Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Excellent Adventure Down Under

Part II, Where We Live

We had a lovely little 1-bedroom apartment on the 36th floor of an apartment/hotel (The Meriton) in the business district of downtown Sydney. I felt like I was in Manhattan! I’ve never been to Manhattan, but I’ve seen it on TV a lot! It felt very “citified” for a suburban housewife like me. Surrounded by tall buildings, a view of a harbor not too far away, the hustle and bustle! Everything was going to be great! This was our BIG adventure, sans les enfants et famille, just us!

Sunday was a blur after flying all night and staying awake all day and through dinner. We managed to get a good night’s sleep and wham! It’s Monday! Hubby was up getting ready for work at 5:30 a.m., so I walked into the kitchen to get a few breakfast things out (we did grocery shopping on Sunday, too). And what is the first thing I see? The beautiful harbor view? A blue sky? That hustle and bustle of the big city? Well, in a way, there was hustle and bustle all right….right there, running in a tiny trail across my kitchen counter – ANTS! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Since ants are one of my most hated pests at home in California, I felt like I had somehow manifested all my fears into this sci-fi reality here in Sydney. I was on the 36th floor for Pete’s sake! And these ants were so tiny, microscopic almost… and FAST! I’d actually picked up a Windex-type cleaner at the grocery store on Sunday (yes, I know, compulsive cleaner), so, having ant experience because of living in SoCal, I attacked that line with the spray cleaner and voila! the ants disappeared, but not for long. A call down to the desk produced some surprised desk clerks and a surprised houseman at my door with a can of bug spray. Now, this first week/weekend in Australia just happened to be a national holiday- Australia Day, so the hotel was packed.  The hotel was sympathetic but had no other rooms available at the time, so for about a week, every day, twice a day, morning and afternoon, those little guys would show up.  So we waited and sprayed. I just couldn’t believe it. Our breakfast cereal truly became 'cold' cereal as I stored all our food in the refrigerator now!  The hotel was good to their word and after a week, we were able to pack everything up and move to a different apartment.

This new apartment is actually a little bigger with a better view (and no ants!), sort of a 1-bedroom penthouse to me! We have an entryway, a combination living/dining room, a tiny kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room with washer and dryer, and a balcony that is probably great but I'm too chicken to go out on it (too high!). Pretty much all the comforts of home without having to tend to a yard J …  and while I think of it, the water in the toilet does not swirl in the opposite direction; let me just dispell that myth right now! We are way up on the 43rd floor with a great view of Darling Harbor. I thought that was just a quaint description of the harbor, but it really is called Darling Harbor and on Saturday nights, they shoot fireworks off at 9:00 p.m., just like Disneyland! It's loud and spectacular!  

As a friend of ours said, being in Sydney is the closest thing to being in L.A. while being out of the United States. Sydney is great; it’s a busy city, but it feels so much like L.A. that we have to remind ourselves we are in a foreign country. The temperature, the terrain, the vegetation, and hundreds of people walking around all day… it’s like being in the South Bay in L.A. with the exception that it actually rains here! We have floods to the north and fires to the west, just like L.A. winters, although it is summer here. The food is fabulous, and the people are very nice. And those accents! Yes, they do say “g’day”, “no worries”, and call everyone “mate”.

So now you know how I ended up here and where I am living while I’m here… but do you want to know what I’m actually doing while hubby is at work?

I’ll get to that in Part 3….

1 comment:

  1. I really wish we could watch the fireworks from your place. Even though it feels like L.A. to you, it sounds exotic to me. Wonderful storytelling!
    : )) Lola