I cannot pass up. Such a cute, tiny bakery that I've walked past so many times, staring longingly at the sweets in the window... and now I know that they have delightful little doughnuts at half price at 5pm. Maybe it's just because it's Anzac Day tomorrow.

Yes, Canada, we get YET ANOTHER holiday!

Good Friday was a holiday. Easter Monday was a holiday (hence, why it was so busy at the Easter Show). And now, Friday is another holiday.

Doesn't mean much to me, of course, aside from it being more busy on the sidewalks and in line-ups (queues) and that my housemates will be around. It will also mean that the banks and most shops are closed, which is sad.

Had a WONDERFUL night at the Opera House Studio last night. An absolutely brilliant performance by the Chunky Move dance troupe. "WANTED: ballet for a contemporary democracy". Brilliant.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Word for the day : "heaps"

Discovered the delight of this colloqualism over the weekend. It means the same thing, but is used instead of "tonnes" or "lots".

Example: "There are heaps of kangaroos over there. Heaps and heaps!"
Say it with an Aussie accent and it's a beauty.
Woke up a little late today after messaging until 2am with friends in Toronto. Well, late for what I wanted to wake up, but it was actually early for me (9am). I had plans to meet my friend Scottish friend, Susan, at Sydney Central Station.

We went to the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour. So beautiful; I actually took photos, which I usually don't do. We had tea in the chinese tea room, out on the balcony overlooking the garden. I had a lovely pot of jasmine tea and chinese pastries, but I took one look at Susan's massive hot scone with cream and jam and knew I'd chosen badly.

Then we went to the "Sounds of the Outback" free live show at the Australian Northern Territory & Outback Centre nearby. It was interesting to learn about the didgeridoo, how it's made, how it's played, aboriginal folklore and our presenter was so talented. Of course he made all of us participate, and watched as we all, like idiots, flapped our lips and tried to make the right sounds... Susan and I tried with to make the instrument sing like our talented musician. It's tough when you're laughing, let me tell you! Susan couldn't get it to work, but I would like to report that I DID coax a reasonable sound out of the instrument. And felt ridiculous the whole time!

Then we walked around Darling Harbour a bit, got a coffee at Gloria Jeans, my favourite coffee place, continued around Cockle Bay Wharf, up Market Street to Hyde Park (for those following me around on their handy Sydney map... WHAT?! You don't HAVE ONE?!).

We went to the Australian Museum. I managed to get in for $3.20 but Susan paid something like double. I don't know why; maybe it was my lovely smile or the way I batted my eyelashes at the man. Whatever. It was worth every penny! There was a really good Aboiginal/Indigenous Australia exhibit where we spent most of our time. Then we found the biodiversity floor and I immediately wished I left more time for it! However, I did see and touch the stuffed crocodiles and turtles and kangaroo and lizard. It was creepy but interesting. Did you know that Australia has twice the number of species of Europe and North America combined? Crazy but true.

I tried to spend as little time as possible in the insect department, as I was starting to get a little bit of the creepies, looking at them.

Alas, I'd like to go back to that floor, just as I'd like to go back to most of the things I've seen/done here. We'll see if there's time/money/inclination for it later.

Then Susan and I met her friends Matt and Sioban for $5 steak dinners at a local pub near the Capitol Theatre (where Hair is playing).

We went back to Susan's place to watch Neighbours and Home and Away. My first dip into Aussie TV! Very exciting!

Finally got home to Surry Hills to find a lovely Easter card from my Mom and Dad and my cat... with a lovely message inside. My parents are the greatest!

Have forgotten my journal in Turramurra so my site update will have to wait another day. Besides, it's getting late and I have another "early", fun-packed day tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I spent the day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Kind of like Toronto's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Except more like a combination of that and The Ex.

I saw a rodeo, sheep dog demonstrations, horse dancing, the Show Parade (parade of champions), whip cracking, sheep shearing, roping, fantastic fireworks and "Jemma" this odd live theatre show with animals (horses, cows, sheep dogs) and dancing and quite cheesy. We tried to see the racing, diving pigs, but people were overflowing out of the ampitheatre and we couldn't even see by standing on a nearby bench and looking over the heads of the crowds. Seriously, we were desperate to see the pigs. But in the end we admitted that we couldn't see anything and moved on. I should have known that diving pigs would be a big draw.

