Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy as a Clam

Today I decided to venture into Sydney.

I will start at the very beginning. I was woken up at 5am by a crying baby. yay. I went back to a restless sleep to reawaken at 8:50 am. Problem. Train for Sydney leaving at 9:34. EEK! So I threw on some comfy (and fabulous) suede boots, my gorgeous white dress coat, a sweater dress, and my go-to ostrich and crocodile Bolingo Bag... I thought I could get a ride to town, but I wasn't that lucky today. SO in my fabulous outfit I went through some fields (and the morning dew) and as I was speed walking to the train station (about at 25 minute walk) I saw the train I meant to catch pass me. GREAT.

Well I decided to make the most of it. I turned back to town to get a delicious mocha at an adorable cafe, and a croissant from an award winning patisserie. I called my travel guide Rachael :-) only kidding, but she did help all day with the logistics of my train. I arrived back at the station, assuming I would purchase a ticket from a teller... not an automated teller!! Mind you this is my first train ride other than a NY subway, San Fran trolley cart, or a tram in Mexico city... all of those rides I was also supervised. So I worked out which train to ride, and when it arrived, and where to switch. Eventually I left my tiny town of Bowral to head to the big city!! (I attached a picture of the automated teller machine and the train station I started at!)

My day that began at 5:30am finally got me to Sydney around 2pm. UGH. But hey! It happens. As soon as I got to the city (about three trains later) I walked to my bank... it was closed. REALLY?! At this point I had been laughing at the ludicrous day so far (someone needs to make a movie of my life).

Well the other planned stop I had was the phone store. I had all the documents I needed to open an account: my Aussie bank statement, my passport, and my visa. WELL don't try to use a bank statement with a PO Box on it because that won't do. (Of course at this point I am expecting failure... I think at about 10am I called Rachael and asked if it was too early to start drinking? I mean its 5 o'clock somewhere right!) Luckily, the phone guy was charming and helped me out by opening a prepaid account that could transfer to a contract! YAY!!

Now that I had this new phone number that would take 15 minutes to activate, I decided to walk to the Opera House. GORGEOUS. I took pictures, and called everyone from home while sitting and staring at the picturesque Sydney Harbor. It was one of those perfect days you dream about, with perfect little white puffy clouds in the sky, the light wake in the bay, a light breeze. Absolutely lovely. I think that was the moment that I said, you know what I really can do this... I can live thousands of miles away and be perfactly happy. I think this was a pinnacle moment in my adventure.

So I took pictures, ate some deliciousness at a cafe overlooking the harbor (loved it... I attached a picture) and consulted my train logisitical coordinator Rachael who informed me of the departing trains I needed. Happily, I bought postcards for everyone at home. Then jumped on the first train home.

It was on the second train I got really happy. I got asked on a date!! YAY! I really don't think I'll follow thorugh with it. But, come on I have a new phone I want to give out the number! We chatted a bit (he was Italian and lives in Sydney) his stop was very soon after boarding. Eventually I made it back to Bowral.

The entire trip I was determined that I would end the trip with a bottle of wine. So once I made it back to the home station I walked several blocks to the only liquor store I knew of. I talked to the clerk and he recommended a wonderful shiraz (Australia is known for them) called George Wyndham. I also told him that this was probably the most intelligible conversation I have had since my arrival. Then he was shocked that my friendly self didn't have friends! He asked for my number and we are going to coffee with his girlfriend and sister tomorrow. THANK GOODNESS!

So I am happy as a clam eating my steak salad and drinking my bottle of wine. I miss everyone terribly. But I love it here.

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