Australians wouldn't give a XXXX for the cup!

Trip Start Jul 27, 2003
Trip End Jul 26, 2004

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Where I stayed
The Slip Inn

Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, December 8, 2003

Well long time no speak! Sorry we have been busy (and it hurts me to say this!) working. Weekends have become a thing to care about again and alarm clocks are now common and frequently used items and 5pm is a much loved time! But all that said we don't have frost and we only have a maximum of 2 months to work left!

Sunday 16th November
It was extremely windy today so we gave sailing a miss. We had a mozy around town and met up with Mark for lunch as he was on his way to the game. On our way back home we passed a Backpackers Expo with loads of stands promoting accomodation and trips around Oz and the world so we decided to check it out as we have no clue as to how we will get around Oz after we are done in Sydney. It was a pretty good exhibition and had free beer on some of the stands so we took our time walking around. One guy gave us some raffle tickets for a draw that was happening in 20 mins and you had to be in the room to win. So we wandered around and headed back to their stand after 20 mins. There were 3 prizes of adventure trips and accomodation in Cairns. Our raffle ticket number got called out so Simon went up against two other contestants and answered some typical pub quiz question like "how many golf balls are there on the moon?!?" (3 by the way!) The end result was Simon won $400 worth of stuff to do in Cairns, a whitewater rafting trip, a bungee jump, a yacht trip to The Great Barrier Reef, a snorkelling trip off a Cat on the Great Barrier Reef, 7 nights accomodation in Cairns and a meal and bottle of wine in a restaurant! What a worthwhile afternoon!

We headed home and met up with Tamlyn our housemate and his friend Mandy and we all headed out to watch England V France. We went to a place called The Shark Bar as they have huge screens on every wall. It was a cracking atmosphere with a ratio of 100 Pommes to 1 Frog! After the great win through the crowds (and cheers of Go Jonny!) On our way through we came across The Proclaimers doing a free concert - we stayed for a few songs and they played: When you goooooo will you send back aaaa letter from Americaaaa........... the only song in fact we knew! I always wondered what aging rockers did for a living and now I know - free concerts!

Monday 17th November
Simon went to his new labouring job today which he will do now for the next 2-3 months. Week days are going to be pretty dull for the next few months! After work we headed home and watched Bridget Jones Diaries, had tea and went to bed!

Tuesday 18th November
The agency called they had work for me this week for a pharmaceutical company called Innovex. It was just database work for a recruitment drive they were doing and would do me fine till I start more permanent work next week. Simon is quite happy at his "leave your brain at home" job! (it is what he is used to - only kidding Denby people!!) He is refitting an apartment block which had a bodge job done a few years ago, the good thing is the apartment block has a gym, sauna and pool in its basement which he can use after he finishes which is at 3.30 as he starts at 7.00. We did very little after work except watch Monsters Ball on the Movie Channel.

Wednesday 19th November
Nothing new today except we headed to the Internet cafe after work to read our emails!

Thursday 20th November
3rd place play offs tonight so we headed out for a few beers. We met out with Mark at The Shark Bar and then headed to Cargo Bar which was a bad idea on a school night!

Friday 21st November
Dragged ourselves to work a little hungover (or still drunk in my case!! - there is such an utter lack of commitment with temps these days!!) Got myself through the day and headed home. We found a Wagamamas in Darling Harbour so headed out there for dinner with Mark (I was strictly on lemonade!). It was chucking it down with rain we ran to a few bars around town and then met up with Marks mates and then we headed home. Note to self: Bite the bullet and buy an umberella!

Saturday 22nd November
Rugby Final Day!! We spent the morning chilling out at home and then headed out to the very busy streets of Sydney - there were loads of big screens around Sydney. We headed past Darling Harbour to see a sea of Gold and Green and White and Red already reserving theri patch of grass at The Darling Harbour screen. We were going to sit at The Opera House but as it started to rain we decided to head to Shark Bar and get a good seat. We got a really good seat at the front and had some pre match beverages during the pre match punditry. Then the game started and wow what a game! The atmosphere was electric. After Jonnys final kick we headed out into the streets and walked up to Circular Quay (where the Opera House is) and the streets were just rammed. A lot of the Aussies were shaking hands with the England shirted blokes. Circular Quay was rammed and there were loads of people at The Opera House watching the fireworks on The Harbour Bridge - it was amazing. We met up with some people and headed to a bar for some celebratory drinks before heading home.

Sunday 23rd November
We got up and watched the game again! We have BBC news on our cable so we also watched the various scenes from home.

We took a head clearing walk out to find a place called Glebe which is near where we live and has lots of nice bars and shops. We wandered around and had a look at some of the shops and headed to do some food shopping at Coles our local supermarket. We then headed home and had a typical Sunday. We sat watching films on TV, eating doughnuts and carrot cake and endless cups of tea!

Monday 24th November
Back to work for some gloating - funnily enough no mention of the rugby! It was still raining. After work we watched TV.

Tuesday 25th November
After work we went out to the Internet cafe to look at possible travel plans for our weekends. We want to go to Broken Hill which is an old mining town in the outback and is pretty close to some Ghost towns which would be cool to see. We also want to fly to ALice Springs and do Ayers Rock so we have covered the centre and that will leave us with the outside of Oz to do. We had a look at some good sights for cheap flights. After that we took a walk home through Darling Harbour and it started to rain again!!

