One year in AU – what I like about you

Today it has been exactly one year since Man Piece and I hopped on a jet plane and crossed the ditch to live in Sydney, contributing to the terrible “brain drain” of kiwis.

I honestly can’t believe it has been one year – the time has flown by so quickly. I’ve had many ups and downs emotionally in the past year. Turns out leaving your home country can be quite traumatic, even if you are still going to one which is basically the same.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about the things I hated about Australia and I have had this post sitting in my drafts for quite some time – what better time than our one year anniversary in the western island to post it.

Things I like about australia

The pay – it is true that pay in Australia is a lot better than that in NZ. For example, not only have I shopped up large in clothing this year, but I have successfully paid $5000 off my student loan as well. I definitely could not have managed that if I was still on the same salary in NZ. AND I still have some left over in my savings – possibly enough for a trip to the US? Possibly.

I was really enjoying the cooler, more comfortable weather over the “winter” months. It was comfortable, but not cold. Most days sat around 20 degrees and you could feel a bit of a chill at night, but nothing which really sent you running for your winter woolies.

Lots more general things to do. I’ve been to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, done a heap of night photography with Vivid Sydney, escaped to the Blue Mountains for a day (on public transport, no less!) and now there are art installations going up all around the city for Art and About – giant snails anyone?

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Lots more shops and options – I can actually go to the mall and know shops that stock size 11 shoes. Although a lot of them still stop at 10. When will stores learn woman have large feet and want cheap shoes too?

Food – there are some amazing food options over here, if you know where to go. One of our favourite places is Snag Stand. Also Ribs and Burgers. And Mad Mex (now in Wellington! Yussss). And Dulche Luna. I will seriously miss Dulche Luna when we leave, there is really nothing like it that I know of in NZ. Also The Tea Cosy down at The Rocks which does a mean devonshire tea.

More shows and gigs happen here. Fall Out Boy announced a gig here, and although I didn’t manage to get tickets, they came and went, and hopefully will be back later in the year. I’ve already been to Legally Blonde: The musical, which has not been in NZ. We went to the Alexander Exhibition, which was on loan from a Russian museum – definitely not in NZ. We had tickets to Post Secret (yes it is also going to NZ) Wicked is coming soon as well. It has already been in AU, but coming back and doing shows in NZ. War Horse was on, although I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, so didn’t end up getting to see it. The Lion King is coming! It’s quite funny actually, where Man Piece and I live, we look down on to empty buildings where posters go up constantly – seriously every morning you will see a new one, they are constantly changing – with that, every new one seems to be announcing a new concert or event or album release.

Towards The Rocks from the  Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Part of Vivid Sydney – towards The Rocks from the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Public transport. Even though the majority of Sydney-siders bag on it and say it is awful, it is so much better than NZ public transport. Seriously, peak hour and you only have to wait three minutes max for a train. People here compare it to New York and London etc, saying they are better, but we’re not in those cities. Each city was built at different times and in different ways, and cater to different levels of population. But I guess it is all comparative. Compared to New Zealand public transport, it rocks. It is even easier now thanks to the OPAL roll-out (Sydney is finally catching on to tap-on/tap-off) and although they are doing the roll-out slowly, it is coming, slowly…

The internet is so much faster and more reliable.

Things are a bit cheaper. My morning coffee costs me $3 or $3.50, depending on whether I get it first thing or wait till 10.30 for happy hour. A large in Auckland was costing me $4 or $5, which is why I didn’t get it every morning. Now I do, because I can afford it.

Anything that I could possibly want is within walking distance or it is a short walk to reliable, reasonably priced public transport to get what I want.

And that’s about it, I can’t think of anything else right now – oh! Ben and Jerry’s! It’s here, I love it, werd.

Yeah, but that’s it, aye. Happy One Year Anniversary to me (and Man Piece).

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