Sydney first few weeks

November 17, 2008 - Sydney, Australia

Ok so i've been in australia for a around a month and a half now. The first few weeks spent doing a small bit of sight seeing around sydney and just finding my bearings - when I landed in the airport myself and the lads Niall, Shane and Ger went different directions Ger staying with his brother and the other two lads staying with a friend they knew, plus I was going to meet up with a friend I lived with in dublin Brian Boland and his mate Kieran Ginley as they where arriving soon enough after me from Ireland. It was a bit strange to not be hanging around with the lads but also was good to get a break after living in close proximity with them for months.

I moved into a hostel in the Kings Cross area of the city - not the classiest part of town with some seedy establishments in the area - but it was close to town and alot of other hostels where booked up as it was a bank holiday weekend when I landed. People where sound in the hostel with a good few long stay travellers so I settled in just fine.

My first two weeks where spent applying to recruitment agencies for jobs and brushing up on my work knowledge for tests as part of recruitment process for a few roles - but unfortunately for me the down turn in the financial market has meant that alot of companies have put on a hiring freeze and the places that are hiring there is stiff competition - as sydney is a popular destination for people especially coming into the summer months (down here).

Not long after I arrived Brian Boland and his friend Kieran Ginley (mayo lads) landed so I met up with them and we moved out to spend a bit of time in Bondi - out there just relaxed on the beach did some surfing on the ridiculously crowded swells at bondi  (people constantly getting in your way or nearly crashing into you - bit different than the quieter beaches of donegal ha). But I have to say i quite liked it out in bondi nice a relaxed place - its like a ghost town if the weather is bad - and my first few weeks here the weather has been all over the shop - cold and wet one day absolutely roasting the next - but its not the scorching heat that I had expected but its only coming into the summer here I suppose.

Along with the lads I did a few touristy things we went out to the Blue Mountains for a day tour which got to see some impressive scenery and walk through the Typical Australian Bush (our guide telling us interestingly I thought that the Eucalyptus and other typical trees in the outback actually need forest fires to open the pods/seeds so new trees can grow). Plus i got to see a few Kangaroos in the wild - skippy's distant cousin i'm sure! The tour finished up near Katoomba a nice little eco village in the middle of the national park.

Then just at the begining of Novemeber we decided to go down to Melbourne for a week to see the Compromised Rules 2nd leg match between Ireland and Australia and also head to the Famous horse races of the Melbourne Cup. Melbourne definitely has a different vibe to it than Sydney - first of all its a bit quieter with less people around the streets and it has certain areas for heading out and for restaurants that. Also a lot of the pubs and niteclubs are hidden down alleys way or small streets. It has a big live music scene I think although you'd need to get a local to show you round I rekon. The locals there are very friendly. I have to say I did kind of like the city.

We went to the huge 100,000 capacity MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) stadium for the Ireland vs Australia match - which was an entertaining affair and Ireland came out on top with Sean Cavannagh captaining and staring for Ireland - the atmosphere in the stadium was good even though it was only half full and the banter with the locals was good craic - with plenty of questions asking about the rules of each code and how come that was a foul and this one wasn't - the players seemed to get confused at times too. Later we went out to a Irish bar in town called P J O'briens where all the Irish players happened to head after the match.

Then on the following tuesday we went to the Melbourne Cup in the Flemington Race course in the city - absolutely everyone dresses up for it - suit for the men and hats and fancy dresses for the girls - it was sunny day and the place was thronged - i won some money on one or two races but i lost more than i won but was only down a little money - my horse Bauer was beaten by the slighest of noses in the main race (and unfortunately i didn't have the bet each way ah well you win some and you lose some). Kieran won a bit of money at it though so was glad one of us did.

Also typically when there had been little movement on the job front for a few weeks - I got numerous calls whilst in melbourne and had two interviews lined up for the day I got back to Sydney - One was for an Insurance Company - so i went in bit tired from the 12 hour night journey on the bus - but i did quite well in the interview and got good feedback saying they liked me but had one more candidate to interview so had to wait on the verdict for a few days - then dissappointly i got a negative response as although they thought i was good candiate they decided to take someone with 10 years experience instead - and all that was required was 3+ years exp in the add - so just an indication of the competition for jobs.

Although i thought i'd have a job at this stage it just seemed like it was bad timing with markets plumiting in early october and making companies bit more conservative but there still is jobs so giving it a few more weeks - think i'll get a furniture removal job or something in the meantime. But as one of the recruiters advised me off the record if nothing happens for getting software contract work over next few weeks that with my cv i'd get work relatively easily in other cities in Oz like Brisbane or Perth - as they are still booming on the strength of the mining industry and the fact china has still got big demand for minerals and metals.

And anyways if all else fails i'll do some fruit picking or labouring for a bit.

Other than that just in sydney at the moment have met up with a few people I knew from home - including my 2nd cousin who I also used to work with in dublin John Logan and he has been a good help, also met up with two lads I knew from galway and hadn't seen in years Niall who came to sydney from canberra for a weekend and Ollie. And Seodhna a girl who worked with myself and John in dublin she has just gotten engaged to Ozzy fella. And of course met up with the lads I was travelling with for the last few months with a few times and some of there mates - none of my other three lads had work either except niall as he got a few hours a week in a bar to tide him over.

Seems like half of Ireland is landing here at the minute - hearing accents on the streets and out you think you where in Ireland. 


4 Comments

James Kerr:
November 17, 2008
Winter is just starting here nicely! So you can be thinking of us.Hope something on the job line comes up for you soon.You are enjoying yourself anyway. Pictures continue to be nice.
Dad
Thomas:
November 22, 2008
Thanks for the text Brian. Yeah we're supposed to be moving into the house at the start of December, all going to plan. You're right though people seem to be flocking out of Ireland in their drones, with Australia appearing to be destination #1. I suppose if there ever was a time to consider travelling it would be now if you didn't have the work to keep you there. Let me have your phone number again (email it to my gmail), my phone SIM went bust and I lost some messages and your number. Keep in touch.
Thomas:
December 31, 2008
Happy new year Brian, I was gonna give you a text on Christmas day but I copped on that your christmas was already over at that stage. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves at Martinas wedding before Christmas and I'd say yourself and Sean were missed by your folks on Christmas day. I'm sure all your new years celebrations are over at this stage, hope it was an enjoyable one.
Crona:
December 31, 2008
Well laddy I hear your having a blast. Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much fun our missing here in this every so prosperous country. No seriously, we have all turned to stories over the fire with a drop of whiskey.....

Met Seamus and Marie and your folkies at the wedding. Didn't miss you at all. Dont think they did anyway - too busy drinking.....Nah, Im sure they did. Thomas is looking over my shoulder making me feel bad so gotta be nice. Best to stay on the good side of ye Kerrs. Too many of ye to mess with me thinks....

Hope all is well down under. (Aus that is, not your ass)

Happy New Year!
Crona Xxx
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