Feeling Claustrophobic

Still here in apartment hell so I just hang out inside our bedroom when I’m not out exploring. We’re in the Pyrmont section of the city, just yards from the Anzac bridge and less than a ten minute walk to Darling Harbor, really nice location.

I realized after the first time I went grocery shopping that I do not have a car to put all the bags in – I need to walk and carry them, even if it’s several blocks. So used to just hopping in my car at home. That was a major reality check that completely slipped my mind! Doh, hence the reason I needed to buy the ‘trolley’… but I did not want to look old and frumpy so I bought this stylish one as I mentioned. Of course it’s turned out to be a real problem. It’s flimsy and flips from side to side, really small wheels and lacks support like some others I’ve seen. I must admit that I was having trolley-envy as I noticed other trollies were larger and sturdier, like the one below. Now that’s a nice trolley.                                           

Feeling accomplished today since I found a dry cleaner, hardware store and post office so it’s nice to begin to feel a sense of place now. It wouldn’t be so bad to stay in this part of the city if we hadn’t already found a place on the lower north shore. No matter the location though, is that I can’t adjust to all the city noise coming from the woods of Clinton/Killingworth. I know over time I will acclimate but right now I am so sensitive to it and not liking it. I think living out of suitcases now for weeks can really get old too so I am REALLY looking forward to our new flat in Lavender Bay – it’s certainly been worth the wait, arguably the most sought-after part of the city to live!

Not having a car sure is inconvenient but there are perks too – keeps our expenses WAY down and I walk everywhere, it’s been great exercise, plus train travel here is super reliable, gets you where you need to go quickly and the trains run frequently. There are many car rental options too if we needed one for a day.

Today is also St. Patrick’s Day, of course, so it was fun to see all the green and beer flowing with every bar packed. Even if it was not a holiday, this is a drinking culture here. Every Friday, the alcohol cart gets rolled out for happy hour at Jim’s workplace! It’s very much like the ‘60’s culture here professionally. Think “Mad Men.” How different it is in the U.S., imagine drinking alcohol in the office at home?

The morning after St. Patty’s day…

Temp Room in Shared Flat

Spring might be right around the corner back home but here the end of summer is approaching and Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning color, which is an odd thing to see when you also see palm trees and other tropical plants.

Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, has the perfect year-round climate, sub-tropical/temperate. Not too cold, not too hot, what ever time of year it is. Sydney ranks in the top five best cities in the world to live in and visit, which comes as no surprise to me. Safe, clean, beautiful, but also very expensive. Asians and Pacific south-islanders in particular immigrate here for a better quality of life and wealthy Chinese immigrants are buying very pricey properties in record numbers. Anyway, just a bit of interesting background info on Sydney I wanted to share.

It is only a few days until we move into our own place, for now, we are stuck in this bug-ridden apartment. REALLY motivated to get out of there. It’s so difficult to live w/ a stranger and a foreigner makes it even more challenging. Forget cooking anything in the filthy kitchen too. Jim is back to work and I walked with him yesterday into the CBD (Central Business District) to the bank so I can have my own debit card.

Today I went into the CBD alone for the first time to exchange a few shirts at Lowe’s and picked up a clothes steamer. I finally used the Qantas gift card at Myer’s department store or it would have expired today. I bought myself a stylin’ trolley (shopping cart) and ice cream scoop… priorities…. Have been here about a week and already feeling oriented to the area.

My new trolley:

And speaking of banking. That, too, is very confusing.

New word/phrases of the day:

Your Checking account = transaction acct

Your Savings acct = where your checks are extracted from

When you use your debit card here, you must tell the clerk to charge your savings acct. At this point, I am really not sure what an actual savings acct is called.


We went into the (Central Business District) CBD to shop on George St., very high end shopping district. Fortunately for us, we found the cheapest store possible, Lowe’s, “low-end” men’s clothing, where Jim was able to buy several shirts for under $100. Buying most things here is crazy expensive. Sometimes you come across a bargain and it’s cause to celebrate. When we were waiting in line at check-out at Lowe’s, the clerk let out a blood-curdling scream that caused everyone in the store to freeze and look her way. She had the largest bug I’ve ever seen crawling on her arm. A cockroach, about the size of a small cell phone. She brushed it off but then it quickly crawled under the counter.

These larger than life cockroaches (like the spiders) are everywhere. Since it is a sub-tropical/temperate climate, they never experience a deep freeze to kill off these pests. They don’t seem to bother the locals, well except for the store clerk anyway. I don’t know if I will ever get used to them. The spiders I can live with but not the roaches…

Here’s one I found sunning himself on a stone wall.

While walking through Hyde Park, we discovered a really nice public bathroom. Usually an oxymoron but at least in Sydney, we were pretty impressed. Quite spacious, tiled, clean streaming music. The tune I caught was Dionne Warwick singing “What the World needs now….”  Not exactly what I was expecting but a pleasant surprise none-the-less.

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