Day 3 in Sydney: Sydney Fish Market & dinner with Jono's godparents (10th March 2011)

We had an early start this morning with a property viewing in the suburb of Erskineville at 8.30am so was up at 7.30am for breakfast. We headed to Central Station to catch the train to Erskineville ($6.40 return per person) and as it was rush hour, we were flooded by Sydneysiders (term you use to call inhabitants of Sydney) exiting the station heading to work. Patience definitely required as we shuffled and dodged the throngs of people that looked like they were on a mission and would rugby tackle anyone who stood in their way. Quite a scary sight, if you ask me.  Photo of a quiet platform at Central Station where we waited for our train:

At Central Station waiting for our train

We hopped off at the Erskineville station (about a 12-minute ride from Central) and walked down Erskineville Road to Cafe Sofia where we picked up coffees before continuing on to the property viewing. That's just ridiculous - we couldn't pay for our coffees with EFTPOS because the transaction was less than $20! I could put through a 50 cent transaction on my EFTPOS in NZ but there was no way I could do so here in Sydney. Argh, this is really annoying, having to carry cash on hand all the time!

The property we viewed was really lovely - it was an unfurnished 1-bedroom place in a newish apartment located about 3 blocks away from St Peters train station and the main shopping strip of Newtown (the apartment was located by the borders of suburbs St Peters and Newtown). It was by far the nicest place we've viewed to date and though the rent is a bit steep ($495 a week, which worked out to be the same as what we had been paying for our flat in Wellington but it would cover rent for the whole 3-bedroom flat instead of just our room), we decided to put down the $500 deposit to secure the place while we got the rest of the paperwork completed in the mean time. It seems properties for lease in this city are managed by property agents and if one was interested in the property, you have to put down a deposit together with an application form which the property agents will review (a deposit doesn't necessarily guarantee you the place). The application form required rather extensive information from all tenants - we each had to fill out an application form, provide references, proof of identity, address and employment. There was another younger chap 
(probably an international student) who attended the same viewing and he seemed really keen. I hope we would find out the outcome of our application soon - they couldn't possibly reject us because only one of us has a job. Plus Jono's going to be working for Google. That has to be enough to guarantee our ability to cover the rent and also provide a character reference.

Around 11am, we took the train back to Central and walked over to Blackwattle Bay in the suburb of Pyrmont to check out the famous 
Sydney Fish Market, the largest fish market of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Daily wholesale seafood auctions are held for local seafood retailers (I believe this happens early in the morning) and common folk like you and me can also purchase a wide variety of seafood from the fresh seafood retail shops for a much cheaper price than your neighbourhood seafood retailer or the supermarket - you may wish to walk around to get an idea of price from the different shops before buying as prices do vary. Definitely a place I can see myself frequenting to buy fresh seafood once we have our own place and able to do our own cooking. I highly recommend a visit to the fish market, even if you have no plans to shop. Jono and I ended up at Doyles At Sydney Fish Markets Bistro, Bar & Grill for lunch where we shared a BBQ Seafood Plate (with calamari, prawns, scallops, fish & chips) and the lobster tail special for $47.60, as well as two Hahn Super Dry beers to complement our delicious, succulent cooked seafood. Oh, I'm in food heaven - we need to come back for lunch again soon! Not surprising that Asian tour buses were 'dumping' their tour groups here during lunchtime - fresh oysters, sashimi and/or cooked seafood - a sure hit with the Asians :P Photos taken at the fish market here.

After a full belly of yummy food, we decided to skip the next property viewing on our list today and headed back to our accommodation for a siesta. We took a slight detour to Pyrmont Bay where Jono showed me the Google office. The office was located on two floors of the Accenture building which Jono doesn't have access to just yet so we could only view the place from the outside. Still, it was cool being in the lobby and seeing the the company logo on the wall. Photos taken while we were at Pyrmont Bay:

Wharf at Pyrmont Bay
The Accenture building where Google is located
Photo of Jono with his company logo at the lobby

Either I really ate too much earlier or it is just the humid weather but I'm feeling really sleepy...Took a short nap and was woken up by the phone ringing, the first call was from the recruiter informing me that I have a second interview on tomorrow (so the interviewer WAS interested in my skills and experience!) and the second was from the property agent - our application for the apartment was successful. Yay! We are SO close to getting everything on our to-do list sorted :)

Jono's godparents invited us over to their home in suburb Glebe for dinner tonight. Tim and Beryl had left NZ for Sydney shortly after Jono was born so they never really got to see Jono growing up in person. Dinner tonight would be quite interesting as it would be the first time in a long while that both parties will meet - I'm sure there would be plenty of catching up to do, getting to know each other all over again.

We took the Light Rail over to Glebe around 6.30pm. Cost us $5.90 per person for a return ticket and unlike the CityRail trains which require purchasing a ticket prior to getting onto the platform, all you needed to do was pay the on-board conductor for your ticket. You do not need to seek out the conductor - he/she will come to you. There were not many people on board today so I guess it was quite easy for the conductor to tell who has paid and who hasn't. It was interesting to watch how the conductor marked our tram ticket - he stroked the thermal paper ticket with his fingernail and the line indicates you have one ride left. Huh, much easier than using a clipper, I suppose. Brr, chillly in here with the AC cranked up...

The Heskeths home was a beautiful townhouse with an exterior that deceives the eyes - the 2-storey house looked narrow and tall from the main entrance but it actually extends quite far in and has a backyard as well as a garage for two car at the other end. We dined al fresco in the bakyard which was lovely with the current warm weather (though Beryl had to light a mosquito coil under the table, a sight I've become unfamiliar with since living in NZ - I used to have to light one near my feet when I did the dishes in the kitchen at my parent's place), sipping our wines and enjoying the grilled fish Tim cooked on the barbecue accompanied with steam vegetables and kumara mash Beryl prepared. It was really nice to spend the evening with them, listening to Jono's childhood stories as he brought his godparents up to speed with the events in his life and vice versa, learning more about Tim and Beryl. This would be a start to many more catch ups now that we are all living in the same city :)

We finally left for home around 10pm, Beryl and Tim showing us a shortcut back to the tram station - was really lovely to meet you guys and let's catch up again soon!


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