The week of waiting was a tough one. My boyfriend started his trial for his job immediately after arriving in Sydney, leaving me to stay home with his friend (and our caretaker for the week) along with her child. But I didn’t mind, as his friend slowly became a really great friend of mine too.
It was definitely a hot stay, as air conditioning was simply something I was going to have to learn to live with out, but we kept it cool by keeping doors open and taking multiple swims in the pool. On some days I would stay at home alone and fend for myself, reading mostly, and wait until the time my boyfriend got home to tell me about his day. I knew it was a temporary fix, and as much as he urged me to get out and take a bus into the city, I just couldn’t. I wasn’t a certified city slicker yet. Although I did manage to walk myself to the closest mall to snag a copy of a new book I had been wanting.. And after almost dying of heat, misreading the directions, finally making it to the store and then finally making my way back in probably my most uncomfortable pair of shoes, I was done exploring by myself for a bit. Australian heat was blistering and I wanted nothing more than to have my humid summers back.
But the week passed on like a breeze (something I was always dying to catch in the hot summer sun) and before I knew it, my boyfriend had snagged the job. That meant that we would have to go out apartment hunting first thing Saturday morning. Boy, how crazy. Call me an Australian citizen, I was getting an apartment! Well…. an American tourist on a Australian Working Holiday Visa… But same thing, right?
To be in Sydney was a magical thing. The first time I stepped foot into the city and made my way down the beaten (and paved) path down towards the Sydney Opera House with ice cream in hand, I was in awe. People flocked everywhere and consumed every last corner of the area surrounding us. The roof of the building reminded me of the white sea shells I used to collect at home; tall, long, and smooth.
My head was always in an upward position as my feet twirled me around and around in tiny circles, enveloping me in the beautiful surroundings of my now favorite city. Sydney was nothing like Melbourne. In a way it felt newer, even though I knew the city was much older than the previous. Lights gleamed everywhere, noises tickled my ears, and my eyes sparkled. I wished at that moment that my eyes were tiny cameras so that I could capture every waking moment.
The night was a rainy one, mist sticking to my skin and hair as I licked up my butter pecan ice cream. In the chaos of it all I only snapped a few pictures, but I didn’t really care. I was in Sydney, Australia. How many other people would ever get this opportunity? This beautiful, beautiful opportunity.
The Harbour bridge stretched out far and wide and I envisioned how it looked with the Olympic Rings hanging from the rails like I had seen so many years back on television. Ferry boats sailed by smoothly, running on tight schedules as they passed through the bay, one after the other. I raced up the millions of stairs of the Opera House to get a better view and peered through the glass windows of the restaurant connected to it, imagining what it would be like to be fancy enough to wine and dine in a place as fancy as that.
Now, I know I must have seemed like a complete tourist, but I didn’t care. Hell, I knew I wasn’t half as bad as some of the Asian school groups walking around like zombies with their camera lenses glued to their faces. I was simply a silly American and I was okay with that. Because, after all, I did have an Aussies hand laced tightly in mine. Who was the silly American now?
The night plays on in my head like a movie that I had seen a long long time ago. The memories have faded some now, but I still remember how purely happy I was. It never really hit me that I was in one of the greatest cities in the world. It felt kind of like how you do in a plane. You look out of the window and you see the land far far below, but it doesn’t actually feel real. It was the same for Sydney. I felt like I was viewing a post card with the slogan “Come Again Mate!” printed out below it.
We went back to our friends’ house that night and I slept like a baby, knowing full well what my life was about to be like. One more day of work and this guy of mine and I were going to look for a place to live. My heart pitter-pattered against my chest as I hid my smile in my pillow.
There was no way my life was real.
Until Next Time!!!!