Aussie Adventures: The Cold, The Different and the Ugly

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Since I live in a tropical country, we only experience the wet and dry seasons. I knew my trip to Australia would be my first winter but I completely underestimated how it will affect me. About two hours before we landed, my skin asthma started getting worse. When we landed, it was 5 degrees (Celsius) and I was freezing to death. My jackets provided little comfort. Worse, rashes started appearing on my entire body.

That basically happened through my entire 3-month stay in Australia. I had to deal with itchy and flaky rashes on my face and arms. I switched from one moisturizer to another until I settled for a sorbelene cream. It did help a bit but it was still bad.

So my Aussie adventures was off to a bad start. I blame it on winter. I barely had any sleep too because I wasn't used to sleeping in a 5-degree weather. I wondered why I didn't experience the allergies and the insomnia when I was in Canada. I was actually much more comfortable walking outside in an 8-degree weather!

Thank God the Aussies didn't seem to mind. I was given the occasional stares at the mall but overall, nobody seemed to care about what was going on with my allergies. In fact, some of them had it too (albeit a milder version).

Okay, enough about my allergies. 

We arrived at the Sydney International Airport. We didn't experience any hassle at all. We went through immigration and customs pretty quickly without a hitch. 

Someone drove us to our apartment which is located in The Entrance. It's a very posh area and our building is right in front of the lake. There were restaurants and shops a few minutes from our place. It's about 15-20 minutes away from our office.

The Entrance was absolutely gorgeous.

There were a few things I had to get used to pretty quickly:

1. It was my first time to drive on the left side of the road. I was lucky that they gave me a car with automatic transmission so the transition was not too difficult.

2. I had fun refueling the car by myself. I know it's silly but in the Philippines, there are gasoline attendants that do it for you. The bad part though is that I had to check the tires myself too. I've never had to check that or anything on my [old] car since my dad was the one who always did that. (Miss you Dad!)

3. I absolutely hate the fact that everything is closed by 5PM (except Thursdays which is their shopping day). That being said, I love the fact that we left the office at exactly 5pm almost everyday.

4. Australia has insane speed cameras - and they are everywhere! Speeding will cost you heaps of money so people keen to follow the rules. They operate on a demerit basis. One violation will give you a demerit. Too many demerits will cost you your license. 

5. The most difficult thing I had to get used to is having NO RICE for several weeks! This was the most insane thing I've experienced EVER. LOL! 

I noticed I had weird mood swings and I figured it was because I haven't had rice for weeks. I had to google the nearest Chinese restaurants in the area. I found one on my 2nd month of stay. I was relieved. 

6. Last but not the least, I had to get used to managing my funds well. Everything in Australia is FREAKING EXPENSIVE. I kid you not.

Note: Yes, we did fly on Malaysian Airlines going to Sydney. We promptly changed our flights after the MH370 incident.

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