Updates – Nov 11/12

It’s been a few days since I’ve written – and a busy few days! I’m without a reliable internet connection now so I’m writing this offline (I apologise in advance for formatting) and will upload next time I’m able to connect to Wifi.
Everything worked out with the apartment for the most part. I got the keys on Tuesday and signed my life away on the lease. I’m now in an apartment in Woolloomooloo (say that one five times fast), which is just a little East of the Central Business District (CBD), and West of the Kings Cross / Potts Point area. It’s a pretty central location which is great, the only major downside of it being that it’s in a bay (I’m a couple blocks away from the harbour) so literally everything is uphill. Including the grocery stores, all of which are far, expensive, and up a steep cliff wall (thankfully, there are stairs). But I’ll live.
A random fact about this suburb is that Russell Crowe lives a couple blocks from me in a private condo on Finger Wharf, which is a very large wharf that sticks out into the harbour from Woolloomooloo, with a very large hotel built on it with very large price tags. The neighbourhood is also home to social housing, and a number of low-cost private housing units. It makes for a really interesting mix of people walking around the area. I remember walking around here last time I was in the country (February 2009) and I’ve already noticed signs of gentrification – the most noticeable being that the hotels (hotel = pub) have almost all renovated to one degree or another and seem to have more people at them. It feels a lot like I imagine Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood would have 5-10 years ago.
I “moved in” shortly after getting the keys – I walked to the apartment from the estate agent’s office, hopped the CityRail train back to the hotel to collect my luggage (I had to check out Tuesday anyway as the hotel was sold out for that night), then cabbed it back into the city. My street is fully pedestrianized for a number of blocks in either direction so I keep forgetting which street to tell the cabs to go to – thankfully we did find it!
I spent most of the rest of Tuesday unpacking, rearranging, cleaning (it needed it), and calling around to sort out Internet providers (I won’t actually have an internet connection until November 22nd! I have no idea how I’m going to survive! Especially since the connection is pushing $100/month!). Oh, and going to the local convenience store to get some cleaning supplies & food, which were vastly overpriced. Wednesday was much of the same, including a stop at Woolworth’s (the nearest grocery store) which, as mentioned, is far, and expensive. I had to work from a café for a bit to get caught up on Internet stuff (I was multiple days behind on email!) – at one point the afternoon rains started bucketing down, causing a flood in the café. Thankfully I dove out of the way with my computer quickly enough! I took a walk out to Surry Hills afterward to explore and found the last of the ‘urgent’ home supplies… and a few little bonuses too!
At first I dismissed the high cost of food as being a result of shipping costs, but I’ve since noticed that almost every kind of food available is grown or produced domestically – I had the most delicious fresh Australian mango last night! The prices would be pretty reasonable if the currency were still where it was a year or two ago but at par the costs are bordering on unaffordable. I suppose for Australians it wouldn’t make a big difference but it definitely affects me as a Canadian! Strangely, even though I saw Australian almonds for sale at a couple of stores, no one seems to carry almond milk which I normally drink quite habitually. Soy milk and rice milk are all over the place, but none of the other alternative milks – I have to investigate further as there must be at least one vendor!
Anyways, I’m rambling about completely mundane things so I’ll cut myself off. Thursday (today – I’m writing Thursday & posting Friday) was the first day I felt a little bit settled – I got the laundry done, as well as the last of the dishes (soooo many dishes needed to be cleaned before I felt safe using them!), and had a productive couple of hours at the library catching up on email and so on, and a few more hours doing work at home. Now I get to spend much of the next few days shopping – which will either go very well or very not well at all. Hoping for the former, preparing for the latter!!

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