Sydney life admin
Here are the boring bits.
We've set up bank accounts and we've almost got phone contracts. We just need our bank cards to arrive so we can get phone contracts. To be honest, I've enjoyed not having a phone—it's quite liberating. I've manged to get around without one.
Westfield is the biggest shopping mall I've ever seen. We got lost several times in it yesterday. I doubt I'll visit it much if I can get what I want online because I hate busy places. But wow, there's everything you could ever imagine needing in there. I have a feeling my Dad & Step-mum will enjoy some shopping when they visit us.
IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia) seems to be the main supermarket chain round here. Each of the stores are independently owned. There's a few farm shops in Bondi for fresh fruit and vegetables. We haven't bought any meat yet, so I'm not sure where is best to buy it, but the meat we've seen so far looks cheap.
Contain your excitement for the next bit. We purchased Opal travel cards. They are like London's Oyster cards. You top them up online and use them on trains and buses. Bus journeys from Bondi to the city are pretty cheap in relation to everything else here. It makes Brighton buses look very expensive! 😳
Tom started work yesterday so I took the bus to the city with him. I wanted to try the commute from Bondi. I start work next week, but we'll have moved on to Coogee by then. From Bondi it takes almost an hour on the bus because of the traffic. It's long, but it's okay if you have something to do.
The choice a lot of people here face is whether to live by the beach and commute or live in the city. We're a big fan of the outdoors and we love the sea, so the beach is our preference. We're trying out a few different areas and the commutes to figure which one works best for us. Coogee is next week, then Manly is the week after. I think Manly will be a strong contender because it's a ferry ride to work. The ferry ride looks very pleasant. We'll see.
The essential contents of my handbag have changed. I don't leave the house without my camera, sunblock and bug spray.