Sydney for christmas and new years

January 24, 2009 - Sydney, Australia

 Ok so it has been a while since the last installment of my blog. And this may not be the most exciting of my entries to date more just a matter of fact account of the last two monthsor so spent in sydney. When I wrote last my main priorities where to find some work and somewhere t olive to get a break from living in hostels.

I moved into an apartment near the city centre with Brian Boland, Kieran Ginley and a friend of brian's from college in sligo Ultan. Also in the Apartment there was 3 other Irish Mickey, David and Laura (from Louth, Cavan and Ballbrigan) who had went to DKIT in Dundalk for college (small world!) - also there was 2 french lads Steven and Remy and a Czech girl Nikola (10 of us in all but not cramped accomodation even though the very small kitchen can get quite busy!

Also I started working for a furniture removalist agency at the end of November to get some money to tide me over whilst looking for a better paid job in computers or something else (and seen as the hiring of staff seemed to slow around christmas) - with this job I got to see and know my way around Sydney a bit better - seeing some of the beautiful leafy suburbs around sydney and getting to know some local ozzies (clients and fellow workers). I worked for multiple companies - doing office removals, house removals, warehouse work and even driving a truck for a day (which officially i prob shouldn't have done as I don't think an ordinary car licence would have covered me for the truck - but it went without any mishaps and I needed the hours that week - plus I had thought it was going to be a Ute I was driving - so keep that one under your hat! Of course at the same time I have been applying for contract software development work which pays quite well here... if you can get a job - but I haven't had much success as of yet - the global downturn and the fact i'm on a working holiday visa which limits you to only being able to work in a role for a max of 6 months not helping my case when applying for jobs.

So moving furniture has paid my rent and stopped me from draining my money for getting home and visiting New Zealand and South East asia on the way home. Some days it has been handy work other days very tough especially recently since the temperatures have risen alot - (regularly over 30 degrees C) and on one occasion lifiting furniture on a day it was 40 degrees C (that was a killer).

Ireland may be in recession but for anyone coming to OZ for work - its not as plentiful as you might think - with 3 or 4 of my house mates without jobs still - and not that many well paid jobs available to working holiday visa holders - but the Irish are highly regarded as hard workers down here (by some accounts anyway).

For Christmas and New Years being away from home was quite strange and I have to say I was a bit homesick from missing family and friends and also i unfortunately missed two family weddings. But I also had a good time - my christmas eve consisted of going on a cruise around sydney harbour at night along with the lads (Niall, Shane, Ger and a few others) - with food and drink on board - it was pretty cool the views of the city from the boat at night-time and was good to have a night out with the lads I'd been travelling with for months - as I hadn't seen them that regularly since arriving in sydney as they where living a bit away in the inner western suburbs. That night after landing back to the apartment from the cruise - I had a mini party with my house mates - singing irish songs (christy moore, dubliners etc and few modern songs too.

Then for Christmas day - it was no turkey and ham dinner this year! (not a local tradition down here) But instead I got up had a big fry-up and a few of us went to Bondi beach for the day and too a music gig just off the beach (more just like a summer bank holiday than christmas really) I met up with Niall, Shane and Ger at it too. Plus i made it in for a christmas swim - although it was a bit different from the ones i used to do at home down off the peer in salterstown to say the least! Between christmas and new years we made it to an Irish bar P J O'briens for a roast turkey dinner - so i got my christmas dinner of sorts then!

For New Years eve a few of us from the apartment and other friends just went to a park (observatory hill park) overlooking the sydney harbour bridge and darling harbour. We brought a blanket to sit on and a cooler bag with a few beers and sat in the shade of a tree in flipflops, shorts and a t-shirt on a scorching day and then watched the fireworks that brought in the new year over sydney harbour (there was a few hundred other people in the park as well and it was a good atmosphere - definitely a little different than having new years eve in the middle of winter at home!

