Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Canadian in Australia

Here are some photos of my first 2 weeks in Sydney, Australia! (They were taken from Nov 24 - Dec 2.) I've been pretty busy since arriving. I've been working on my film and doing lots of sketching during the day and wandering around with Steve on the weekends and we make tasty meals each evening. I'm trying to do lots of new things. Been getting lots of our new camera as well as some fun toy camera aps on Steve's phone.

Getting here turned out to be a bit of a mess. I wasn't given a boarding pass for my connecting flight at the Los Angeles Airport. That combined with my flight out of Toronto being an hour late due to strong headwinds, ended up causing me to miss my connecting flight to Sydney! A rep at United told me to head over to Air Canada (on the opposite end of the airport) and when I got there, found that all the agents had gone home for the night. (This was at 4am local time, 7am for me) I returned to the United desk and by then, all those agents had left for the night! So at 4am, in a foreign country, with no cel phone and only $20 American... I was pretty confused and stressed out on what to do. I ended up using my credit card to make calls from a pay phone which with help from mom and Steve, eventually ended up with me having a flight booked the next day and a hotel for the night. So it technically took me 46 hours to get from Toronto to Sydney! Ah, the airport. I got to sleep in my hotel around 6am (9am for me) so it was a good while without sleep. But it was essentially helping me get used to what would finally become my new time zone anyway...

Got up at 11am L.A. time and had a good breakfast. I was very happy for some coffee!!! I told the waiter who poured me a cup that it had been so long since my last one and he said "Oh, where have you been?!" and I replied that even a day is a long time to go without coffee for me. Since then I have been on a quest to find good espresso/coffee in Oz. That is another post I think.
On Thursday December 2nd I went with Steve to his work Xmas party at the Cruise Bar at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay. I wore my sparkly gold dress that was a little too long for the crowded venue but still fun to wear. Steve wore formal on top and blue jeans on bottom with some rad laceup boots that I wish fit my feet. It was pretty fun and I got to meet a bunch of Steve's workmates.

The first day I got here, Steve had the day planned. We went to a nearby florist and bought a little pineapple tree. It's small enough to sit on my desk. We went to a sushi-go-round for lunch and hopped on a subway train to get downtown where we wandered all around and visited Hyde Park and the Elizabeth Shopping Centre.

The next couple days I didn't leave the house when I was smacked down with a cold and then a massive migraine. But by the weekend I was ok to do more wandering. We visited Bondi beach (20 minute walk from home) after sunset. The water was cold! It was warm/cool the first week or so that I was here but it's decently warmed up.

I have a little office set up in the sunroom of our apartment. We named the pineapple tree Albert (pronounced french; "al-bear" after Sheeni's dog in Youth in Revolt). He sits with me while I work and the other day I adorned him with gold tinsel for Xmas. I'm not very much a Christmas fan to be honest. I prefer Halloween, New Years or Thanksgiving. Just spending time with friends and family and having a great time is my idea of a joyful holiday.

Since getting here I've done a bunch of sketching and storyboarding for my short film; Pickled, which I intend to document the making of on it's respective blog. (Will need to update that soon as it's fairly out of date right now!) I've done some gesture drawing and went to life drawing last week and it was the most interesting life drawing session I've ever gone. The studio it was held at was the working studio and home of the artist holding said session. Paintings, sculptures and books crammed every available free space in the room and after about a half hour of drawing we stopped to hear the artist (Tony Johansen) give a half hour talk about Cezannes great impact on art. (I plan to scan or photograph some of my life drawings in the near future and put those up)

Some random interesting Australian facts and myths that I can think of:

-Eggs are sold on a shelf, unrefrigerated. This is completely normal and safe, because the egg's natural antibiotic coating is not sterilised away like it is in North America or refrigerated before they are sold, so it's ok to keep them at room temperature. However, once refrigerated, the protective natural coating on the egg will dissolve and they must be kept refrigerated
-Wine is very affordable, lovely to drink and plentiful
-'Ketchup' is 'tomatoe sauce'
-Aussies love to eat meat! Meatpies are for sale all over the place and within just a block of my house is a specialty butcher and a seafood shop. Not to mention countless takeaway restos and even a place to get roo burgers.
-Aussies are talkative and friendly. One even took my umbrella out of my hand while walking down the street with Steve so he could carry it for me, he also offered to carry my shopping bags and cheerfully and amusingly yammed at us all the way home
-cockroaches are certainly not in our home... or any establishment I've been in. I've seen a total of 3 of them, they were all big but outside. That's a hell of a lot less than was in the home I last moved into in Toronto :P
-Everything is generally a little pricier here, and many things come in smaller packages; homes, cars, products...
-tax is included in the price of everything, tipping is not expected
-I can't find a single pad of newsprint for sale nor any animation art supplies
-There are a hell of a lot of cupcake shops here
-'mall' is 'shopping centre' here
-Rice Krispies are Rice Bubbles and Burger King is Hungry Jacks