I landed at about 6:30 AM local time. The goals for today were simple:
- connect with my coworkers
- stay up till at least 9:30 PM
- pay the rent
- find sheets
Jet lag is a weird thing. By the time I landed in Sydney it was about mid afternoon in San Francisco. I didn’t sleep that well but because my biological clock was in the center of my day back home, I was feeling pretty good.
I won’t have a car most of my time here in Sydney. I want to use public transportation as well as walking to get most places. Sometimes in life you realize your “that guy”. I hit the Sydney train right at rush hour with all of my bags. Yep, I was “that guy.” I took up an entire row seats on a mostly full train.
It’s high summer here. By the time I got to the office at 7:30 AM, I hadn’t showered in over 24 hours and was soaked with sweat from head to toe. Luck though, tipped in my favor. One of my coworkers was walking into the office right as I was and was able to let me in and point me to the shower.
It was great to see my Australian colleagues back here. We connect quite a bit over videoconference, but there’s nothing like seeing somebody in person. The rest of the team is arriving on Monday so I wanted to take the time to get life set up before work picked up on Monday. The next big goal was to figure out how to get set up financially here.
I found the bank I had wired money to a few days ago. When I told the tellers I was from San Francisco, they both replied “I love San Francisco” in unison. Monica was awesome. I had no idea how to get a local debit card, wire money to my landlords, and generally get set up here in Australia. I learned all about BSB numbers, account numbers, and swift codes to route money around in my new home. I have to give her kudos in that she remembered my name I walked into the branch eight hours later to pay rent.
I had chosen my apartment here in Australia blind. I found a listing on flatmatefinders.com.au. The listing seemed cool and I met my future landlords over Skype. There was always a bit of wonder if it would actually pan out. My boss found a listing over on AirB&B that turned out to be a scam. I met Anthony over at his office for coffee. He gave me a key to the place before I had even paid rent. I’ll take that as quite the vote of confidence.
It was going to take three round trips on the train to get all of my luggage from the office to my new place. I didn’t want to bring everything over at once since I didn’t quite know where I was going. I met Lloyd, my other roommate at the apartment. Needless to say, the place looks awesome in that view is spectacular. After three long years discontent with my place in Cupertino the apartment gods blessed me with one hell of a view!
I’m somewhat comfortable walking around downtown. I got lost occasionally but generally remember the layout from when I was here a year ago. The big thing was figuring out where I was going to get sheets. The apartment listing had said it came with a bed. I made the incorrect assumption that it came with linens. Being in a foreign land brings about things locals don’t even think about such as:
- Where is Target?
- What mode of public transportation do I use to get there?
- Where do I buy a bus ticket?
- How do I know when to get off the bus?
- Does the bus get me back home the same way I got there?
- Is Target even the right place to buy sheets?
- And then all of the same problems that come with buying sheets in the United States: How the hell do I choose what I need?
By the time I got home it was about 8:30 in the evening. The sun just slid under the horizon right before I got there. There was a warm glow all the way across the horizon. Lloyd had a 2006 Syrah open and poured me a glass. It was awesome. An $80 bottle of wine from Australia truly paid off. Napa Valley does have competition. But yes, I can get used to this view.
What’s on tap for tomorrow? I got a go back to the office to get some more things I left there, figure out where the grocery store is, maybe find local cellular service, and enjoy this new place called home.
For those of you back in the States know that things are good and that I miss each of you.