This and that.
Here are somethings I have begun to get used to hearing:
I didn’t realize it until a few weeks ago, but working in Sydney has been the first time in my life that working full-time has not coincided with part-time school. I have to say, it’s nice when you approach the weekend and have nothing to do except what you WANT to do.
I feel like people older than me might tell me to cherish this fleeting freedom, so I'll do my best.
Thinking about moving to Sydney?! Don't leave without considering these 7 things!
Good quality beer?
A tasty 6-pack will cost at LEAST $24 ($1.00 Cad = $0.98 AUD at the moment) Why? I dunno. Wine is cheap, liquor is the similar (if not cheaper) to Halifax prices. While on the topic of alcohol, if alcohol preferences reflect the environment, then Oz (so far) is a great example. The general beer standards are smooth, golden, and slightly lower in alcohol. At first I scoffed at this lower ABU%, however, I’ve come to appreciate that when it’s super hot and sunny, and you’re at patios or the beach all Saturday, these beers are a god send.
Similar to many Canadian locales, the craft brewery market has exploded here in the last two decades, there's something for everyone.
BUT (there’s always a but) wear your sunscreen, like all the time. If you are someone who has descended from a northern clime, and don't want to look like an old catcher's mitt by the time you're forty, then for god sake where your sunscreen. I had to buy sunscreen to have at work, in case I wanted to spend my lunch outside (and it’s technically still winter at time of writing).
Sometimes people walk into you.
“What’s the capital of Canada? Toronto?”
For every time you’ve heard that, an Australian has heard someone assume Sydney to be the capital. The truth is, that the Aussie’s had a tough time picking a capital.
I mean Sydney and Melbourne both pose as such logical choices to represent as Australia’s capital, but unlike many things debated between Sydney and Melbourne, the country decided to compromise and meet in the middle. The middle being Canberra.
Seriously. A decision couldn’t be reached, so they took a map out and looked at cities that were about halfway in between, and Canberra emerged the geographical victor.
Because Canberra would have to be built up to adequately stand as the nation’s capital, it is largely a planned city, complete with cool view planes and working with the natural topography of the area.
Only a shortish 3 hour bus ride away, every pointed to Canberra being ripe for our first (excluding Newcastle) foray outside of Sydney. So after almost five months, Lindy and I find ourselves in a hostel again. And the change of scenery was certainly welcome (Mon-Fri, 9-5’s don’t permit for much travel outside of Sydney).
One of the daunting things about visiting Canberra, is that between the politics and history it can all go a bit over your head. Much to the advantage of Lindy and I, we had the very knowledgeable (and Canadian) ex-pat, Don MacDonald as our personal Australian political, historic, and cultural interpreter.. I met Don 13 years ago, when he taught me at QEH, now he’s living and teaching in Canberra, small world eh?! If it weren't for Don, we wouldn't have known fun facts like:
I got to play (and beat) a robot in air hockey and we looked at things under a microscope for like 30 minutes. They also had an exhibit on spiders.
If you know me well enough, you know of my distaste for the arachnids, I figured some education might shine a light on this bit of irrational fear... But nope, it turns out that if the Australian spider in front of you isn’t one of the deadly or painfully venomous types, it will be one of the nightmarishly large types, so that’s great. Click pictures for more...
Also, one of the most venomous spiders in the world happens to be named the Sydney funnel web spider, so that’s also great. However, it was very interesting. Science museums don't usually leave me disappointed, and Questacon was no exception.
The current Australian parliament house was built in the 80’s to replace the old one. It was built right into the hill it sits on, a straight 3.2 Km across from the war memorial, creating some very cool view planes.
After taking in some of the good views, and brushing up on our political history, it was off to Bent Spoke brewery with our host, Don. Not much to say here, which is odd, because based on the metrics of “time" and "money" spent, the brewery was our most popular destination… but it seriously had some of my favourite beer I’ve had in Australia to date.
On a side note, we went to a video game bar after the brewery, where I spotted a couple people playing Mario Kart 64, I asked if we could join.
The other guy to Lindy,
“Do you know the controls?”,
“Yep! I’ve played before” says Lindy.
We proceeded to come in first and second by considerable margins for each of the following races, red shelling and taking names along the way.
The next day we got to the war memorial, which is super impressive. It has unique and large scale monuments to each major conflict over the last 100 years or so, in addition to an extensive museum on the same subjects. Shortly after entering the museum, Donald our Canberran host would occasionally enlighten us with some further information on different battles or events. It then clicked for me that we were walking through a history museum with a history teacher. I will say, if you can go to a museum escorted by an expert in the field, that’s the way to do it.
I haven’t written a blog in a while (like four months), what’s up with that? Well it turns out that staying inside on evenings and weekends and spending free time on the computer isn’t all that fun, especially when you’re on a computer all day anyway. On TOP of that, as much as we’re really enjoying day-to-day life in Sydney, it’s not “blog worthy”.
I tell ya, there’s been many times I’ve started to write about stuff, but then I've thought, “nah this is boring, nobody wants to read this.”
But you know what is interesting? Uluru (Ayer's Rock). We went for a weekend a few weeks ago and it is certainly a unique place. I hope to beat my previous time of four months before writing about that one.