arrived on teh 29th so here for a couple of days and ready to share my first impressions of sydney with you guys. First and foremost happy new year and best of luck to everybody.
At the airport i was waiting in a line which was literally 300m long until i could present my passport after 45minutes and thereafter you have to wait another couple of minutes with your bags on the ground while they send a doggy sniffing on your lugage. Have never experienced such strict customs anywhere so far but they really don't want to get any food/drugs whatsoever in their country. Nevertheless managed to bring in my protein powder even though i almost threw it away at one point.
After this procedure i met my main travel buddy in the arrival hall and we proceeded to a taxi after buying some aussie sim cards for our phones.
Since teh airport is insanely central for such a big city we arrived in our new home 20 minutes later:
Location is pretty superb with seaviews and only 200m from teh beach. Furthermoar there is a shitload of restaurants, shops and bars around. Barracuda was absolutely nothing compared to what choices you have here. Unfortunately pricing was/is "suberb" as well. For teh 17 days we staying we pay around 6.000AUS $. Flat is nice and clean for sure but given that it maybe has 50m² in total and one bedroom is the kidsroom with a bunkbed (i won teh flip for the bigger room luckily) i was suspecting some sort of scam. After seeing other prices in tis country (moar about that later) i can say price for teh flat is on teh higher side but definitely no scam...
First night we directly met up with american onlinepokerlegend Joe Ingram and went clubbing to Marquee, a club directly in teh casino. Joe befriended one of teh big pokernames Tony G teh night before but even he was not able to organize us a table with his blackcard so that he left and it was back in line for us. Tony is for sure an oldschool baller, have only seen him for 20 mins or so but superfunny how he interacts with people :)
After waiting 40mins again it was finally clubbing time. Entrance was 30$ and vodka bull between 12 and 15$. Definitely expensive but not supersick for such a club. Unfortunately they closed at 4 and we didn't really managed to find something else to continue. Seems tough in general to find decent afterparties here even though alot of those clubs close superearly (4am seems to be fairly late for here tbh). But since we are no locals we might just don't know about teh right spots yet?! Also that night i made teh experience that they charge any amount between 12 and 25$ for a pack with 25cigarettes which is like up to double teh price u pay in London.
Went for dinner and lunch a couple of times as well and prices here range from expensive to very expensive. Don't think we managed to have one bill below 50$ so far with 2 people, one drink, no starters. And we did not only went to baller places... At better places it is basically impossible to go out with under 50$ per person and even then u have only one drink and no starters :/
By far teh sickest so far was tis though:
For what i paid 35$ in a convinient store. Alex was laughing about me for buying in that store only to discover that it costs basically teh same in the big supermarket he went teh next day...
Regarding food the only thing which really seems reasonably priced are the big fastfood chains. Paid 12$ for a large sub and a drink at subway which is allright i guess...
Internet we had in teh flat was quite horrible so that i realized teh 2nd day here that it will be impossible to work with vodaphone from here. Went to a large mall and got a telstra 4g modem with 5GB for 150 bucks. This should be moar on teh expensive side as well compared to other countries but at least now i have fast and reliable internet and can start going back to work soon.
Yesterday was our first real beach day and NYE.
Beach is definitely one of teh sickest ones i've seen so far packed with all kind of different people. Girls at teh beaches in Brazil are way hotter in general though. Seems like all teh guys here are working out like crazy while many girls haven't seen teh inside of a gym ever which seems pretty weird. You still find some hotties nevertheless but by far not in teh same frequency like in south america.
For New Years we went for a 4 course menue b4 started drinking. Was kinda funny how teh waiter tried to scare us away with teh price when we entered and asked for a table for 3 given Ingrams and my outfit haha. Unfortunately lost my first flip there (flipping wit Joe prolly minus EV anyways) and teh food was on me but u cannot always run good i assume.
Before midnight we celebrated in Ingrams pad and watched fireworks from there and went clubbing after.
Since we were afraid that it would be a pain in teh ass to get into any decent club after 12 we purchased tickets for 100$ in advance which was an epic fail after we could buy for 40$ at teh door haha but i guess shit happens. We arrived there at like 0:40 and they stopped serving alcohol at 2am. ON FUCKING NEW YEARS EVE????! so we moved on to another place which was similar meh like teh first one but at least they seemed to have a better liquor licence. All in all not too many highlights that evening besides maybe teh sickest fireworks i saw so far in my life.
My feelings about Australia or better Sydney are pretty mixed so far...
I really love teh vibe of our suburb, all teh small shops, teh insane beach, etc. You see Ferraris and next to it guys in there 20s riding there skateboard down teh hill. The crowd here is supermixed, many different nationalities, hipsters, backpackers, surfers - you name it. Weather is quite decent as well even if i would've imagined it hotter but i will not complain. Most days so far were between 25-30°C with only few clouds and basically no rain. Everything is also highly organized compared to most other places i traveled to. If i need something in a shop i get good service and fast handling of teh matter. In Brazil and Argentina i needed moar than 2 hours to buy a phone and a SIM card lol. That people speak english obviously helps as well. you can communicate with every single person you meet unlike last year where maybe 10% of people were speaking english. Sydney also feels pretty safe as well but that was quite obvious. So far it feels like Sydney is a way cooler and slightly moar expensive version of London with better weather.
Unfortunately not everything is good down here. Main point are for sure teh ridiculous prices. I mean I guess that people have higher salaries here, minimum wage is 16 an hour etc. but you cannot tell me that people here find it normal to pay 35$ for 4litres milk and 2 kelloggs. I make way moar a year than an average salary here is but even for me it seems just too much haha. The first night out we bought a bottle of Vodka at a bottle shop and Vodka Absolut was over 40$. For this price i get teh very same bottle with some mixers in a club in Malta or Buenos Aires... There's a shitload of Backpackers here at Bondi and honstly i have no clue how they finance there trip and how long they going to be busto once they home again. The other point which definitely not works in my favour are all those rules and regulations. If you take yesterday for example they have divided central Sydney in like 15 different parts for NYE from where u could watch teh harbour fireworks. In at least half of those 15 parts was no alcohol allowed. I mean, it's NYE, cmom, really?! Cannot imagine that happening in any european city besides London maybe. Fortunately alcohol in Ingram's place was no problemo :P
But still Sydney seems like a very interesting place and everybody should paint their own picture anyways. Also it's kinda early to draw any conclusions after only 3 days here so i'm kinda excited of all those things about to happen in near future. Pokerwise i haven't played a hand since teh 26th but depending how my slight hangover feels later i might be back on teh grind tonight again...
best rgds and sunny greetz from Sydney!