14.02.2011 - 16.02.2011 80 °F
So we have left our second country, Australia, I am on the flight from Sydney to Singapore and I am reflecting on our 2 days in the land down under. Unfortunately, we did a disservice to the country by only visiting one city and not going out into the country. We all agreed we didn’t want to miss Australia, considering we were so close and might not make it back for quite some time, but we only had 2 days, because 1 of the 3 trips we pre-booked before leaving the US required us to be in Singapore by tonight. It seemed to be a great country, safe, friendly, clean, easy to get around, and great transportation…. That is my only real complaint, it seemed like all we really saw was the subway, boats, more subways, and sidewalks. It is certainly not for a lack of options, Sydney had a ton of things to see, including museums, historic buildings, shopping, etc. But because we were all still recovering from such an action packed 10 days in New Zealand, we agreed to just sorta hang out and chill.
Interesting things we did see, Sydney harbor is bustling and full of sail boats, we thought of Jim, my father in law, as he loves sail boats, and there were hundreds at all times. We went to the Toranga zoo, very impressive and had a great view of the downtown. We went to the popular surf beach, Manly Beach and had our first Mexican food since we left (it is hard to find burritos and Tacos south of the Equator apparently). We took several ferries through the harbor. We walked around the Sydney Opera house, it made the trip very real, as it is such an iconic image, most Americans associate with Australia. We also saw the Sydney bridge, and circular Quay.
Things that we learned. Australia is expensive!!! The US dollar and AUS dollar are equal (within less than a cent, when we were there), and everything is a lot more than in the states. It could be because the minimum wage here is $17 an hour?!?! Like New Zealand, there is free health care, high taxes, and high pay-rates. We also learned a lot about UGG boots. The wildly popular boot in America, is not as popular down under with the masses. The word UGG, was originally used by an Australia surfer who lived in LA, the rights to the name were bought by a large American corporation and the branding machine was on. Australia sheepfarmers sued for the right to use the name as well, so now all boots they make say UGG and have their companies name in small letters on the tag. Even crazier is that the UGGs everyone buys in the states are not even made in Australia, but rather China……By the way UGG stands for UGLY…. I couldn’t agree more, but fashion doesn’t always make sense.
It was a decent hotel in a great location, we literally walked out of the subway into the lobby of our hotel, 5 minute walk to the boats and water, 5 minutes from the Opera house. We didn’t really leave a circle of more than 1 mile… that was a shame.
In less words I could have just say, I wish we had more time in Australia to experience the culture, people and cities. I apologize for my rambling , but the flight is really long and I can only listen to my depressing iTunes music so many times.
Anyways, next stop Singapore, our first time in SouthEast Asia, and a non Western country, let the games begin. We don’t really know much about it, but are all excited to experience the unknown. Riley summed it up well today when she said, “ I feel like we have been on vacation and the real trip begins today when we land in Asia.”
Excited and feeling fortunate to be able to do this.