I would like to begin by thanking the American education system for preparing me fully to travel throughout the rest of the world and being able to understand everything.
Basically America decided at some point it had to be completely different from the rest of the world and not conform to the metric system so now I am confused 24/7. Fine. I get it. We want to be different. At least teach us about the metric system though! I google mapped a route to the beach from my house and was really sad to see that it was almost two miles away, then realized it was actually nearly 2 KM away. What the fuck are KMs??? No seriously. I hear about them all the time but have absolutely no idea how far that actually is. Luckily I’m good at math so I have conquered the conversion in my head, but it’s still annoying. Yesterday, for example, I was listening to something and the guy said, “It reaches up to ten meters!”
I know, 1m= about a yard but liiiikeeee I’m always doing math. 24/7. This is out of hand. I mean, I used to really like math, and I’m actually pretty good at it, but come on! I have a degree in the arts for crying out loud! There’s a reason I quit math! Anyway this all takes some getting used to. I also have no idea what the temperature is. My computer tells me in the mornings in Fahrenheit but if I’m out and about and it says the temperature is like 5 degrees, I have absolutely no idea what that means! Not to mention, temperature conversion is a lot more complicated than distance conversion. This is the formula for C to F: multiply by 9, then divide by 5, then add 32. I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. But let’s be real, there’s probably an app for that but I keep forgetting to download one.
Speaking of which, I’m not sure how I would have survived without my various map apps and a gps tracker thing that’s embedded. I’ve been walking everywhere to try to familiarize myself with the area. The neighborhood I live in is comprised of all of these windy roads and most of the time I have no idea where I’m going. The other day on my way back from the beach, my directions told me I had to turn on this one road. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Luckily I had picked up wifi and thus a gps tracker somewhere along the way and was able to see that I was standing where the street should be. After standing around and looking for a while I finally found a sign that led down this stairwell through some construction that brought me to the street I needed. Seriously a miracle. I can’t get anywhere without these maps and I’m so so grateful for it.
Another thing that’s backwards here is the driving. I have to drive the kids to and from school which will take some getting used to as we drive on the other side of the road. The mom took me to the grocery store the other day and it was unbelievably nerve wracking. Albeit my first experience driving on the other side shouldn’t have been at night…I’m taking a few driving lessons so that I can just drive around for an hour and get accustomed to it. Yesterday was my first one and it actually went surprisingly well. I just have to keep reminding myself that everything is opposite. It’s really hard getting used to the fact that I have to watch out for all of this bulk on my left side instead of on my right side and also remember that when turning left, I’m turning into the adjacent lane not onto the opposite side! It’s happened a few times when I turn right and almost get into the wrong lane but I always remember last second and correct myself. I think I’ll be ok though. I finally learned how to properly parallel park instead of just guessing and hoping it’s ok. Of course I learn this 6 years too late!
Anyway this week has been wonderful! My schedule is pretty awesome since I just work mornings to get the kids ready for school then evenings when the kids are home and need to be fed and put to bed so it leaves for a lot of time to explore during the day. So far I’ve gone down to the beach a few times, which is gorgeous and so close to me! There are also a lot of really cute little cafes and bars down there, which I will continue to explore as I meet more and more people! I’m trying to figure out how to post a photo slideshow so there aren’t just 8 billion photos in this 5 page essay. When I figure it out I’ll make a new post. Just know I’ve got a ton of photos full of badassery already
Yesterday during my hours off I went down to a park downtown for this free exhibition of animals for Threatened Species Day. It was so cool! There were these 15 minute presentations per animal and then there were booths set up where you could get more info. They even let us pet some of the animals so I got to pet a dingo (no it didn’t eat anyone’s baby), a koala and a baby kangaroo! There were so many cool animals! Afterwards I went for a walk and ended up at the harbor so I was able to see the Sydney Opera House and the famous bridge finally! I love downtown. The architecture here is so beautiful. I’m obsessed with this city. I legitimately might never come home. Sorry Mom & Dad!
Later tonight there’s an underground film festival that I might hit up with some other au pairs. I’ve been meeting a bunch and it’s super cool because they’re from all over the world. Pretty soon I’m going to have best friends from Germany, France, and I don’t even know where else! Sunday there’s a big lunch for au pairs downtown and I’m really excited to get to meet even more people. Sydney is amazing.
All in all, these first few days have been wonderful. I don’t even feel like I left to go anywhere really. I feel like I’ve been living here forever even though some things take getting used to. I think I adapt to things really well in general. Like I’ve just accepted that this is how it is and this is how it’s going to be and I don’t really have a problem with that!