In the early part of this year, we moved to Sydney from India and though for me this happens to the third time in this country, my earlier ones were business visits and hence very different from living here as a family. While I am still "new-ish" (is there even a word like that ? ) to this place, now that the initial "ohh we don't have spoons" phase is over, I thought of listing few things which would strike you here, especially if you are coming from India.
Street wear = Gym Wear
Gym wear is street wear here. Active wear replaces denim big time as the go-to casual look for women. To the extent that you can wear them to every place - throw a leather jacket over yoga pants and you are good to go to a pub.
Australia's obsession with active wear is unmissable and athleisure brands are soaring high with their ever growing sales. While Australians are very much into a fit and healthy lifestyle, the good news is (at least for me !) , apparently you no longer have to be fit to wear Lycra. You don't even need to work out. But then you need to walk, quite a bit.
Commute = Public Transport
Whether you are going to office to the Opera House, you would mostly have to rely on Sydney's extensive public transport network of buses, trains ,ferries and light rail (read trams). And since the target destinations cannot always be a hop away from some form of transport , you have to walk (which I love, so Yayy!). Even if you have a car, you would drive way less than you can imagine.
On a regular work day , I have to walk for 3.5 km and this has nothing to do with working out.
Living close to the rail station is most convenient
NSW Transport trains are literally Sydney's life line and the means for majority of the people to commute to city offices, even if you own a car. Parking issues are big in the city and fines are bigger.
Unlike India, where people would try to avoid renting / buying a property close to the station (because of noise, crowd etc) , here proximity to the station (or transport which includes buses and ferries as well) means you have to shell out extra bucks to enjoy the luxury of a short walk to the station. This brings me to the next one.
Finding an apartment to rent
Everything in Sydney is so expensive, but it is real estate that tops the list. Rents are calculated on a weekly basis and nothing prepares you to face the scary process of house hunting - inspection times are mostly 15 min windows on Saturdays and then you apply and then you might not get it, especially true for first timers without a rental history. Argh!
p.s. This place reminds me of Mumbai , back home, where you pay a lot for so less space.
Shops open after 5 pm on weekends is a novelty
This is so diametrically opposite to India, where malls experience most of their footfall in the evenings and are open till midnight (for the movie theatres and restaurants).
While the regular grocery and few selected others remain open till night, all of that retail therapy needs to be wrapped up early.
You won't get to see the Opera House every day
If there is one common thing that is forever present in all postcard perfect pictures of Sydney or even Australia, that is the gorgeous Opera House and the towering Harbour Bridge. But, unless you live in the Northern suburbs, you'll not cross the bridge at all, at least not on a regular basis.
You don't spend much time in the city
City is where you go to work and suburb is where you "live" . Most suburbs cater to all the needs of the people and all major brands are available everywhere, so , unless, you work in CBD, there are chances that you don't frequent it that often.
Experience the opposite season
Australia's location in the Southern Hemisphere means while the rest of the world would flaunt summer cuts and colours, you are pretty much layered and want to retire home as early as possible.
But the reverse is true as well. Come December and Christmas - there are sun soaked gorgeous days of festivities.
So here are some of my observations in the last few months. Till next time,