Wednesday 26th November
Today after work we headed up to Circular Quay as we heard the Worlds Biggest Cruise SHip had docked in between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge - it was enormous. Loads of people had come out to see it. It was actually as tall as The Harbour Bridge and goodness knows how it docked! After a wander round the Opera House we headed to The Shark Bar to meet up with Bez's neice Jo. (Hi Bezzie - miss ya!) We had a great night with Jo and her friend Pam. Jo had done the opposite way to us so we could share tips on where to go next and where to stay. We arranged to get together again on Monday and then headed home!

Thursday 27th November
Hurray!!! It didn't rain all day! We packed our bags as we move into 97 tomorrow. We had a general sort out and then watched our film with our house mates.

Friday 28th November
After work we headed to Scruffy Murphys for steak and chips and met up with Kevin and Brendy. Brendy had been laid off so was on the hunt for another job. We caught up and then headed to Broadway where our neighbours were holding a surprise birthday party for one of their housemates in a bar called The Shannon. We stayed for a few drinks before heading home.

Saturday 29th November
We had a lazy day today to allow our bodies to recover from the shock of 5 full days of work! We took a wander into the city and caught up on the Internet doing some surfing for trip ideas to The Red Centre and Blue Mountains, catching up on emails and sorting finances. We have set up 2 accounts here in a bid to save up some money for the rest of Oz! Banking isn't free in Oz - you either pay a monthly fee for your account or a transaction cost which is actually a good way to save as you hate making transactions! They do however have a better Debit Card system here called Eftpos. Its just the same as Switch but you never sign. All the shops and supermarkets have a console where you swipe your card and type in your pin number so you never actually hand your card over and if someone gets their hands on your card they can't use it without the PIN. You can even request cashback on the console and type in how much you want out. Its a much better system.

After the Internet we headed to Darling Harbour to wander around the shops and found "The Great British Lolly Shop" (Lolly is the Oz word for sweets!) They sold lots of sweets from home and even had Pickled Onion Monster Munch and Walkers crisps! We tried a few free samples before heading home. We had tea and headed out to Cargo Bar to meet some guys we had worked with a Daily Telegraph. We had some beers overlooking the Harbour and then took the short stroll home.

Sunday 30th November
We got up and decided to something from our "things to do in Sydney before we leave" list. We decided to have a wander round the Botanic Garden as it was a gorgeous day. We took a walk up through Hyde Park and The Domain, which is another park where they hold lots of events. The Botanic Gardens are huge and sit right on the Harbour with stunning views of The Harbour Bridge and The Opera House. We wandered around the gardens and the palace grounds and the various themed areas like a cactus garden and a tropics garden which is inside a huge pyramid greenhouse. We then bought an ice cream and found a spot in the sun. I spotted a bird, quite large, with a bizarre wing span fly over us into the tree beside us. I looked up at the tree to see that it wasn't a bird but a huge bat! And he was joining about 30 other bats in the tree. Apparently they come to The Botanic Gardens and take the same tree every year.

We then headed to Paddys Market to buy our veggies for the week. Paddys is by far the maddest market ever, especially near 5pm on a Sunday as they close till Thursday and want rid of everything. We got a tray of 12 punnets of strawberries for $2 (85p)! We haggled our way in the crowds and got our shopping before heading home. We watched a film with Nadia and John (our new housemates). We made our lunches for tomorrow and prepared ourselves for another working week.

Monday 1st December
After work we headed to Darling Harbour to meet up with Jo and Pam before they head to Melbourne and Adelaide. Good news was Jo had decided to come back to Sydney for a week before heading to NZ. We had a few beers in a bar called Pier 26 and then headed to The Slip Inn for $5 steak and mash and a few more drinks.

Tuesday 2nd December
After work we did nothing except watch TV as it was raining outside! Not what you expect from Sydney in December and worse still the forecast is rain every day till the weekend. It only rains for about 20 mins at a time but when it does it absolutely chucks it down.

Wednesday 3rd December
After work we watched Star Wars on Sky!

Thursday 4th December
After work we had tea and then headed out in the rain to the Internet Cafe to do emails. We then went for Ice Creams (although its raining it very warm!!) We headed home with a box of wine to watch more TV.

Friday 5th December
Although it is Friday night we were so knackered we did nothing. Simon has got a cold after working on the roof of his 8 storey building in the rain. So we stayed in and yep you guessed it we watched TV.

Saturday 6th December
It was a nicer day today. Overcast but the sun got through occasionally. We were going to go to Taronga Zoo today across The Harbour but decided to leave it till a really nice day! Instead we headed to Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour which is by far the best Aquarium we have ever been too. They have everything from baby platypus to a couple of Great White Sharks in the glass walking tunnel. They also had the largest Manta Rays we have ever seen about 2 metres across and when they swam overhead it got dark! We also saw Sea Horses, Nemo, Box Jellyfish, turtles and a huge saltwater crocodile! We wandered round for a couple of hours. After the Aquarium we went to see some other fish but these for a different purpose as this was at The Fish market! Sydneys Fish Market is huge and has a fantastic selection. We wandered around the markets and saw some of the same fish we had seen that morning in the Aquarium!! We then headed home and Tamlyn came round and we had some beers with him and Nadia and John. The Newcastle Liverpool came on live at about 11.30 so we stayed up and watched the game before hitting the sack.

Well that is it for now - we had a cultural day yesterday around the Art Galleries but will leave that till next time. The weather has got better today and the forecast promises that summer is on the cards so fingers crossed we will have sunnier stories for next time. It is weird with the whole Christmas thing - doesn't feel right in the heat! We have got Christmas Carols at Darling Harbour on Christmas Eve and Santa and his elves are turning up on Jet Skis!?! It will be a strange experience. We are going to go to the Fish Market and get some shrimps to put on the BBQ!

Till next time
Liz and Simon xxxxxxxxxx
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