Discovered the concept of "Show Bags". Interestingly, there was a whole pavillion, packed with loads of kids and adults with their children, dedicated to this unique Easter Show feature. Basically, different companies set up a counter (or five, as the case may be) selling a bag of items. They display what's in the bag and they also have a whole section in the show program detailing what's in each "show bag". They all list how much the contents are worth (retail value) and then how much they're selling the bag for.

Jan says it's been a big thing since she was a child; everyone would look through the offerings, asking each other which one THEY were going to buy at the show. Richard, the youngest Plain, was disappointed to find out that he could only get one bag. And while he was originally told that he got $10 to spend all day, he ended up getting a huge bag of chocolate and candies for $19. But, Jan is quick to point out, it was worth over $40! He was good about sharing his chocolate, though. So I got to try a Violet Crumble and a Milky Bar. YUM! I'd also like to report that I got a Cherry Ripe chocolate Easter egg at dinner last night and it was the most delicious.

And yes, it's important that I tell you about the chocolate that I've eaten here. Shut up.

Got a call from my mom and dad this morning (or, their Sunday night). It was nice, albeit short. I'm told my dad thinks I drink/party too much. Ha, what a laugh! I've only been drunk ONCE the entire time I've been here and the morning after that was the first call I got from them. It was just bad timing that they happened to catch me with a horrible hang over.

I'm messaging with Sarah and Sharon right now... I'll be back!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

I'm back from the mountains, staying in Turramurra for the night, charging my cellphone, after a weekend of getting no reception/service on my mobile whatsoever. I apologize to those who tried to call me!

Had an absolutely LOVELY time on the farm! It was just like spending a crazy weekend with the Vergunst family, although not quite as loud, but just as many people and just as much food. Probably more sheep and kangaroos involved, though.

Mom, please note that Jan even made sure that I got some chocolate Easter eggs!

I will be writing more in my journal section as soon as I can get around to transcribing it all from my hardcopy journal. Be assured, however, that it was good to get back to my country roots.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Tonight I'm writing from a sheep farm west of the Blue Mountains, in a small town that isn't even on the map of New South Wales that I'm looking at. If YOU wanna look for it, it's located on the road between Lithgow and Mudgee, just north of a place called Running Stream.

My mom will be happy to know that I visited another World Heritage Site today when Jan and Brian Plain took us on a slight detour to see the Three Sisters formation in the Blue Mountains National Park. It was beautiful. More about that later in my journal, I think/hope.

Staying at Jan's parents' property, "Turonfels" tonight with the rest of the extended family. It's a big houseful and they're such wonderful, friendly people. I'm sad that I'm missing the nice dinner that my roommate, Femke, is making tonight for her friends, but this has also been a great experience to see the country.

They were telling me about the horrible mouse infestations. It gets so bad that some farmers leave out a concoction of flour and concrete powder. The mice eat it and become little mice sculptures.

Wanted to wish everyone Happy Easter. Eat lots of chocolate bunnies!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Visited the travel agent today. Wow. This is going to be expensive.

Does anyone have a couple thousand they wanna give me?

Well, the first go at it and all transportation with Oz Experience plus tours to Fraser Island, the Whitsundays, Kakadu (national park), Uluru/Outback and a flight to Darwin from Cairns, is $3600. That only includes accommodation and meals for 2-3 weeks worth of the time (during the tours). It doesn't include going to Perth or Tasmania or NZ.

So, I'm looking into other options. But to be honest, I don't think it's going to go down much. Not without cutting out huge parts of the trip I'd like to do.

However, other options include taking a different Oz Experience bus pass and getting myself around to the rest of the places that I want to visit another way. Like a different, non-guided bus system, which is slightly cheaper, but I also wouldn't get as much information/knowledge out of it.

I can also do lower-quality tours. Which will save me around $300 or so. Not much difference there.

So, if anyone has any idea about costs of things and whether this is horrible or good or normal, then PLEASE email me.
So, um, I write.
If you want to read something I wrote -- other than this site, of course -- you check out my article and Become Networking Smart.

Ground-breaking stuff, I tell ya.;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

18 degrees and a strong wind. Apparently, Toronto has taken Sydney's nice weather.

However, I am still in good spirits and feeling better than I have in weeks. Yay!

Off to enjoy a coconut tart in Chinatown, pick up some stamps, print off my resume (and a picture, they tell me, is a GOOD idea! ~shocked, gaping stare~).

This morning I bought tickets for a show at the Opera House! Next Wednesday!

