I'm back from Sydney!

4 Sep
sydney-opera-house I’m back from my short trip to Sydney. It was only 3 nights in Sydney and 2 nights on the flights. (It’s that short because it was only USD400 deal.) But this trip meant me something.

It was November, 1999 that I was in Sydney last time. I entered Australia with working holiday visa 10 years ago from now. At that time I was busy looking for a room to live in. Accommodation and rooms for share were full of people who tried to spend millennium in Sydney. I made a call day after day to ask any vacancy of the room for share, and visited one by one to have an interview with the advertiser or the owner of the room. Even after I found a room to live in, I started working and I rarely had any chances to hang around the places like tourists would visit.

This time I visited the places like the Rocks, Opera House, Darling Harbour, Brue Mountains National Park, Bondi beach and nice restaurants for dinner. That was something I couldn’t do 10 years ago. Now I wonder why I didn’t try to enjoy my life in Sydney at all then. I had a lot better and more wonderful experiences since I left Sydney, because I changed my purpose of working holiday from “working” to “holiday” when I left Sydney. From Melbourne to Perth, to Darwin, to Cairns, I kept travelling. And this experience has become something unforgettable in my life, and maybe that’s why Australia is one of the countries I feel like living. I think I’m in love with this country!

But Sydney, only Sydney had left me a sort of bitter memory until this trip. Without such a tempting deal, as only USD400 for everything, I’d never thought of visiting back Sydney again. Because I’d prefer Perth or Melbourne a lot. But thanks to this great offer, my bitter experiences at Sydney have gone and is replaced by happy ones!

It was really strange but I felt as if I were back in 10 years ago. It was like I came back to the time I left Sydney 10 years ago. I felt as if I’d been living there, and will be living there. I could sense that some buildings have changed, but I could walk the city without a map. My phone card from last time expired and oversized for current system as well as the prepaid mobile phone. People all said, “wow, it’s from 10 year ago?” It was funny like a movie, as if I made a time slip from 10 years ago.

sydney-darling-harbour
bondi-beach1
bondi-beach2

One more surprise. Thanks to this blog, I had no difficulties in English while I stayed there. In Japan, life can be spent almost 100% in Japanese. That means, if we don’t try to make the situation particularly surrounded by English speaking environment, we are forgetting it day by day. But as I keep this blog in English, my days in Sydney was sort of extension from this blog.

I have however found difference from 10 years ago. Prices rose. Things could be more expensive than they are in Japan. I’m not talking about the weakness of Yen, as it’s still better than some time ago. Prices on menu and price tags look apparently different from what I saw in 10 years ago.

One more thing. People. I wonder if there were so many Asian people last time. Many of the people I talked to at the restaurants, hotels, stores, and streets were Asian. (They maybe Asian-looking Aussie, though) I guess they now have more immigrants and international students or workers.

Time had soon come that I had to go back to Japan. I didn’t want to leave Sydney. It used to be a place of NO LUCK to me, but now, I think I loved the city! People were really kind and nice. There were many places to rest in the city, which is what we miss in Tokyo. Tokyo is full of people, buildings, signs and ads. I’d even feel as if I lived in rubbish or garbage and noise.

There was no extra time for me to look for something kawaii out there, but speaking of kawaii, Tokyo would be far better! I have come back to the reality of busy Tokyo life, but I may think back the slow and relaxed Australian cities when I’m messed up with jam-packed life in Tokyo.

Travelling really means something to me. It gives me some new perspectives that I can never attain from a daily life in Tokyo.
I definitely have been too busy and too realistic. I was the one who was too jam-packed!! (LOL)
How about you? Did travelling give you insightful questions to yourself and you realize something from them?

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13 Responses to “I'm back from Sydney!”

  1. Patty September 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Glad you had a great time, and this trip replaced your bad experience 10 years ago. Thanks for sharing your pics w/ us.

    • kirin September 5, 2009 at 6:04 am #

      Thanks Patty! I had more pictures to share, but maybe I can share them at my flickr account. šŸ˜‰

  2. Miss Ia September 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    I love traveling and I think there are always new things to discover about yourself and your world when you travel! I'm traveling to visit my friends in Toronto in October, and I really can't wait! It'll be nice to see how far I've progressed since last seeing them. šŸ™‚ I always learn something new about myself, but sadly I don't venture often.

    • kirin September 5, 2009 at 6:07 am #

      Sounds cool! I like your saying "discover about yourself" and "learn something new about myself". That's it! Hope you have good time in Toronto. šŸ˜€

  3. Walter September 4, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    Hello Kirin
    I have had experiences during traveling that changed my views on things. Like when you travel in Algeria ( an islamic North African country ) the air plane flights are notorious for their delays . Sometimes no more than half an hour, most of the time several hours. It's almost a miracle when they do leave on time.
    I have sat in airports over there for hours ( and there's literally nothing to do in their airports ). People over there accept this. They're used to it.
    Once I came back from Algeria with a plane that was delayed for 3 hours and only narrowly made my connecting flight in Nice, France. While I sat waiting for my plane to start boarding , a speaker announced that for the travelers of Air France coming from Paris , to 'apologize for the twenty minute delay' everybody from the plane was getting a free sandwich at the bar. I heard all the passengers cheer . For 20 MINUTES of delay ! What a bunch of spoiled children we are in the West ! 20 minutes ! It's all so relative. In Algeria they would have laughed their heads off at this apology.
    In European countries , 13 is considered an unlucky number. Some western hotels have no room numbered 13, American hotels often have no Floor numbered 13 ! When I traveled in South Korea, no room numbered 4 , no floor numbered 4 in my hotel. They consider 4 to be unlucky. And then it occurs to you that an unlucky number is pure superstition . Why 13
    , why 4 ?
    Traveling in other cultures can give you other perspectives ( if you're a bit open-minded that is ) . That's why I like it and I think you like it too.

