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.

Touring the City

Nice tour of the city today, checking out apartments. An “open house” is called an “inspection.” They are scheduled on specific days and times and only give you 15 min to view an apartment. Not quite as client-oriented here as agents are in the U.S. :-/  We checked out two flats in Woolloomooloo but never bothered going inside, neighborhood was kind of seedy. Pretty disappointing since we heard it was such a nice section of the city.

We had a nice lunch at the Lavender Bay cafe, not even a five minute walk from an apartment we looked at today in Lavender Bay on the lower north shore. Super nice section of the city. We would LOVE to live here but w/ all the competition and having pets, we are up against, we will not be surprised if we don’t get it. But we came prepared w/ a “pet resume” and as older, working professionals, we are cautiously optimistic.

A two-bedroom apartment is important as we want to be sure we have enough space for the multitude of guests we’re expecting to visit. Also, living in or near a green/wooded area is essential as we love nature and bird-watching. The magpie song is quintessential Australia and really beautiful. Take a listen here: https://www.freesound.org/people/digifishmusic/sounds/42189/ (Sound credit to https://www.freesound.org/people/digifishmusic/) and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw

The ravens are truly other-worldly.  Jim compares their song to a cross between ET and an unhappy toddler. Must listen and view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6YhVOHX-ws


Pretty cool, we heard back from the Lavender St. agent in less than two hours and we got the apartment – woot, woot!!  We move in on the 20th and now face the challenge of furnishing our new place in a week!

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