Tonight I have my orientation at my gym. My abs are killing me. A good thing, I suppose.

Not having much luck at reading my book "In a Sunburnt Country". Finished my first journal, though, and on to my second.
Is it already Tuesday??

Heard the disturbing news from the company I used to work with. A whole slew of layoffs (I hope they email me so I can see how they're doing). They didn't lay off the people who actually would LIKE to get laid off. I won't mention any names here, as I don't want to get anyone in trouble ;) I'm glad I'm here instead of there.


Woke up at a reasonable time, so I was able to go for a huge long walk from my place in Surry Hills to Bondi Junction. Through Centennial Park. Beautiful. Huge. There aren't any parks that big in Toronto, I don't think. Well, if there are, I haven't been to them. It took me over 2 hours to get to Bondi Junction. However, I did take a bit of a detour... alright, I got a bit lost. But the upshot is that I found a great discount lingerie store while I was lost in Kensington.

So that's another area of the city crossed off my to-see list.

Femke and I are also going to buy tickets to see a show at the Opera House.

Didn't make it to the travel agent today. Did manage to get I think two small web-related jobs.

The temp agent I saw today suggested printing off my resume and PHOTO (!?) and going around to all the nice cafes in the area, dropping off resumes.

I might have discovered the secret to proper hair, here. Lots of cheap gel. It refuses to behave with my normal products. So I bought super cheap gel and it seems to work out OK. Well, at least I've avoided a "Bad Hair Day" (tm). Have I told you how expensive drug store products are?! The cheapest gel I could find was $1.50. But goodness, shampoo is always $15-20. Hair colour is the same! So I guess I won't be colouring my hair... don't know. Maybe this is because everyone is always at the hairdressers. I wouldn't be surprised; there is I think the highest per capita number of hair salons I've ever seen in any city.

Went to the gym last night. To the abs class. I was not excited about the class; I think I was spoiled by Bally's, but I met a really nice girl from Montana while waiting. Tonight I'm going to the gym again to either Body Pump or Yoga. We'll see how this gym thing works out for me. It's great for my mood. And my back has been complaining loudly about my lack of proper exercise. It's already thanking me for going last night.

All for now.
Love to Judy, Shawn and Ken!

Monday, April 14, 2003

Well, it's after 4pm on Monday and I've only managed to get myself fed at this point. Totally NOT getting to the travel agent today. Not with THIS hangover, anyway.

Last night Femke, Dong and I went to Bondi Beach for a BBQ. Femke's friends, Suzan and Karin, know a girl, Leanne from England, who is leaving Sydney to go up the coast with her boyfriend. So it was a bit of a going-away BBQ. It was a lovely meal, although there was no gas, so we cooked everything on the stove/in the oven. I drank much Australian wine. Everyone was taking MANY photos. But I managed to get away with just one. I'm horrible for NOT taking photos.

Also met three guys from Portland. Andy, Hugh and Brent. Andy and Hugh had been travelling around all over and are only in Australia for 2.5 months. They'd just finished spending 3 months in New Zealand. That scared me because I'm only planning on 3-4 weeks for North and South islands. But they said maybe that would be OK. I suppose it all depends on how much time/money I HAVE to spend. I plan to be there next summer (that's like Dec/Jan here). Brent is only here in Australia for 3 weeks. He has a real job. So they're doing a whirlwind tour up the coast.

When I told them that I'm going up the coast, leisurely, in 2 months and that I planned to be in Cairns and the Outback in Septemberish, they were surprised. "Wow, you're going REALLY slowly."

Hey, I may not have much planned, but I have ideas of what I COULD do. It all depends on how it works out. I'd like to be able to get a job at one of the hotels on the coast (Noosa, Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?) doing housekeeping or something, as I used to do at Tigh-Na-Mara in BC. I'd also like to get a job on a ship in the Whitsundays, maybe as a cook or something.

Of course, anything can happen. so we'll see if that works out.

I've also been told that I should really visit a farm/ranch in the interior. I do know someone with a huge sheep farm in Quilpie. I wonder how farms there compare to what I'm used to. I mean, I'm a farm-girl-turned-city-girl. Wonder what it would be like?

Dave was saying when I took off, that he was going to come and visit me here "in 6 months". If so, that would put it just around Sept/Oct. I'd be SO happy if he came! We could meet in Perth and stay with his family-in-laws there. I've hear there's a LOT to see over there.