    • kirin September 5, 2009 at 6:16 am #

      Wow! I must go crazy if I were at the Algeria airport! Japanese people are much more spoiled on this, because in Japan public transportations are very punctial, and we are not used to waiting for long time. Japanese bus drivers for example apologize for 5 minutes delay. (No rice ball for that though LOL!)

      In Japan, 4 is considered unlucky, too. 4 is pronounced as "yon" or "shi" which is the same pronunciation as death (ę­»=shi). I don't care things like that though. Well thank you for sharing your story at the Algeria!

    • kirin September 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

      Why again I cannot find my reply to you? I left you following comment, which is left at the intensedebate dashboard but disappeared from here…(?_?)

      Wow! I must go crazy if I were at the Algeria airport! Japanese people are much more spoiled on this, because in Japan public transportations are very punctial, and we are not used to waiting for long time. Japanese bus drivers for example apologize for 5 minutes delay. (No rice ball for that though LOL!)

      In Japan, 4 is considered unlucky, too. 4 is pronounced as "yon" or "shi" which is the same pronunciation as death (ę­»=shi). I don't care things like that though. Well thank you for sharing your story at the Algeria!
      6 days ago Delete this comment Edit

  4. riotnikki September 6, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Welcome back Kirin! I love Australia so much though I have never been there. A good friend of mine (whom I have unfortunately lost touch with) lives in Melbourne so I was very familiar with his life there. Melbourne sounded to me like one place I would really like to live. I always wanted to go there. I've never been too far from the US (yet) only Canada and a number of tropical islands. My mother once lived in France (she spoke fluent French) when she was a young woman but I was never too much for travel when I was younger. Plus the only language I knew besides English was Spanish and frankly you can just speak that constantly in the US especially where I live in close proximity to Miami!

    I've always wanted to go to Italy (I am Italian-American) to see where my ancestors come from. Likewise to France where my mother's ancestors are from. I'd love to go to the UK too, especially London and Edinburgh. Maybe I will do all my world traveling in my forties? First on my list is your neck of the woods – Tokyo and Kyoto next year in the spring. Then the rest of the world because Japan is the most important to me.

    I wrote about your site a while ago on my blog I don't know if I told you – you can read it here: http://www.closetkawaii.com/?p=24

    • kirin September 6, 2009 at 11:12 am #

      Hi riotnikki, thank you for your comment! And I do appreciate you wrote about my site, which I didn't know until I received this comment from you. Moreover, I didn't even know your blog, because from your signature, it's not connected directly. (It's only connected to intense debate, and I never found your blog from there.)

      If you can speak Spanish, you will have no big problem in Italian, I guess… šŸ˜›
      10 years ago when I entered Australia for the first time, I thought it might be boring to live in Australia, even in the city such as Sydney because life in Tokyo was a lot more stimulating to me. But as time passed, I felt more comfortable in Sydney than in Tokyo this time. I am aged and settled.

      You are coming to Japan next year? How exciting it must be! šŸ˜€

  5. Jules September 11, 2009 at 3:46 am #

    Hi Kirin,
    It was great to hear you could finally relax in Sydney & enjoy your time there, as you probably know us Aussies put more emphasis on quality of life with family & friends as opposed to the Japanese way of life where work & company can often come first, of course once Japanese people get the chance to party they go crazy .. maybe it's good stress relief haha!!!
    It was nice you could get such a cheap deal on your trip .. I'm guessing it was with Jetstar, they have some great deals to Japan now, I managed to get my ticket to Tokyo next month for $525 au return!! Now I just need to find some cheap hotels haha. If you have any tips on hotels with a good rate please share your knowledge with me.
    Thankyou & keep up the good work on your site, it's always a joy to read.

    Jules.

    • kirin September 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

      It was not Jetstar, but Qantas. It included 3 nights at high class hotel. It was something like "one time a life deal" according to my friend in Sydney. In fact, this package is sold for 140,000 -170,000yen usually, but only this time it was 40,000 yen. You see how cheap it was!

      But yours is not bad as well. I think things in Tokyo are less expensive by now compared with those of Sydney. Lunch can be between 500 -1000 yen, while in Sydney it was A$17 for a one plate dish, coffee was not even included there.
      There should be many cheap business hotels in Tokyo, usually 5000-7000 yen per night. But if you really look for something cheaper, there is something like this, too. http://tokyokawaiietc.com/archives/1122

    • kirin September 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

      It was not Jetstar, but Qantas. It included 3 nights at high class hotel. It was something like "one time a life deal" according to my friend in Sydney. In fact, this package is sold for 140,000 -170,000yen usually, but only this time it was 40,000 yen. You see how cheap it was!

      But yours is not bad as well. I think things in Tokyo are less expensive by now compared with those of Sydney. Lunch can be between 500 -1000 yen, while in Sydney it was A$17 for a one plate dish, coffee was not even included there.
      There should be many cheap business hotels in Tokyo, usually 5000-7000 yen per night. But if you really look for something cheaper, there is something like this, too. http://tokyokawaiietc.com/archives/1122

  6. Wakjob May 23, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    These are great photos. But…. don't dismiss Japan – Japan is a great country and far better than most. Maybe you don't like it because you live there. But compared to many modern countries, it is great. I went to Osaka and Tokyo 10-11 years ago and loved it. Also, about Asians in Australia – did you know the #1 YouTuber in Australia is Asian (she was born there but of Vietnamese descent). Her channel is called CommunityChannel and has over 100,000,000 views!

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