We wake up early to go down the road for coffee and croissants. The television in the café is showing footage of an American car crash, and then the local traffic update comes on, broadcast from a helicopter. One of the news stories is covering the fact that Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” is the top hit in Australia thanks to their current tour, and I start to wonder if maybe a friend from back home was right is saying sometimes Australia seems a few years behind the US.
On second thought, maybe they just appreciate iconic pop culture more than we do. No one loves a cheesy throwback more than me.
We pack up our bags and head down to wait for our car to arrive (how did we ever live without Uber?!) and realize too late that Tyler definitely should not have ordered it from his phone, which does not yet have an Australian sim and is essentially unusable outside of WiFi. We keep our eyes peeled for the car but never see it. After 10 minutes we decide to call a different car. Lesson learned.
It’s about ten minutes to our new apartment, and we’re already infatuated with the neighborhood. We meet the owner of the unit, Chris, and she runs through the layout of the building and how everything works. It’s perfect for the two of us and has a beautiful kitchen which I always appreciate. There’s a variety of plants on the patio, so I must try my best to keep them alive while we’re here.
We say goodbye to Chris, and Tyler immediately unpacks his suitcase. I Skype my family and give them the tour, all of the strangers walking past glaring at me as I excitedly take my phone outside to show my parents the park which is only just across the road. I had only seen a few pictures of the apartment online, and really only looked at the map to see where we’d be in relation to where I’ll be working and major landmarks. How lucky we ended up in such a perfect area.
After finishing unpacking Tyler and I realize we’re absolutely starving, and walk one block over to the local kebab shop. We both have fond memories of eating kebab during our time in Italy, and have never been able to find anything similar back home. When we walk in we’re the only patrons there and we quickly order our sandwiches, but within minutes a steady stream of university students flood the small shop (Sydney Uni is only a few blocks away). We were completely amazed by the man behind the counter as he tackled the orders from the mass of people before him, each interaction with a smile or joke. We got our sandwiches and walked upstairs to sit and eat, noting each table had a box of tissues on it. I remember Kebab so spicy in Italy it did make me cry, so I assumed they were for runny noses and weepy eyes. Tyler ordered the beef kebab and I the falafel, and each were equally incredible and transported us right back to Florence.
We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out our local grocery store (another Coles inside an even larger mall style shopping center) and picking up the necessities. It’s about a 10-minute walk to a busier area of town with most any shop you’d need and a variety of restaurants and cafes. We are already in love with how easy it is to get around here and how nice it is to walk to our errands.
We decided to eat in for the first time tonight in our new apartment – Tyler opted for a kangaroo steak (I don’t think I’ll ever be trying it) and I picked up salmon. It’s strange to have already started “normal” life here in our new little home, but I have a feeling we’ll be quite used to it in no time.