Jan's adventures in Oz

Archive for August, 2011

Catching up with Blog!

Good news…I finally have internet at my apartment!!  You don’t know how much you depend on it (especially wifi) till you don’t have it! The process for getting hooked up here is quite cumbersome.  It took 2 visits from 2 different vendors.  Oh well, I have a lot of catching up to do.  I can get pretty good quality on Skype, so anybody that wants to chat, look up jzanetis on Skype.  I will be on there most Saturday and Sunday mornings….which is Friday and Saturday nights to you guys in “the States.”

I’ve decided that every weekend I will get out to visit a museum.  There are so many here, it should take me a few months to get through them all!  This will be fun, allow me to see some cool things and is also a plus for work since I will be looking to some of these places for content for schools over Cisco telepresence 😉

Last weekend I went to the Mariner’s Museum (right around the corner) and learned all about Scott’s tragic journey to the South Pole.  Then went onboard an Dutch schooner from the 1600’s and then the James Craig you can see in my pictures.  Very interesting…both.  I could volunteer for the James Craig and go sailing but don’t think I could climb those masts!

Today I took the ferry over to the Circular Quay and went to the Museum of Contemporary Art.  Unfortunately it was closed.  I saw a sign for the Royal Botanical Garden and ended up in wonderland.  I got a tour of the Governor’s House, which is where all the New South Wales governor’s have lived up until recently.  The current governor, a lady, has an office there and many special events are held there.  It is absolutely stunning and the grounds remind me of Cheekwood in Nashville although the foliage is quite Australian.

A note about pictures:  WordPress has a very clunky picture uploader, so I am going to start putting my pics on Picasa.  So, to see them go to:


At the wheel of the James Craig


Ruminating on my Week

Okay, guys, no sightseeing pictures for the moment, just a few thoughts on my work week.  I am still not officially “online” in the apartment, but for the moment there appears to be a non-secured wifi signal somewhere close that I can hack in to 🙂

This morning I did a presentation to the Association of Catholic Universities about video adoption.  It went well.  I must say the Cisco Briefing Center is QUITE classy with all the techno toys a geek could want!  Yesterday I spent the morning at the Powerhouse Museum, which is basically about space and science.  Got to drive the Mars Rover!  All you CILC people out there, this will be a good addition to the catalog!

The weather has been miserable this week.  Cold and rainy.  That probably sounds good to all my readers in Tennessee!  I am looking forward to “spring” in Sydney.   And I understand people don’t work much in summer!  Nor on Friday afternoons year round 😉

It is really hard getting used to everything being backwards…the cars driving in the left lane, water going down the drain counter clockwise, August being winter.  I am trying to figure out if the sun rises in the east here!!

I will say all the walking is paying off as I’ve lost almost 4 lbs.  And eating good to boot.  Tonight I jumped off the tram and picked up some steamed dumplings (pork) in Chinatown.  YUM!!  Earlier this week I cooked a “scotch” steak that cost about $4.  It was awesome, kind of like a ribeye.  Funny how I always end up talking about food!

More later….

Lazy Sunday in Sydney

Yesterday, myself and 3 big suitcases moved into the Richmont Apartments in the Pyrmont suburb of Sydney.  My apartment is SO nice.  Every single thing I could possibly need is included.  Did I mention my sheets were ironed?? The view from the balcony at night is stunning…downtown Sydney all lit up with the Westview tower as the focal point.

I took a walk yesterday down to the Fish Market.  I have never seen so many fish in my life!  Rows and rows on ice.  I bought a dozen oysters and they were awesome…very fresh.

Today I am taking it easy.  Figuring out how to use the washer and dryer.  Plan to check out the pool and hot tub J later.

I won’t have an internet connection in my “flat” for a couple weeks…bummer.  I’ll have to find an internet café to get this posted!

Hope you all are well.  Would love to hear from you….jzanetis@gmail.com

Food Side Note:  There is no Hershey’s syrup.  No grape jelly.  No half and half, just thick cream!  Going to the grocery is quite an adventure.

Sunday Update:  I have found a wifi hotspot.  Around the corner from my place is the Point Hotel.  It is a beautiful old hotel…looks like England.  I am sitting in a big lounge upstairs all by myself.  It is very cool…

The Search is Over!

On Sunday I jumped on the ferry and went across Sydney Harbour and into Darling Harbour to get to Pyrmont, where my new abode is located.  Pyrmont is a lovely neighborhood with lots of shops, restaurants, pubs, etc.  It was hopping on Sunday afternoon, which you cannot say about this side of town (North Sydney).  I visited the grocery store across the street from my apartments.  I was surprised to see quite a selection of Kangaroo meat.  It seems to be Aus’s equivalent of beef.  Wierd.  See picture of Kangaroo burger!


I paid my deposit and rent today and will spend my first night in Pyrmont on Friday.  I am so excited! My boxes from the US have cleared Customs and should be waiting for me in the apartment.  I especially look forward to getting my wool coat out of the box as its been a bit chilly this week (about 40F in the mornings).


I am settling in…have my ATM card and new cell phone.  For those adventurous readers, my new Aussie phone number is: +61 04 8809 0270.  Give me a call or a text!
New Apartment Building...The Richmont


Saturday– Aug 6 2011


Wow, its been a hectic week. Starting the new job, meeting tons of people, looking for an apartment.  The recession seems to be impacting Sydney…huge demand for rentals.  I went to one “inspection” today that must have had 20 people go through!  Good news is, I think I found the perfect place.  Its not close to office (I’ll have to take the bus or ferry to work…about 30 min.) but its furnished, has AC, a bathtub, lap pool, sauna, etc. and is in a very cool neighborhood, Pyrmont, in the city proper.  The apartment is furnished in beautiful antiques and original oil paintings.  Only one bdrm but has a fold-out couch.  The lady in charge of the complex appeared to take a shine to me.  I will turn in the application and “100 points” worth of ID on Monday and keep my fingers crossed!


Today, besides looking at potential places to rent, I conquered the coin operated laundry and worked on the book I’m writing with Jody.  Taking it easy….maybe take the ferry over to Darling Harbour tomorrow. ..check out the fish market!

Ferry trip to Manly

The Opera House on the way back from Manly

Last Saturday I walked down to the ferry and took the one to the Circular Quay (pronounced KEE) and then took another ferry to a village about 30 minutes north of Sydney.  After departing the ferry, I walked through the village and ended up at the beach.  A beautiful view of the Pacific.  Did a bit of shopping on the way back.  Caught some nice view of the city, Opera House, forts and battleships on the way back past the city.  A beautiful day.

The beach at Manly

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