After that, in November or so, I'd like to come back down to Melbourne and live in that city for a while. Raye lived there and loved it. She has friends there that she could get me in contact with. Maybe get me a job at the cafe she worked at. Or, I know I could figure it out on my own. By that point, I'd have been travelling for a LONG time, so I'd be used to figuring it out. I've heard bad things about Melbourne's weather, but I'm pretty sure it can't be that bad.

From Melbourne, I'd go to Tassie and NZ and Adelaide. Or, that's what I'm thinking NOW that I'll do. It sounds like a relatively sane plan, right?

So those are my long-term pseudo-plans.
So, who wants to live vicariously through me?!

I know, it sounds good from where you are, all snug in your office chair as the spring sun melts away the winter blahs. It SOUNDS good from where I am right now, too. But just wait until I decimate my bank account with six months of travel and THEN we'll see how excited I am.

I guess I'd better hurry up and do fun things while I can, huh? Before I run out of money... twisted logic, but work with me here. ;)

Thanks to the LOVELY people who called me this weekend. I finally got in contact with my parents. We'd screwed up the time difference yesterday. I guess it's "only" 13 or 14 hours difference. So I didn't get to hear from Matt or Kendra, but my parents told me all about their news. Got a call from tony as well. AT 4am, EST. So good to hear from the people I love so I can remember that I DO have a home and friends and people who love me.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Sad Girl.
Apparently, I've missed the call from my family! I don't know how it happened, as we planned the time and everything. Disappointing. However, I just got a call from my sister. YAY!

Last night, I went out with Femke and her Irish friend, Helen, who is just finishing her year in Australia. She told me lots of great stuff and told me not to worry about getting into debt while I'm here.

Femke and I walked all over, looking for a place to go dancing. It seems that all the pubs close down at midnight! So we came back to our house and ate peanut butter sandwiches and talked about our lives and loves at home. It was nice.

Today I've been looking into travel options around Sydney and how to get up the coast in June. I think I'll go to the travel agent on Monday about it all just to cheer myself up about the great adventures in my future!

Now, I'm off to Paddy's market for some groceries.

Tonight I'm going to a BBQ in Bondi Beach with Femke's friends. FUN!

Friday, April 11, 2003

A couple things:

  1. There are cockroaches here. They just scuttled across the kitchen counter when I went in there. Three of them. Ew.
  2. I'm glad I'm a night owl so that I can get emails from people who are up early in the morning.
  3. I'm going to get a call from my FAMILY this weekend, YAY!
  4. Sometimes I can't hear my mobile ring and then I find out that I've missed a call and I get really sad because it doesn't tell me who it was. So if I don't pick up, sometimes it's a good idea to hang up and try back immediately, as I usually pick up on the last right.
  5. Still having a bad hair fortnight. Would it come ON?!

Darling Harbour is a beautiful, touristy place. Dong suddenly remembered that he knows a guy who runs a fish restaurant there in Cockle Bay Wharf, and took Femke and I to meet him. The guy said he might be looking for some waitressing help, for the right experienced person, so I am CLEARLY that person! I'm sending him my lovely resume tonight. I will be the best, most friendly, most loved waitress in all of Sydney! Or maybe I will at least get to meet a few people anyway.

Took the ferry under the Harbour Bridge to Circular Quay. Another beautiful spot, full of shops and restaurants as well. Walked up to the Opera House. The "No War" graffiti has been scrubbed off, unfortunately. I picked up a brochure of all the shows there and I hope to be able to attend at least ONE show. "Hair" is also opening in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre. I'd like to see that as well.

We walked around a district called The Rocks. It's so cute with the narrow back alley garden terraces and the bakeries and pubs and tourist shops. I love it there and will definitely go back. Maybe I need a job at a bakery, though, since I am clearly in LOVE with food. I think that would be a bad idea for my health, sadly.

Then Dong and Femke decided to take the bus back. I wanted to walk. So Dong directed me to the walk back through the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Domain and Hyde Parks (all connected). I picked up a Lamington on the way, since I'd never heard of one before and it looked good. It was kind of disappointing, being just a piece of white cake with a chocolate icing covering and then rolled in coconut. I mean, don't get me wrong. It was good, but not as good as it looked like it was going to be.

I'm going to write about the gardens in my journal, I think. I'm almost done my first journal, actually. If you think that I've been writing a lot in my web site, you should see my offline journal!