A few days after new years I was excited by the fact that Sean and Rachel where stopping off for a flying visit in Sydney as part of their round the world tour and en-route to south east asia. It was great to see them and to catch up a bit (as it had been 10 months since I left home). Although I would've liked to see them for a few days longer or even over christmas and new years - but they are on a tight schedule and sydney is expensive when your on a budget so I think they made the right choice when booking! When they where here we just chatted anout our travels and south american experiences and I also brought them on a mini sight seeing tour around some of the things to see around sydney city centre and Harbour.

Apart from Working and that I have just spent my time either going to the beach for a kick about or to the park or watching tv and playing the PS2 or socialising with my flatmates (mainly irish). So truth be told its not much different than home here and although its good to live in and see another city in another country - its certainly not a culture shock (and although the locals wouldn't like me to say this i'm sure especially with austraila day on Monday - its pretty much the same as the UK as far as I can see).  It is a safe option for travelling abroad from Ireland. But then again I have only seen a small part of australia yet.

My plans over the next while - If I don't get a well paid proper hours job soon I think i'll head onto another part of the country for a bit (but if i do get a job i'll prob stick around to save a bit of money for a couple of months - which would come in handy for my further travels.) Options I'm considering at the moment - go to brisbane and look for work (as megs and mike are up there at the moment) Or go to melbourne for a change or else possibly go fruit picking in tasmania for something different.  


James Kerr:
January 25, 2009
Yes,its been a good while since your last blog,but this one is just as good and informative.I note there are no pitures. Yes Christmas and the new year were different,thats whats what makes life interesting.
January 27, 2009
Yeah i'll upload my photos over the next few days hopefully - have a interview for a software development job (3 month contract) on thursday so will be studying up for that (fingers crossed i'll get the job) - i'll put up my photos some day after that
February 9, 2009
Ok have uploaded the photos from christmas and new years to picasa now!
February 10, 2009
Hey Brian, wots da craic, hows down under treating ya? pleanty of Irish down der now i bet! dats a pretty decent diary ur keeping. ya seem to be having a great time
March 2, 2009
Well Kev,
Hows things? Yeah plenty of irish down here - but jobs aren't amazingly plentiful here either! Are you still in Oracle these days? If so how's it going in there - yee working on anything interesting? You'll never guess what i'm working on at the minute - working on the Internet Banking product in CBA bank in sydney as a contractor (decent money) and alot of the former eontec codebase still there - finally getting my onsite experience we where promised as part of the graduate scheme haha!
March 11, 2009
well brian, yeah still in oracle, wit da recession now booming here not too many moving jobs these days (working on other stuff now), i'm laughing 2myself here when u say ur working on IB again..jasus wen u left this place ya nvr thought u wud see dat code again! :) Logan still workin in CBA?..if ya see him tell him i was asking for him! least ya ave som work now, doing sometin ur quite familiar with so i'd say ur glad bout dat!, i dont see ur blog been updated in awhile..i hope its not all work & no play (all dem bugs in IB will keep ya up late haha!)!! hope u got paddys day off at least!
March 12, 2009
Well kev - conor was right your a lifer in that place ha! yeah good to be working on something i'm familiar with - but meant straight in at the deep end joining the project just near end of a release (later this month) so v busy in here - but I get paid by the hour so its not so bad - Nah John moved jobs to Macquarie bank here in sydney last year sometime
Yeah haven't been updating the blog as often as i'm just working away - going to make an entry in next few days hopefully - as its a year ago since i left to go traveling (on the 11th March)
March 16, 2009
Alright Brian, Good to hear you are doing well.. Just got caught up on your most recent blog entry, sounds like you are having a great time! Must be tough stuck inside doing an office job when its 30+ degrees outside and you have bondi beach on your doorstep, at least in Ireland its usually too wet to go out ;)

March 18, 2009
Well Clive,
Cheers for the comment - Aye but air conditioning is a great job - haven't been at bondi much in the last few weeks - alot of shark attacks recently spooked people abit for going to the beach
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