As I type this, it is 7:14 am on Thursday, January 19th, 2017. According to Flightaware.com, My flight landed in Sydney almost 24 hours ago at 7:55 am on Wednesday, and that was after a 14-hour 20-minute flight that took off from Los Angeles on Monday at 10:57 pm. How about that for a change of time and scenery and a "lost day"?
Luckily I slept well on the flight and arrived in Sydney refreshed with the goal of staying awake until 10 pm to try and stave off the jet lag as quickly as possible. After making it through customs and immigration, I sought out an ATM for Australian dollars. I used that money to purchase a pre-paid SIM card from Vodafone and once online I was able to let the family know I arrived safely.
Speaking of money, Australia is different from the US system quite drastically. First, there is no penny equivalent. Second, there is no dollar bill as instead, it is a coin. Third, the notes are vibrantly colored, and different sizes that get bigger as the denomination increases. I am missing a 10 dollar bill and a 100 dollar bill in the photo, but I do have all the coins shown.
A quick trip to my temporary apartment and I was in the room and ready to explore and grab lunch. It was 90ºF at 11 am, so I lathered up in sunscreen and left to explore Sydney.
My first destination was the PayPal office so I could get a feel on the daily walk to work I will take starting on Monday. It was a nice 20-minute walk through the core of the business district. It is a shared office building so no PayPal logo, but it is in The Rocks neighborhood and a three block walk from being on the waterfront and looking at the Sydney Opera House.
After taking the above photo, I did that exact walk and headed over to the waterfront to see the Opera House. Tourist Goal #1 accomplished.
Turning around from looking at the Opera House and you see the beautiful Sydney Harbor Bridge. The pilings are beautiful architecture from afar and up close the stonework is gorgeous.
From there I head back to the hotel to unpack and recharge my phone. I am not fully unpacking as when I got there the company told me that a newly opened apartment in a nicer building was available at the same price. I plan to view that apartment today or tomorrow and make a decision whether to switch or not.
After a short rest in the apartment, I head back out into the city this time seeking local Australian beer. The first place I found was a half block from my apartment called 3 Wise Monkeys. 2 average Australian beers later I was ready to find a different watering hole.
My goal of staying awake until 10 pm did not pass and I ended up heading to bed around 8:30 pm. I awoke around 4 am this morning, and I am counting that is a win against jet lag as I am now only 2-3 hours away from being on Sydney time. That is not too shabby for my first day if I must say so myself.
Now on to some random things I noticed about Sydney during my first day there.
- Everybody seems to walk about with a smile.
- I downloaded an app to do metric to imperial conversions until I get used to metric.
- The light switches are all the opposite in my apartment. Press down for on and up for off. On top of that, about half of the outlets have a dedicated switch on the same plug directly above them to activate the power to that particular outlet.
- Apple AirPods have not been released here yet, so I was stopped at least ten times yesterday with people asking about them. Before you ask me, yes they fit, and no they do not fall out.
- There seem to be as many restaurants as people. All the food looks amazing too, and I am very excited to try it out.
- With the above statement noted, the people here seem to be the fittest city I have ever seen. I have long thought it was Miami, but it is not even close.