Sunday, November 9, 2014

South Africans in Sydney, Australia - part 2

..continued from South Africans in Sydney - Part 1

Hi, I am a South African living in Sydney. I have been here for some years. Here are some facts as I see it.

Q. What do I like about Sydney?

Well, it reminds me of home - wide roads, parks, sea and beaches and the lifestyle is similar to my home town of Cape Town. Good weather, blue sky (I lived in the UK for a bit ). There are large amounts of forests, beaches and mountain ranges to drive to on the weekend.

Q. What are the negatives of Sydney.

Number 1 - its very expensive.
It can be boring - especially in the established, non eclectic suburbs, neighbors are strangers. Nothing is familiar. Sydney is huge, takes about 5 hours to drive around it.
Australia can have a lot of rules and regulations. If you are not working - it can be very lonely.
See the posts on this blog - why do people leave Australia

Q. Is Sydney Safe?
Well, compared to South Africa its totally safe, although one needs to be wary as there is a seedy side. There are large amounts of youths that seem to be affiliated to gangs and drugs.

Q. What about the cost of Living?

House rentals are extremely expensive, finding something reasonably prices for rental entails a lot of searching, living further out from Sydney and perhaps not being in the best location.
Food prices are high - its wierd as I would have expected it to be lower. Electronics are similar to Asian countries and in some cases lower  - e.g. mobile phones are not exorbitant.

Q. How have you found the locals to be?

On the whole Australians are friendly and probably friendlier than the UK. I think they are less pretentious than South Africans, as South Africans seem to put a lot of emphasis on image - large cars, houses etc. etc.

Q. What was the first thing you did when you arrived in Australia?

Rented a car, bought a mobile Sim card and also a dongle for internet access. I bought chunks if 3 gig at a time.
I think I treated myself to a spanky new laptop. You have to have this, to do your research for home rentals etc.
Within a few days I  bought a car with finance, you need one I think, especially if you have family. Transport is great, but walking 10 minutes to a bus stop etc. etc. is not my idea of fun.
Also figured out where to do my shopping.
Then I reported in for work and started the house hunt.

Q. How did you get to work?

Used the train, I drove to the nearest station and parked there.

Q. Where did you stay at first?

Well I actually moved to Sydney twice now. the first time I went a month ahead of my family and rented a room in someone's house in Baulkham hills. Was cheap and that's all I needed while I set things up fro my wife and kids. The good part was that there were other people who were staying in the house from whom I extracted a lot of information.

The second time I found a nice furnished house near Narabeen lakes - cheaper and better than the expensive 3 bedroom short stay apartments which hit you for AUD $1500 a week. I was lucky I looked for weeks and then we chanced upon it, we also did some haggling to get the price down.

Q. What is the transport like in Sydney

Sydney has a large network of bus routes that get you from anywhere to anywhere!
There is also a mature rail way network with modern spacious trains that don't seem to get anywhere as crowded as other places. Its not like South Africa where you have to have a car.
Taxi's are available but not all over the place, a last resort and can turn up late!
Of course the road system is totally first world. Very annoying is the large number of toll roads!

Q. Do you miss South Africa ?

Yes and no. As a family we long to return to South Africa and sometimes make plans to do it. Finances or circumstances always seem to get in the way. Sometimes we miss it so much that we don't even care about the negatives in South Africa. On the other hand I have lost most of my ties to South Africa now and I am not too fussed. I miss feeling like I am "home". I think I am always more daunted by Australia. - when getting work, applying for anything etc. I seems to stress more in Australia at work as I feel lightly less confident, I am losing this sort of inferiority complex though.

Live, work, immigrate, study Australia forum

How I got my visa, Life, Lumps and spirit, Hate your new country? Your not alone! A good Furniture Rental company in Sydney,Why do immigrants leave Australia?, Sydney - Scotland island - hidden gem, Malls in Sydney, Living in St Ives, Arriving in Sydney, Driving through Sydney - first day, How expensive is Sydney

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