After being a for real Sydneysider for a week now, I thought I would share a couple of things I'm still getting used to here.
1.) Sidewalks--this one's a two-parter. First, I cannot get over the fact the sidewalks never end. (No, this is not a random reference to the Shel Silverstein book.) Honestly, wherever you go in Sydney, there will be a sidewalk. I grew accustom to sidewalks abruptly disappearing in Atlanta. But, here I can walk and walk and there is always a sidewalk. Second, I am still getting used to walking on the left side of the sidewalk. I guess this is one thing that has become very ingrained in me and therefore difficult to change. There have been a couple of times I have been walking down the sidewalk and I find myself veering off to the right. It's a good thing I don't plan on driving while I'm here. One of these days I will get the hang of it and stop almost walking right into people.
2.) Crossing the street. In the same vain as the sidewalk, because they drive on the left side of the road, I keep looking in the wrong direction for oncoming traffic. Because there are a fair number of sidewalks here, they actually have the words "Look Left" or "Look Right" painted on the street at the crosswalk. But, when that's not there, I just spent the entire time crossing the road looking back and forth, left and right over and over again.
3.) Commercials on TV. Because much of the television here is American TV, we tend to watch shows we know we liked in the US. (Except RBT, Random Breath Test. I'll have to fill you in on that another time because it is decently hilarious.) But, when they cut from the TV show to the commercial, I find myself almost jolted back to reality when I hear an Australian accent again. Also, the only commercials I am used to that feature Australian accents are Aussie hair products (you know, "Add some 'rue to your do") and Outback Steakhouse. For the first few days, I kept thinking that the Aussie brand was doing a ton of advertising here. Then, I had to remind myself that it was likely for a different hair product.
4.) A/C--or lack thereof. The majority of the places we looked at when we were apartment hunting didn't have air conditioning. I never thought I would miss it quite as much as I do.
5.) Cricket. I just don't get it. But, people here LOVE it. Todd has tried to explain it to me a couple of times, but it just seems a bit silly to me. Todd bought us tickets to see a cricket match in a couple of weeks. Hopefully when I see it live I will get the appeal a little more.
6.) Summer. This is a bit of a silly one but I do enjoy reading fashion/lifestyle and food blog as well as checking out Pinterest. All I see is fun winter layered outfits and yummy soups and stews and it's 75 degrees here. (I should say 24 degrees here as another thing I'm getting used to is the temperature measured in Celsius as compared to Fahrenheit.) But, I can't really complain about this gorgeous weather.
7.) Smoking. This is one thing I honestly do not understand. Sydney is such a health conscience city. You can't even find sunscreen with less than a 30 SPF and there are all sorts of ads about skin cancer on TV. Most people are incredibly fit and a good portion of their food is fresh and healthy. With all of that, I cannot get over the number of people who smoke here. Smoking is banned in most, but not all, indoor venues. And, they just passed an ordinance than you cannot smoke in outdoor restaurants. So, luckily it's not in your face most of the time. But, if you walk down any street in Sydney you will find people taking smoke breaks.
8.) Kids in the passenger seat. There have been quite a few occasions when I have been walking down the street and I see a young kid in the left hand front seat and just about scream, "Why is that little kid driving that car?!" Then, I realize he is just a passenger. Even worse is when I see no one in what I have always known as the driver's side, "Who is driving that car??!!"
9.) This view/the sunsets. I keep telling Todd that I have "I live HERE" moments during the day because it is still a bit surreal. Every night I point out the sunset to him--I wish these pictures could do justice to just how pretty it is every night.