Not a Tourist Anymore!

Sydney Travel Blog

 › entry 45 of 45 › view all entries
Today marks the first day I am no longer on my working holiday visa.  It's expired.  I'm waiting for my application for a temporary residency visa to be approved.  The process will likely take a few more months.  But in the mean time, I'm legally allowed to stay and work.  I've got what's called a Bridging Visa A.  And I can leave the country for the holidays by simply filling out a form and forking over (even more) cash to Australian Immigration.  This is called Bridging Visa B.

So, I'm officially not a tourist anymore! 

Some reflections and observations on my first year in Sydney:

- Sydney's public transport system really does suck.  At first I was impressed by its reach and frequency, but it's just so bloody expensive.  And high frequency means squat when the buses don't run on time - or simply fail to show up. 

- I eat beet root and pumpkin much, much more often than I ever did in Canada.  I like it.

- I have yet to adapt a taste for kangaroo meat.  It's cheap and it's lean, but I don't it.

- Food is expensive here.  Actually, the standard of living is just generally more expensive than in T.O.

- All the sun and beaches and gorgeous scenery make for happier people. 

- I still don't understand why, in a country with so many poisonous insects and gigantic roaches, people don't have screens on their windows and design doors with giant gaps where they meet the floor.  I've been told that it's different in the outback.

- The lack of air-con in homes in 40C+ weather confounds me.  And I've discovered that I'm completely useless in 40C+ weather.

- People in the city get really dressed up.  For all occasions.  I've been to the bowling alley at night and the place is full of young girls wearing cocktail dresses and high heels - only to trade them in for bowling shoes!

- Australians don't seem to feel the love for fresh bagels and quality cream cheese the way Canadians do.  I miss the variety.

- I have observed many Australians who bring the term "binge drinking" to a whole new level that I'm not sure the human body is designed to survive.  And I mean a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

-  I still don't have a car and I prefer it that way.  Driving in Sydney scares me.  Also, street signs are often missing on street corners and I'm convinced that whoever put up the road signs in Sydney CLEARLY does not drive.  They offer the most confusing directions ever.  And I'm not even going to get into the road toll system here.

- Train stations frustrate me.  Info on upcoming trains is often displayed outside the paid area.  So if I'm transferring at a train station, I have trouble figuring out which platform to switch to because in order to read the info monitors, I need to LEAVE the station.

- This city offers much better Thai food compared to Toronto. However, I completely avoid going out for Mexican food now.

- Meeting a Sydneysider in Sydney is still a rare occurrence

- I may get picked on for pronouncing the word 'aluminium' without the last 'i', but I now fight back asking where that last 'o' has disappeared to when people here say 'observatory', 'conservatory', 'laboratory', or 'comfortable'.  Where's the love for that letter?!  Such a neglected little o!

Of course, I could go on, but you get the idea.  These are just the little bits and bogs I've noticed in my first year here but all in all, I find that the warm weather, gorgeous scenery, and easy-going people suit me just fine.

Seeing as I've rounded this blog into a neat(ish) one year piece, I've decided to put it to bed.  Future trips around Australasia will get its own write up as I figure it's no longer suitable to put them into my "Move to Oz" heading.  See you peeps on the road :)
callufrax says:
And I wasn't born here, either. I was born in Nottingham, and then spent my primary school years in south western Victoria. So I guess that rules me out, also!
Posted on: Dec 18, 2009
Connie says:
Actually, not as many as I'd expected. Lots of Kiwis, English, Americans, and Canadians. But maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places!
Posted on: Dec 18, 2009
fransglobal says:
Some interesting little apecus there. I'm sure whatever about Sydneysiders, you've met lots of Irish there.
Posted on: Dec 18, 2009
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