Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sydney: First Impressions

I fought with ridiculously early flights, broken wrist straps, and angry French girls but I made it to Sydney in one piece.

I thought that we went in for "what you see is what you get" pricing* here Down Under, but I found myself haggling over the price of my hostel here in Chinatown.

I've been here a couple of days now and I've done little more than wander the streets. That's fine by me, though. Wandering is inexpensive (although the cost of aloe vera drinks keeps climbing) and healthy (apart from the skin cancer and traffic fumes), and in the old European capitals it was guaranteed to be interesting.

Here, I've discovered a lot of chain stores, dodgy ethnically-themed eateries, and heritage-plaqued buildings. Much like London, really. The only difference is that the heritage plaques read more like:

This is an early example of Federation Warehouse style of building. The builder and architect are not known.
instead of:
Charles Darwin, noted botanist and biologist, lived here when he was a student.
Oh, and the Oriental food here is actually pretty reasonable, as opposed the excessive blandness most of the middle-Eastern food in London.

I've missed not one but two improvisational comedy shows: the cheap one because I couldn't find the street, the expensive one because I was in an Internet cafe looking for accommodation.

Speaking of accommodation, I'm not having much luck on the Internet front. I might have to start calling the numbers on those little tear-off paper signs that people stick on lamp-posts.

Also, I'm rather disappointed that my laptop is now out of commission. I'm considering buying an Apple Macbook.

*A local shoe-shiner was interviewed in the Time Out, where he complains that people don't tip in this city.

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