This welcome phrase has been sweet music to my ears. I have finally arrived in Australia, in one piece, and am quite glad to be here! These first few days have comprised of a lot of unpacking, orientation at the BU at Sydney center, shopping, and settling in.
Off the bat, here are a few struggles I have had within Australia:
- Sidewalks. It was a funny little “aha!” moment when we realized, after a bit of bumping around and feeling like oddly obstructive awkward Americans, that we were walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk. In Australia, cars and streets function on the reverse side, hence even walking on the sidewalk must be done on the left! Trust me, trying to walk on the left is harder than you’d think. I had never even realized how intuitive it is to veer to right, and how I even feel a little funny on the sidewalk with the street on my right side. Funny little things.
- Toilets. The (wonderful) apartment-style dorms in the BU Sydney Academic Center have a pretty confusing toilet… it has a sink attached to the top of it, so that when you push the button (with the handy two option flush) the sink starts running immediately. The benefit to these is that fresh water is used to wash your hands and then fills the tank below it so that high quality water isn’t misused flushing away our waste. Buuuut, they’re pretty weird/ confusing. Also, the water does not spin the opposite direction.
- Expense. Seriously, if you ever hear someone say that Sydney is expensive, thats no joke. Australians have inflation and a much higher minimum wage (somewhere around AUD $16), so things like a margarita can cost upwards of $24 Australian Dollars. Geez.
Other than small confusions and learning new things, all has been well! Today we went on a boat cruise on Sydney’s Darling Harbor with the whole program and staff. It was quite beautiful and really somewhat of an Australian Tourist Rite of Passage. Anyone’s first impressions of Sydney involve the uniquely built Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. Both were beautiful and stunning to cruise by.
More adventures to come!
All the best,