I lazed around most of yesterday until around 3:30 then got ready for the day to meet Jim @ 4PM at the foot of the Pyrmont (Darling Harbor) bridge. We took the train up to North Sydney (Lavender Bay) to meet with Lakis, the agent brokering the apartment. Signed the lease and now have the keys, woo, hoo!
Next mission was to find a bed so next stop, Ikea in Tempe, ate dinner there too. While it's good to have found a bed, we are essentially starting from square one and need to buy everything to furnish a two bedroom apartment. Typically, ex-pats will buy and barter second-hand stuff w/ other ex-pats and locals via Gumtree, MeetUps and Facebook groups. Gumtree is like our Craig's list where you can pretty much find anything!
I found and met a really nice couple, Justin & Kerry, on "Yanks Down Under" and took the train up to Neutral Bay to meet them and see what they were selling. So embarrassed, got lost from the train station to their apt so Justin found me and picked me up in his car! :-/ Nice area, noticeably quiet and off the beaten path of the city bustle but super steep hills up there too. They were working and living in Singapore last year for a year and another year in Sydney. Now that her contract was up, they were getting ready to head back home to Ohio. They had a nice variety of kitchen appliances to choose from. Bought two of these space heaters as well as the microwave and toaster, pretty awesome!
Had a very interesting and enlightening conversation w/ them, as it turns out, we are not alone when it comes to receiving the cold shoulder from Australians. Rather unfortunately they also confirmed that the Australians they met during their residency here, were not very friendly and even aggressive people. :-( Kerry, who works in HR, experienced the unfriendly, almost hostile work environment, was not on-boarded or introduced to co-workers. They mainly befriended other American expats. To be fair about it though, it makes you realize that (with the exception of maybe the mid-west and south U.S.A.) Americans can also be a little stand-offish and sometimes not the most out-going/welcoming of foreigners either. It's just surprising that it would not be a little different in the workplace at least. Could be a generational thing too.
Justin was so nice he even drove me back down to the train station. Pointed out the Sharp building, 55 Lavender St. where Nichole Kidman and Keith Urban own a penthouse suite, nice. The back of the brick building, btw, is our building. That is our backyard. The Sharp building is diagonally across the street from us. We have not seen Nicole yet and rumor has it is that she has sold her apartment there recently, bummer.
So, a van has now been reserved for tomorrow, moving day and now we can finally get out of this moth-infested apartment and into our new flat! Got back to the apartment and found the apartment-owner vacuuming, wow, lol...