I would also like to thank the people who have written to me saying that they enjoy reading my site. I'm embarassed to admit how flattered I am to hear that. I have always wanted to be a performer. I'm a bit of an exhibitionist, in that I love attention. However, I was never actually GOOD at anything (singing, dancing, acting, playing an instrument) that would get me on stage. So maybe the Web can be my stage. I appreciate all the nice words of encouragement, anyway.

Love to all!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Went out to Salsa night at the local bar.

News flash: I cannot dance. At least, I can't dance salsa. I looked and felt a bit foolish. However, everyone else looked BEAUTIFUL! People that can Salsa are sexy. Even if they're not actually attractive. So that leaves me out.

Although I did get a few offers from less-than-desirable men. And I did dance with a couple of guys. I was hopeless. Next week, I'm going to the lesson beforehand. I really would like to learn.

Femke and I were invited to a salsa party on Saturday. She can dance, though. She says she can't, but CLEARLY she can. We were also invited out tonight (Friday) to another bar/club.

Also last night, Femke and I did a trial class of "body pump" at the local gym. I might be joining the gym. It always makes me feel better to exercise. I'm also thinking of doing a "learn-to-surf" day trip. Trying to decide between that and a trip to Kangaroo Valley or a 2-day trip to the Blue Mountains. Maybe all of the above? Maybe I should get a job first!

Today I'm off to Darling Harbour to explore.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

It's downpouring right now. So I can do email and update my site instead of going out to check out the gym that I was going to check out with Famke. It should stop in a minute, I'm sure, or the skies will be drained for years to come.

Australia is in permanent water-conservation-mode due to draughts. To that end, their toilets (ALL of their toilets) have low water and have two flush settings: 1/2 for little jobs and full flush for the big jobs. I think that's a great idea and we should have that in N. America too. We're too spoiled and used to having water... well, not my parents, who have their own well, but everyone else is.

The transit system is also way better than Toronto's. It reaches much further out into the suburbs. The trains are much like the GO Trains, only cheaper and go to a wider variety of locations. They also have a bus, monorail, light rail, and ferry system. All very good.

And necessary: there are no highways going into the city, so it takes forever to get to the city centre by car.

The rain has stopped, as predicted. Off I go...

First post from my new "home".

I'm glad I didn't take more than what I have, as even carrying that much killed me, coming here. Maybe a wheelable suitcase/backpack would have been a good option afterall! Hindsight is 20/20.

Got a call from Alex this afternoon. It was nice to hear from him and to have him be able to share his latest girl stories, just as if I were in Toronto. Of course, for me it was the Wednesday afternoon and for him, that day hadn't even started yet. That continually amazes me.

Last night I went out to a really nice place for dinner in King's Cross, called "Bed". Kings Cross is supposed to be the red light district of the city, and I guess there were a lot of weirdos hanging around. But generally, it wasn't bad. Of course, I was with a group of people, so that probably helped. It was nice to go out with other travellers. It was with Famke, my new roommate, and her Dutch friends Karen and Suzan. They are all stunning, so I sat there feeling a little like the ugly duckling, sipping my wine. I had yummy Barramundi (white fish) for dinner.

It all meant that I got home very late to Gosford, woke up late, packed my things and went to Turramurra to pick up all the rest of my things. Then I trekked here and, well. Here I am. A little nervous.

Must get to the bank to get my bond money (like last month's rent only instead of giving it back to you, they refund it to you at the end of the stay). I hope that I can actually get money out of the bank with my bank card. If not, I'm sure I can figure out what to do.

Still no job. Which means that I now have to get back to working on that. Stop distracting me!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Another day, another web cafe.

Would like to report that I think I have a place to stay in Sydney city. I've been staying north of the city in either Gosford (with Sonal) or Turramurra (with the Plain family). Both have been wonderfully nice to me, but it's time to get independent.

This place is about 10 minutes walk from Central Station. I would share the room with a Dutch girl named Famke (whom I just met today at Starbucks and she's a lovely girl on a year-long round-the-world-tour). We'd also share the bathroom. But there are 4 others in the house, all great people. Reasonable price ($140/wk) and clean and safe. AND it has free Internet access!

I also looked into banks today and just have to figure out which one is best for me and then get a job to put some money into it!

Tonight I'm going out with Famke and her friends for dinner and a movie, so that should be fun. Yesterday, I got "home" to Gosford really late (10pm?) after a whirlwind day in the city looking at different places. CRAZY DAY. Today is much more relaxed.

