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Sticker Shock and Other Nuances of Sydney Life

-Everything here is absurdly expensive. I’m talking like a chocolate candy bar is at least A$2, bottle of water at least A$1.90. I know that doesn’t sound bad, but when you add it all up, it’s nearly impossible not to spend at least A$25 a day, and that SUCKS. I guess it’s all counterbalanced by the fact that there are no taxes and no tips. Presumably both tax and tip are included within the price of the item, even when it comes to prepared food in restaurants. Also, workers, even those with the most menial of jobs, get paid at least A$15 an hour. In sum: I need a job.

-There are no “amenities” here. And by that I mean there is no heating, no air conditioning, no clothing dryers, and no dishwashers. I don’t know if this is some sick joke on the Australian population (“Soooo even though it is the 21st century and we are a modern, industrialized city, we’re gonna live like in the Stone Age, ya dig?”) or just an energy-saving device or maybe just a general ambivalence towards modern appliances…Either way it’s ridiculously frustrating. I don’t see why I need to be paying A$650 a month to share a room in a house where there is no heat, no air, no dryer, and no dishwasher.

-No one jaywalks here. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – actually it’s kinda good for those of us who still often forget to look right first when crossing the street – it’s just unusual. In addition to the typical blinking green man, the “walk” signal also includes a sort of siren-y sound signaling it is okay to cross. People here are very patient and will wait until they hear that sound, even if there are no cars coming. The anti-New York City pedestrian attitude.

-I may have mentioned this already, but everyone likes to wear all black. Yesterday I finally gave in to this trendy European style and wore black on black. Well, at least I’m fitting in. By the way, it’s just me and Lydia now in this nice, big hostel room made for four. I also found out that printmaking is the process of realizing a clothing designer’s design through the use of mathematical equations and sketches. Lydia got her job but she said she needs another one because this one will pay per print, not hourly.

In other news, I signed my lease yesterday to live at 3 Creek Street. I know there’s a serious lack of photos up here, so I remembered to bring along my camera. Witness: My first photo in Sydney and my lovely new home:

Living on Creek Street in Sydney
Upper left window will be my room

And while we’re on the topic of “Firsts” I finally had my first legal alcoholic beverage last night. I met up with Verena and Frank and their other German friends at a hotel bar then we all went dancing at what I can only assume was a backpacker’s club nearby. Let’s just say I think I’m finally over my jetlag.

First legal beer in Sydney
Me and Verena and my first legal beer

Last thing: 3 Creek is having a potluck on Sunday in which each person is supposed to bring a traditional food from his or her home country. Any ideas? And be serious, guys – I’m not bringing hamburgers or hot dogs.


  1. KimVo says:

    Traditional foods…hmm.. macaroni and cheese! Or chili. Or meatloaf/mashed potatoes. Where’s Ryan Phillipe? Love, Mom

  2. Marlene Josephs says:

    How about some “typical” New Yawk food like Hummus (I know, that’s middle eastern, but kinda New York Jewish), or guacomole (I know, that’s Mexican, but kinda New York bar food). You could always do grits, a southern favorite. That beer looks good in your hand. xoxoxoxoxoxxo Tante

  3. Linda in Az says:

    How about Peanut-butter & Jelly on white bread?

    When you are looking to buy chocolate…Jaffas, They are like M&M’s on steroids!


    Linda in AZ

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