April 21st, 2006:
Well, I've been in a holding pattern for just over a week now. I'm applying for IT jobs at the moment and looking at the various job websites indicates that there are plenty of suitable jobs in all of the many cities in Oz. The job hunt is having an unforeseen side-effect though: everything else is being put on hold. I'm reluctant to book tours as tour companies generally like a days notice of cancellation of going on a tour after a booking has been made, but I also want to be available for interviews at short notice, so no tours. Also, I want to rent cheaper accommodation in a "unit" (the local term for an "apartment") but can't until I know if/where I'll be working. Lastly I find myself shying away from making new friendships at the moment as I don't even know if I'll still be in Sydney after the coming days.
Hopefully this holding-pattern situation will be resolved next week.
I did goto Manly Beach last week as that is just a short Ferry trip from the main recreation boat port in Sydney: Circular Quay. Manly beach was great: it was so good that I'm currently looking into living there on a short term basis. The sea seemed to be clean and the beach, consisting of soft golden sand, was bordered by a treelined walkway. Behind the walkway was the town itself which was composed of lots of little shops. The ferry to and from Manly departs frequently and took about 30 minutes.
The extra time on my hands is, however, giving me plenty of time to study that great time waster: the TV. TV scheduling in Oz, as it turns out, is remarkably like home: lots of American imports interspersed with local cheap-to-make game shows, current affair programs and soaps. I have, so far, not sunk to watching "Dr. Phil" but did (only once I swear!) take a peek at the rather ludicrous "Days of Our Lives", both of which are on during afternoon scheduling. Evening TV is dominated by American programs such as "CSI", "Lost" and "Without a Trace", to name a few. The only downside to TV here is that they love their ad breaks. Nothing is sacred, with ads being shown during sporting events such as football or rugby matches. Also, whereas ads at home are generally shown in three blocks for hour long shows (at the hour mark, after twenty minutes and after forty minutes), here there are usually five blocks (at the five minute mark, after fifteen minutes, then thirty minutes, then forty-five and finally fifty-five minutes): you wouldn't want to intensely dislike ad breaks here as the sheer number of them would do your head in!
Winter is approaching this part of the world: it was on the news today that it snowed in Victoria (below Sydney), but due to the size of Oz it would be like getting news in Ireland of it snowing in a mountain in Russia(!). Still, apparently its a good portent for a long ski season this year. It also rained once last week, which was only the second patch of rain i've experienced since leaving Ireland, which is a situation I could get used to ;)
I do have a list of things to do around Sydney and despite the waiting game on the job front, hopefully i'll have more blog/photo updates next week.