I got my FIRST phone call from Canada this afternoon from Al. It made me feel a little less lonely. So a big thanks to him for that. I hear that it's snowing over there... SUCKERS! It's about 24 degrees here, although cloudy. I'm wearing a skirt and sandals. Although I'm STILL having a bad hair week. AT least I didn't pay $50 to have a bad hair day like my sister who emailed me about it yesterday.

I have to go apply for more temp jobs now!
Miss me!

Sunday, April 06, 2003

At a web cafe (well, nothing really cafe-ish about the place, I guess).

Saw a nice place this morning. 5 more places to go. Sent some resumes out to temping agencies. Finding a job is tough going. Any suggestions? I know, Scott Selby already suggested that I work as a waitress at a nudie bar, so I'm already aware of that suggestion, thanks.

On the weekend, Sonal and Ryan and I went to an RSL, which is basically a casino with ONLY slot machines. I lost $5. But it was interesting. All the locals were out. Gosford locals tend to be a little like northern-Ontario locals. If you know what I mean. Andy should.

Still feeling a bit like a stranger here. Sonal and Ryan have been SUPER nice and so have the Plains and I did go around with Susan on Friday and met her friend Nessa from Ireland... everyone is so great. But no close friends. Haven't had time to do fun things on my own yet, either, so that means I'm not much enjoying my time alone. I'm sure it'll be better once I get everything sorted out.

I should also find a bank today.

I also seem destined to have bad hair days EVERY single day I'm here. Could be worse, I guess. At least the weather has cooperated. It's beautiful out today! Like Ontario in early fall. Perfect.

Time's almost up here. Gotta go!
Well, my migraine is finally gone. And it's only been 6 days!!

Had a lovely weekend with my friend Sonal in Gosford (about an hour or more north of Sydney).

Sonal, her boyfriend Ryan, and I went for a couple of beautiful drives. We ate fish and chips on the beach. We went mini putting. It was great fun!

I have a cell phone now!! Yay!

Today I have 7 appointments to see different places to live. I hope something turns out to be liveable!

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Crazy day.

Good: got my working holiday visa designation in my passport.
Problem: didn't get a bank account, but can look up rates online tonight I hope.

Problem: didn't find a place to stay. All the hostels were kind of... too busy/messy/expensive/noisy... whatever.
Good: I met a wonderful girl named Susan from Scotland who's in Sydney for about the same amount of time and she had some ideas about alternative accommodation, so we're meeting tomorrow to go look into them. See for what I mean.

Problem: didn't get a mobile phone (they don't call them "cell" phones here)
Good: found the place where I can look into that tomorrow. If I have time. Also found some people who are selling their phones. I'll ask what that means for a mobile plan...

Problem: didn't find a job.
Good: did get some leads on recruiting/temp agencies. And some job postings on some of the hostel's posting boards.

I feel better today. Aside from this damn migraine.
I love being busy, clearly. And I love meeting people. Clearly.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

I have a migraine. Crap.

It's probably a combination of the weather changes and sleep disturbances and stress.

I've got a tax number, so that's one thing off my list. I know where I'm going for my visa tomorrow morning. Yay. I've updated my site. Another good thing. And I've had a lot of email, which I'm very happy about. I was going to email Jane, but I think I'll post it here: Jane, I'm wearing the underwear that you bought me and, yes, I'm thinking of you!

Email is great, but it's a great way NOT to do what I'm supposed to do. I'm a horrible procrastinator. Especially when I don't want to or am afraid of doing something, or don't know how to start.

I'm feeling very lazy, though, so I'll have to get out of this house soon.

Last night, I went with Tanya Plain (who's a dance/drama teacher) to her creative arts high school's talent night. It was very cute. Some of the acts were outstanding. I'm sure I'll write a journal about it. I find I'm ALWAYS writing these days.

Met a teacher who was telling me about the best ways to get wine tasting. And about the Auzzie books that I should read. And about Australia in general. I drank some Hunter Valley Semillon with him in the teacher's lounge. I liked the wine a lot, even though it was quite cheap. But it was all the better because it felt just a little bad to be drinking in the teacher's lounge.

Still fighting with Blogger. They messed up my template so it suddenly doesn't want to work. So I had to choose one of theirs for the time being. I can't for the life of me figure out why mine doesn't work! I'll keep plugging away at it, but until then you get to look at this one.