Our lives the past few weeks have mainly been only about work. There has not been much to write, since we have not really done anything worth of blogging. But since the daily life might interest some of our family & friends, here are a few random facts in alphabetical order.
The pictures in this post are not necessarily related to this post. They are just there to give you a chance to take a breath while reading this milelong post.
Accent. Can’t run away from it, we still have our very own Europian accents. It is obvious and people often ask us where we are from. Even our customers at work are curious about it. One customer started the conversation with “Are you Dutch?”. When I told her I am actually from Finland, she completely lost interest and changed the subject. Oh well.
Birds. Oh man, there are some birds with really weird sounds. First, imagine a possessed baby crying in anger. Then imagine waking up to that sound in the morning. Still have not quite figured out which one of the birds make that sound, but most likely a big, black one.
Circular Quay train station has one of the world’s most wonderful views (of the train stations I have seen that is). You see the harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Makes me happy to see that every time on my way to work, since it also happens to be the station where I get off.
Dogs understandably are a big part of our daily lives along with work. The other day Matte said “I think Sam has feelings for you”, since the smaller one of the dogs does seem quite keen to have me in his sight.
Exercise. We had big plans to go running a few times per week, both taking the running shoes with us. Well that did not happen, but luckily both of our jobs involves working on our feet. Taking the dogs out and exploring the city keeps our feet sore enough. Time for the jogging is later, I hope…
French Toast is without a question our number one breakfast choice. Homemade, of course. Even the Finn of the house has practised the art of French Toast.
Garbage. Yes, I am really writing about garbage on our blog. Aussies do promote recycling quite a bit, but the system is completely different that I am used. Where as in Finland we have maybe 10 different boxes for cardboards, plastics, paper, newspapers, batteries et cetera, here they have three. The residential streets are filled with these colour coded cans. Red takes general waste, green bio waste and yellow all the rest. So cardboard, plastic, foil and paper all happily go to the same bin. We still have not mastered that perfectly, since not all types of plastic for example goes into the yellow bin. “If it makes a sound when you squeeze it, put it into the red bin”. Confusing, isn’t it?
Hotels. Took a while for us too to figure out that in Australia “hotel” can also mean a bar and a restaurant. Was actually wondering the amount of hotels in Newtown, before the realization.
IMAX is something we talk about often, now even daily. Next week is going to be my birthday, and then it will be time to go see the Star Wars movie from the world’s biggest IMAX screen. I grew up watching Star Wars and to my 3rd grade school assignment I wrote my biggest dream is to become a jedi and own a lightsaber. So I am quite excited about this. And to anyone who did not know this about me yet: yes, I am a geek.
Japanese. Every few weeks we travel to Bondi Junction mall to have some sushi. Matte had his first sushi 3rd of October 2015 and it was a bit of a rough patch in the beginning. But the tide has turned and now he is even experiencing sushi gravings. Japanese food is also present in our lives, because Matte works in a Japanese restaurant.
Knapsacks have now been empty for many weeks. It felt so good to empty them and put our stuff in actual closets. You really learn to appreciate the simple things: it really is nice to have space to put your stuff in. Our backpacks are leaning against the wall in the bedroom to remind us that at some point, we do need to get all that clutter back into those little canvas sacks. So trying not to go crazy with buying new items.
Learning. Even if our jobs now do not quite match our degrees or most recent work history, we are both learning new things every day. The fact we are both doing that in our non-native language makes it an even better experience. What we have noticed is that all this – new job, new field of work, new skills, new language and all those mistakes we make – does make you more resilient.
Mosquitos, or mozzies as they are called here, like to start their nightly singing when we close the lights and are about to drift off to the sleepy land. When there might not be nothing new about mosquitos being annoying as fudge, they still drive (mostly Matte) crazy. Poor thing is also a bit sensitive to their bites. Well lucky for him, I happen to be a Natural Born Mosquito Killer and have amazed Matte with my mad skills over and over again. I am a Finn, after all. Ever since 1993 Finland has held the World Championships of mosquito killing. I know, we are weird.
New Year’s Eve is soon here. I know with certainty I will not be working on the 31st. But more than likely is, that I will work the 1st and Matte will work both of them. A little challenging to celebrate our first anniversary, but nevertheless we will do our best to see THE fireworks show together. Here is a Youtube video of last year.
Opal-card is what we carry with us to use the public transportation. You always pay according to the transportation method and the distance you take. There is a cap, though, and you will never pay more than 60 AUD per week. Sundays you will also travel very cheap. But you will travel the rest of the week for free, if you make 8, separate journeys. For us it means we normally pay about 30 AUD per week and then travel for free. Pretty happy about that.
Pastries. We are spending way too much money to walk to the local cafes to buy pastries and ice coffee with ice cream for breakfast. That is when we are too lazy to make those french toasts.
Quality is something especially the male of this duo is not that willing to give up. So far we have not lived that traditional backpackers life. We have invested on eating out every now and then, but also eating properly at home. So noodles and tuna does not appear on our menu that often.
Redfern is the station where I walk with the dogs to meet Matte, if he gets off from during late hours. The trains stop coming to our nearest station around midnight, so then the dogs get their evening walk walking to the Redfern station and back.
Spiders, cockroaches and other bugs. Yeah. Those. We have seen some big spiders in here, two of them in the house. Makes you quite jumpy. We have also had to accept that cockroaches are an essential part of Australian evenings. They are everywhere on the streets. Good thing is that I got used to them quite fast and stopped jumping around frantically every time when I saw them. But still, seeing them inside the house still makes the hair stand up in my neck. But you can not avoid them, if you live in or near the ground level. This also explains the high quantity of bug repellant adds on tv. Australian nature loves its plentiful insects.
Thongs. Many of you probably imagined a man in cheeky underwear after reading that. But no, Aussies use that term when they talk about flip flops. Thongs are a natural part of Aussie look and you can even see customers wearing them to fine dining restaurants.
Unknown. There are still some unknown words that sometimes baffle us non-natives. Especially the slang can be confusing. But every now and then even the more common words can be unknown. Like when I ended up giving out raffle tickets telling everyone they were drink tickets. Since at the time they meant the same thing to me. Still trying to get over it.
Victorian architecture is everywhere around us. We also live in a house from Victorian era, so it definitely is part of our everyday lives.
Work. Luckily we work on the same street, so every time both of us has an evening shift, we wait for the other and travel home together. Quite a lucky coincidence to end up a walking distance from each other.
Xylitol, or the lack of it, bothers me a bit. I am so used to chewing some xylitol gum after a meal that I am slightly freaking out about my teeth here. I know there should be some products available, but have had trouble finding them.
Year. Every day we are one way or another reminded by the fact that our time here is limited. Already one year is starting to feel a bit short and it will be challenging to do everything we want to. So we are already planning ahead a bit, but quite certain is that we will stay in Sydney until April. Financially that is the best call and will provide us funds to travel and see those things we want to see.
Zebra Crossings aka pedestrian crossing. Sometimes those feels a bit nonexistent here. Most often there is actually is a clear place for the pedestrians to cross the road. But: those white stripes creating the false sense of safety are missing. First we spent arrogantly just crossing over and being appalled by the rude drivers who would accelerate to make it before us. Then we found out that legally they are not required to give way unless there are those white stripes painted on the road. Car is the number one here, pedestratian comes second.
That is it for now. If you are still here reading this, good job mate. This idea of “one letter and a few sentences about it” kind of got out of hands. Still had fun writing it, so that is half the battle.