After a good 2 hours of crying in the airport, followed by a good 45 minutes on the plane boarding, oh… then there was the first 20 minutes of turbulence…. my tears finally got it together and this mess finally stopped crying. It was a good thing they put me next to the two open pilot seats, which pretty much means I sat alone the entire flight (worked out well for ALL, I think even crying babies were wanting to smack me).
The food was not too bad and of course, the ginger ale was awesome (it tastes so much better in planes for some reason!?!) There was a very wide selection of tv shows and movies to watch and I watched and like them all!!!! I got maybe two hours of sleep due to an extreme amount of stupid turbulence that was making me pray for my life to Aussie surfer Jesus every minute. No babies around me or snoring obese people.. or snoring obese babies for that matter. Just the general fear of the irony of crashing on the way to OZ before I ever get a chance to arrive kept consuming my mind.
But after seeing the amazing view of my first Australian sunrise when getting close to landing, I felt an overwhelming amount of peace of mind and excited to embark on this new adventure.
Going through immigration was very simple, and what I mean by simple is asking every person I saw WTF DO I !?! I was lucky to have one of our pilots show me how to scan my passport and answer the survey on the touch screen gates. They did not hesitate to pull me aside and place me in what I call the criminals corner, as they had to verify that I disclosed my membership to the renown “DUI club” properly when applying for the visa. From there, that was it, I was OFFICIALLY IN with a guaranteed year of working and holiday life in Australia.
Driving around Sydney on the wrong side of the road (cough) I mean, erm.. the “right side” of the road, felt a bit like a race car video game.as I had no idea which way was what, where the cars were coming from, or where in the hell we were headed. I officially decided even further, that it is better for my own safety and the WHOLE WORLD’S safety, if I just pass on the whole driving thing while here.
While waiting for the hostel to get my room cleaned and ready for my presence, me and a new friend did a bit of site seeing. I saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and saw crazy people climb up it in cute matching outfits. I walked by the Famous Opera House, but didn’t get too much of a kick out of it due to a large amount of construction constricting the kick! We continued to walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens which were gorgeous – too bad the sightings of two huge crazy looking spiders right next to me killed that vibe. (Almost pissing your pants really DOES have that effect).
From there we walked into the popular downtown areas, looking for my bank and a nice place to eat. The downtown scene reminded me of LA or San Francisco, just with less homeless and crackheads. The streets were lively with hearing every type of language imaginable in just a few feet ahead of you.
We ended up finding the Australian Heritage Hotel to have some grub at before we headed back to the hostel. First thing was first, what kind of beer will I like down here? This place also being a brewery had dozens of unique beers that I am sure I would have loved, but just like my motto back at home, just give me what’s “cheap and easy”. Sadly, in OZ, the concept of cheap is as mythical as the tooth fairy. They have only heard of this “cheap” but have never seen it. With everything on the menu averaging at about 20 dollars.. I just said, screw it… let me just get the most Australian thing on the menu. This ended up being a kangaroo and Emu pizza. When in Rome right? It was delicious!!! I am not one to knock something till I try it. I tried it but far from knocked it. I still have no idea which was the kangaroo or the emu meat, but what I can deduce from this decision is that I like both! Two birds with one stone, BOOOOM!(well, 1 bird, 1 kangaroo actually).
The hostel room smells of humid elbow sweat and wet sock (yes, yes, I know. Living the dream!!!! ). The room is small with no room for me to even attempt to empty out my luggage or even my backpack.
When trying to use the showers for the first time, I struggled to figure out how to pull out the glass doors, but struggled even harder on how to let myself out once I was done with the shower. I failed and was forced to pull the whole bit with the person in the stall next to you. But instead of asking for toilet paper or seat covers it was like “ hey you guy, umm in the stall next to me.. can you please, umm help me get out of my shower, and please don’t look at me naked if at all possible? The french guy kindly said yes and covered his eyes as he came into the shower to rescue me. Retard Michelle. But, hey now I know! (turn the knob the other way).
My two roommates are men; one from Canada and the other was from England. Both sweet as can be, and giving me advice as I talk their heads off with weird questions and my normal never ending rambles.
End of the Day
At the end of the day, exhausted and a bit grumpy, I decided to walk around Bondi beach and try to use the beautiful scenery as a reminder of why I came. Unfortunately, that was quickly ruined by getting hit by a car crossing the road. I apparently walked with the wrong “chirping noise”. I am perfectly okay, as the car stopped asap as I ran into it before I just skipped on my merry way. I said sorry in German so I didn’t have to hear the whole “American “ thing twice on my first day. I knew my German background would come in handy one day! 🙂
It is now 10 pm, and I am the only person on my floor already in their pajama jams and in bed. Everyone else is in the common hangout watching TV or in the kitchen drinking and socialize. I feel old, but then I am, at least for the average age of this hostel lifestyle.
