Greetings from Sydney! Two whirlwind days have gone by and we’re settling in and enjoying our time in Australia. Our Qantas flight deposited us at Kingsford Smith International early Friday AM and, after shepherding our many bags through customs, we arrived at our corporate apartment to learn that check in starts only at 2pm. Hmm. We spent the morning opening bank accounts and investigating phone plans and after some half-hearted unpacking, we let the jetlag get the better of us, passing out early in the evening.
Saturday was much more eventful. After a morning run around the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens and an Australian breakfast, we made our way to Paddington to kick off a jam-packed schedule of open houses. Sydney’s “Paddo” appears most similar to New York’s West Village and London’s Notting Hill: cobblestone streets, open air cafés, boutiques and art galleries and plenty of gastropubs. Paddo is known for its leafy, narrow streets and terraced 2 and 3 storey houses with wrought iron lace balconies. Its central location, midway between downtown Sydney and the Eastern Beaches, and its proximity to Centennial Park makes it a popular neighbourhood for young professionals.
We saw a total of eight houses in Paddington and, as much as people complain about rents here, we were frankly amazed at the space available to us for the price of a New York shoebox. We were also impressed by how high tech most of these 19th century homes appeared to be. Our excitement peaked with our seventh viewing and we spent part of the remaining afternoon considering our bid strategy over a delicious lunch at Chiswick.
Getting back to the CBD turned out to be a bit of a pain but we managed some downtime in our apartment before heading out for the Lions vs. Wallabies game. Some of Niraj’s colleagues picked us up and, as it turned out, spent most of the 1 hour commute giving us the hard sell on living in Bondi!
The sales pitch continued at dinner and persisted even through the car ride home. We had originally thought of living by the beach but after experiencing the painful bus commute when we last visited Sydney, we’d thrown that idea out the window. Besides, wasn’t the beach a little too touristy and chaotic to make a permanent home out of? Apparently not. As we listened to these guys expound the merits of a beach side property, the answer seemed incredibly clear: Paddington was going out the window and we were going to start our search from scratch…in Bondi!
Oh and side note but the Wallabies vs. Lions game was absolutely incredible! It’s been an amazing first few days in Sydney!