I've been in Sydney for little over a day, and man it feels good to be here living the backpacker life. A little more on this later, but first the flight experience
After a great week in SF for a bit of a dissapointing fleet week due to weather, I still had a great time spending my last few days in the states watching the Blue Angels and sharing great memories with my fam and friends, how bout those crackpipes? (a name of a alcholic drink of course)
Anyhow, the flight was right on time at 11pm SFO time. The flight was absolutely full with only one or 2 vacant seats. Its really amazing when you take a step back and think about all the people that fly on a daily basis. My booked flight was just one of thousands carrying businessmen/backpackers/travelers all over the world. Anyhow, I couldn't have had a worse seat on the flight. I knew I would be towards the rear of the plane, but was definitely not expecting the very last seat of the 350+ seat economy class. I was right next to the toilets and where the flight attendants stored and prepared the food. And to make it worse, my seat could not decline back the whole way since there was a wall behind it. Despite these certain flaws with the seating, I didnt have too bad of a flight, but certainly not the best I could have had. And if you are thinking "oh he was in the back, he got his meals served first" that was not the case. Anyhow, i was able to get around 5-6 hrs of sleep I would say during the 14 hour flight.
Anyhow, I arrived in Sydney at arround 7 am Sydney time (the time difference is 18 hours ahead of US Pacific Time). I had shuttle transportation from the airport to my backpacker hostel. I was tired, but did not feel too bad. The travel books I read all said not to sleep until the night. almost 36 hours into oz time, i really haven't had any problems adjusting to the time patterns. I've always had a great ability to stay awake for hours and sleep anytime I tell myself to.
Anyhow, day 1 was wide open with nothing to do. I decided to take a stroll thru the city to head to my Work and Travel center to pick up my arrival paperwork and just check out the place. This company is made for backpackers just like me coming from abroad seeking work. They help setting up my bank account, tax number, and help with travel plans and of course jobs. There i met a nice lad named Ben from Machester, England. Been hangin out with him for the past 2 days. We took a long walk to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, some of the most famous sights in Australia, and pretty much what the average tourist would think of when talking about sights in Sydney. It was pretty special seeing those sights in person and being there right next to them.
Sydney is a pretty good size city and is the most populated city in Australia (5 million). It reminds me a whole lot of San Francisco, tall high rises, crowded streets, busy traffic, tons of tourists, and yes chinese. I knew coming in that Sydney did have a Chinatown district. My hostel is right down the street to it, and I need to go through it everytime I need to go to the work and travel company. With that, i was suprised at the amount of chinese in the city and definitely feel like I need to get out of Sydney to get the real Australia feel. SO far the weather has been somewhat cold and windy, but when its just the sun, it feels pretty hot. I can see how oz can be pretty warm during the day in the summer.
Besides the asian shops, there are alot of banks in Sydney, a lot of money exchange places and souvenir shops. I have stumbled across McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, and Subway several times. Another big hit here is Hungry Jacks, the Australian name for Burger King..it is definitely Burger King with a different name...I kinda wish it was Hungry Jacks in the States.
Last night Ben and I were seeking something to do, so we went down to the backpacker bar for some beers. Victoria Bitter(VB) is definitely a great tasting Australian beer, and will probably start being my go to, but there seems to be a good amount of australian beers here so I will try to give em all a try. I was warned about this before arrival, and it is definitely true..alcohol is extremely expensive here. In the pub, I paid 4.80 for not even a pint size beer. Hittin up happy hour tonight for 3.50...NICE!!!! We went to a bottle shop today to purchase some beer, 6 pack for 15 dollars, and a 24 pack for $43 dollars...pretty absurd. Natty light could definitely make some business here if they could sell their 30 packs for 12 bucks here like they do in the states!
Today I had my orientation, set me up with my bank account and tax number. I am now at the point to start the job search. I do not see myself staying in Sydney. Really gonna try to push for resort work along the coast. Plannin on stayin in Sydney for another week or 2 and hit up the nearby attractions and conduct my job search, then I will be headed up more towards the coast.
The hostel I am stayin at is pretty good..rivals some of the great hostels i stayed in around Europe. It is really large..about 520 beds with 2 large kitchens and some real nice and clean bed and bathrooms
I can already tell that backpacking is definitely a huge thing here..there are people all over the world here. I have met people from California, New York, England, Holland, and Germany. The great thing is that all these people are just like me, with travelling and working on their mind and are looking for friends. Had a pretty interesting encounter last night in the hostel dorm. There are 4 beds(2 bunks). I was able to sleep quite nicely..but there was a very load snorer in the bed across. I was so tired..i really didnt have trouble finding sleep, but i definitely work up a couple times because of this guy snoring. The best moment came around 4 or 5 in the morning when another guy in the room who was sleeping above the snorer got out of his bed and woke up the guy snoring and completely yelled at him for about 2 minutes and bitched how he couldnt sleep and had a big day of traveling ahead of him. It was just something pretty entertaining to wake up to in the middle of the morning.
Well thats about all I have right about now. Bout to go cook up a meal in the hostel kitchen and go for a stubby bottle of beer.
Doin an intense job search tomorrow and may hit up sydney aquarium as the work travel company get huge discounts at all these tourist spots
Its only been a day and a few hours, but I know Im at the right place and this experience is going to be one I never forget.