This has just been my first impression of OZ and I know it will change day by day as I become less of an ignorant American and more adjusted to their culture. As a whole, my first day here in Australia was both interesting, frustrating with a splash of where am I, what have I done?
I swear, I did not meet a single person FROM AUSTRALIA all day. Everyone is from somewhere else, which is refreshing coming from Orange County, but still, WHERE THE HECK ARE ALL THE AUSTRALIANS??? I am loving how much the British and Australians fight over who had what first in EVERYTHING. I like to break up the fight by facetiously saying it was the Americans 😉
I am still very confused and lost on almost every aspect here, which makes me worry and miss home more than I thought I would. I just need order once in my life again and I feel like the pieces will slowly start to fall in place. Looking forward to tomorrow, after hopefully a nice night of sleep. Being on a top bunk-bed, I am only praying the guy below me doesn’t invite company over tonight. I really can go without any more turbulence for a while.
My eye mask and earplugs will be my best friend tonight.
Day one is over and I survived 🙂
<3 Hot Mess
Hey, I’ll be coming over to Australia in June on a work& holiday visa as well — Sent from Mailbox for iPhone
On Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM, Hot Mess Goes to OZ
You have packed so much in already. I’m Aussie and I have never eaten emu and kangaroo pizza!
Ah…I remember kangaroo pizza. Try it with ranch dressing!
Make sure you check out The Rocks area right next to circular quay if you haven’t. I spent many evenings just enjoying the quiet and watching the ocean there
Hi Michelle, I’m afraid you’re very unlikely to meet any Aussies in Bondi, it’s backpacker central around there, my tip, grab a friend from the hostel and head over for a night out in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills or to the inner west suburbs of Balmain or Newtown, much more chance of meeting up with some locals there.
I’m glad you made it there safely! That German trick with the car was quick thinking. I hope you adjust soon..first days in new places are always the hardest. Just think of all the great stories all these weird experiences will make! Thanks for keeping us posted, and best of luck!! 🙂
Welcome to Australia! Hope you’re finding your feet (and some Australians) as we speak.
I don’t think anyone from here eats emu (yet) and not many that I know eat kangaroo either. Are you in Bondi? you’ll never meet Aussies there – or in Circular Quay or The Rocks area. Also food is really expensive in those areas as well. Good luck with it though and once you get settled in hit the roads and head up and down the coast a bit, some beautiful places here, don’t just get stuck in Sydney.
I just got to Australia two days ago. I’ve been feeling lost in every way as well and that everyone else knows just what they are doing. This blog made me quite happy. Good luck!!
Welcome to Australia! Why’d you start in Sydney? Are you doing a royals on us and by-passing Melbourne? =) j/k but seriously, Melbourne is so much more vibrant than Sydney.. sorry, Eastern capital city competition.. If you’re ever by Melbs, gives a shout out…
Head up to Sydneys Northern Beaches if you can it is beautiful there. I love Palm Beach. You can get a bus takes a couple of hours I think.
Oh and you need to head to Melbourne . . . .obviously.
Good luck on your adventures. 🙂
ha-ha I thought were were all the Aussies! Found a good few in Manly though 🙂 Enjoy xx
I love the way you write, I get so into it.. (That sounded creepy, but you know what I mean.)
And its so weird seeing someone write about Australia from a tourists point of view, as I feel nothing like how you’ve described. But go to Palm beach or up to the northern beaches. It’s amazing up there and maybe less touristy.
And maybe I’m biased but go to Melbourne, its so much better there. Hahaha
love reading this stuff, it’s a bouncy poetic ride with information flavour crystals locked into every sentence…
Bravo for being courageous – especially with the pizza! Merci, too, for visiting my blog and wishing you the best during your travels!
Awesome writing!! Loved it, your humor, anecdotes, little stories, how you are feeling, and all that.
I have to do this more in my blog!
Welcome to Oz btw!
Very soon you’ll fall in love with this country, trust me.
Don’t worry about the traffic in Sydney. Nobody else knows were it’s going either. Especially not the people driving in it.
And yeah – crossing the road. It was weird for me in LA where pedestrians have right of way at any street corner. Just stand there for a second and every car comes to a halt. Over here we take our chances crossing anywhere we feel like it. Sometimes we even wait until it’s clear both ways, although that’s optional.
Oh my gosh, I can relate so much! Ha, I’ve been in Tassie for 4 months now, and I’ve met more foreigners than Australians! And, I also walk at the wrong chirpy noise- but I’ve been lucky enough not to get hit! haha
All the best in your Aussie adventures. I think Australian culture has so many similarities with American culture that it is tempting to think you’ll fit like a hand in a glove, but there are some significant differences that colour interpersonal interactions that take years to get used to. Like the ‘cutting down the tall poppies’ syndrome or ‘taking the mickey.’ Aussie humour can be very understated too, so take what you hear with a healthy dash of skepticism. It was very courageous of you to try something so bold, but I doubt you’ll ever regret it because Australia is a fantastic place.