General Sydney/Aussie Customs, Sydney
Here in Australia they drive on the left side of the road. This can make an American a bit batty trying to get accustomed. Remember when crossing the street to look right. Before the Sydney Olympics they decided to paint signs on the street corners to advise pedestrians to "LOOK RIGHT" to avoid any traffic mishaps. Our friends have told us these signs are fairly new however having been put in for the 2000 Olympics.
Over the last couple of months I've been into town often enough & past this spot right in front of Bar Quattro going into Hyde Park to know that this Chess playing takes place all day.
It not only takes place on this large board painted on the concrete, but also on normal sized boards on various tables & even garden benches/seats that are nearby during the busiest time just either side of lunch time.
It is around this time that the crowd is also at its peak as workers from nearby offices & businesses come into Hyde Park to have their lunch & get outside.
So if you come to Sydney and fancy a game of Chess then get yourself up to Hyde Park as it seems that anyone can join in.
And like me, feel free to have either a coffee or lunch or brekkie at one of my Sydney faves Bar Quattro where I get the chance to practice my Itlalian. Ciao!
You can find them on the Elizabeth Street side of Hyde Park just opposite the David Jones Store that fronts it & right behind St James Station & Bar Quattro Cafe which is at the back & front left hand side of St James Station.
On Sunday mornings on Kings street in Newtown you can find a man selling religious trinkets outside of a beautiful old Greek church. The gentlemen was more then happy to tell us a little bit about the items he was selling. He showed as pictures of a convent in his home town where the items were made by priests. He was selling many of the evil eye charm which I collect. After we purchased a few small things he invited us inside to take a look around. The walls were covered in gold embossing and there were murals on the ceilings and alter painted in rich blues, reds and yellows. The pews were carved in ornate patterns and there were candles everywhere. It was truly beautiful.
Stay on your left side while walking Sydney's busy streets, pedestrian tunnels, escalators etc. Busy people overtake you on your right so don't stand in their way or you'd be shoved aside or shouted at.
Try standing in a corner of a sidestreet and you'd be surprised that vehicles would stop and let you cross. Such courteous drivers indeed!
Look to your right and then left when you cross the street.
Australian dollars (AUD) are all different colours!
The lowest denomination dollar bill note is $5.00 and it's purple
The $10.00 note is blue
The $20.00 note is orange
The $50.00 note is dark yellow
and the $100.00 note is green
Unfortunetly I don't know the colours of the notes over $100, but I bet they sure are pretty.
Coins come in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent pieces (silver), followed by gold $1.00 coins and $2.00 coins. 1 cent coins no longer exist and were phased out about 10 years ago.
Currency Converter link provided below:
It all starts with driving on the left side of the road, while sitting in the drivers seat on the right hand side of the car.
If you're like me you have to constantly remember to walk to the left on public walkways, escalators, stairs. There are even signs on the street corners in the CBD reminding you to look left.
I never even gave escalators a second thought until I started to get on the wrong side!
While I know I need to keep left, it is easier said than done and I have to keep saying to myself "Keep left, keep left, keep left"
You can check out the local (and Australian national, and international) news by reading the excellent Sydney Morning Herald. You can find the online edition at www.smh.com.au. These days, you have to register to get access to the website, but it's free and well worth doing if you are interested in Australian news. Sadly it doesn't publish on Sundays - if there's one thing that Sydney lacked on my visits there it is was decent Sunday newspaper. However, it looks as if the Sunday sister paper to the SMH, the Sun-Herald, may be better than it used to be...
The tabloid rival to the SMH is the Daily Telegraph - you can find it online at www.dailytelegraph.com.au.
Oh boy! As we were finishing up the Bridgeclimb I was having trouble with my utility belt as it kept slipping down. I commented something about "this darn 'fannypack' keeps slipping. Our young lady guide looked a bit startled at me and the British fellow behind me said something like: "I think he means his utility belt."
So when I had a chance to ask a friend about this comment I learned that "FANNY" is not a word used in polite society in the British Commonwealth. Enough said!!!!!
Because Sydney is so coastal... there are plenty of fishing HOT Spots. Personally we both like to fish and do it often.
The "REAL" Fisherman come out at nights, so the only people you will see on the roads in the early mornings are the true fisherman.
You need a Fishing License to fish in Sydney. It can be purchased at any local gas station for a small fee. If you are caught without a liscence they will fine you.
Sydney and the whole of Australia, drive on the opposite side of the road compared to America or continental Europe. British or Japanese drivers wouldn't have any problems.
Be on the lookout when crossing the streets if your country drives on the other side.
Smoking is slowly being ostracised in many establishments around Sydney. Restaurants, pubs have started banning cigarettes. Some still allow smoking areas although very limited.
You'll see many people smoking on the streets just outside an office building. This is because smoking is now banned in workplaces. If you're a smoker, expect to pay a lot of money for your favourite pasttime. Tobacco products are highly taxed here.
Sydney has a temperate climate, with warm to hot summers (it can exceed 33C) and mild winters. In summer season (Dec to Feb) the sun can get very strong and you should wear a hat and sunscreen. Sydney can also get quite humid especially in February. Bush Fires in the surrounding areas are also a problem during prolonged periods of drought.
Swim in our fantastic beaches, no this isnt me!!!!! Its my brother Sal, damn i want those ABS, oh anyway yes summer is approaching and the sun is waiting to give us a little sizzling, so put on sunscreen and enjoy our precious waters.
NEWS PAPERS OF N.S.W.
The Daily Telegraph
Sunday Telegraph (weekly)
Blue Mountains Gazette (weekly)
The Daily Liberal
The Area News (weekly)
Liverpool City Champion (weekly)
Sydney Business Review
Sydney Star Observer
INTERNET OF N.S.W.
Central GTS/BKN Network
TELEVISION OF N.S.W.
What the locals do for fun:
See a movie or theatre performance.
Ten Pin Bowling.
Coffee and cake.
A walk by the harbour.
Catch a ferry to Manly.
Star City Casino.
A counter meal at your local pub.
Go for a drive just to get icecream.
Play ball in the park.
Sit at home and watch TV, play the compter or read a book.
Swim and surf.
Visit an exibition.
Hang out at a friends place.
See a band play live.
Go to the pub.