Finally a chance to sit down and return to what I love to do most as well as sort through my photos from Australia. I am finally home in Toronto and almost settled in the time zone from my long trip half way around the world. Living in a city already adapted to the Western culture is much easier than experiencing culture shock in a world where you are unfamiliar with the language, culture and customs which can be quite frustrating.
In the heart of Sydney is Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse city I’ve ever been to. You will meet people from all over the world. I was quite surprised by the vast amount of Asians in Sydney, but then again, Asia isn’t too far away from Australia. It is the most populous city in Australia. I am proud to brag that I’ve lived in Australia to witness all the beautiful places you see on postcards and television. Oh, I can’t forget my personal encounters with Australia’s most loved kangaroos and koala bears. The train commute around Sydney is extremely accessible and easy, the Metro system made all my trips around Sydney doable. I am very happy that I made this trip at the right time of the season and year. There was a festival and firework shows every weekend in the month of January to celebrate Australia Day. It was also exciting to watch the fireworks on Chinese New Year and beautiful decorations around the city celebrating the Year of the Snake. The trip to Woolonggong for Chinese New Year was the highlight of my trip.
Some of the cultural differences I’ve experienced were quite interesting. Like the no tipping in restaurants whereas I live in Canada and we have to tip our waiter/waitress 15% or less (depending on their service). As for walking around the city bare feet, I understand the city is quite clean but it’s still hygienically dirty and unsafe. The streets of Sydney have an abundant of street performers, whether they are dancing, singing, painting, performing magic, and juggling, don’t forget to leave a donation for great talents. Shopping centers and boutiques close their doors very early and most stores extend their hours on Thursdays to 9pm, they literally work 9-5pm. Also, all prices on items are “what you see is what you pay,” taxes are included in all displayed prices unlike North America.
My favourite part of Sydney was the Circular Quay located in the city circle and walking distance to everywhere in the heart of the of city. Indulge in fresh seafood and divine Australian wine around the Sydney Cove on the harbour walkways and catch a show at the Sydney Opera House. Enjoy the Aboriginal culture, buskers, parks, and contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Aussie lingos: “Barby” also known as “BBQ”
“Heaps” also known as “a lot” “Rubbish” also known as “garbage” “Boot” also known as “car trunk” “Macca’s” also known as “McDonald’s” “Woop woop” also known as “middle of nowhere” “Mate” also known as “friend, buddy” “Thongs” also known as “flip flops”
More stories and pictures to come from Sydney, stay tuned!