As you probably know, or otherwise really should know, the seasons are all turned around here and that means that you are in the middle of winter, and we are now smack-dab in the middle of summer. As a au pair in Sydney this means that right after I got here the boys started their summer holidays and I thus started out my working days here with possibly the busiest time I will have over these months, spending full days with them.
During the holidays I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Blue Mountains with the boys and their grandparents, another trip to the Blue Mountains with a friend (staying at the grandparents), a trip to Pearl Beach with the family and a trip to Melbourne with the family. All of these trips were absolutely amazing because, and this cannot be stressed enough, this country astonishes me wherever I go. The Blue Mountains have shown me nature as I have never seen nature before, with rainforests and waterfalls and beautifully weird animals all over the place. Pearl Beach was a calm little town with a lovely beach with stunning rockwalks around it. And Melbourne has totally stolen my heart; it is such a cool city with a complete overload of good coffee places, pubs, restaurants, clubs and shops. It has also stolen my health because, briliant as it is, this bloody city is completely bipolar when it comes to its weather and it will change from sunny and warm to rainy and cold and back every 5 minutes (yes, I overreact slightly. But just bring an umbrella when you go there, ok?).
And now here we are. A few weeks down the road and I have already seen and done so many things. And now the holidays are over and school has started again. Hugo is still in the same school which is quite near the house. I usually just let him jump out of the moving car near the school before I speed away and he can tiger crawl to the entrance so that nobody has to see me. Ok, I kid, but that would be pretty cool. What I meant to say was that I drop him off with the car in front of the gate and am not allowed to walk into the schoolyard with him because that would totally ruin his street cred. I get it, a player gotta play and an au pair dropping you off and waving at you is not cool.
Ollie, on the other hand, has switched to another school on the other side of the city and I have to pick him up after school. Now on the other side of the city doesn’t sound so far for people from most Dutch cities, you just jump on your bike and ride around for 30 minutes…. But do not be mistaken here. This city is more than a quarter of my ENTIRE COUNTRY. When I went to visit a friend in Manly today – a suburb in the North – I was traveling for almost 2 hours. That will get me from one side of the Netherlands to the other. This city is monstrous! Anywaaay, when I pick him up I have to cross the Harbour Bridge every time – pretty cool right? Wonder how long it will be before I start getting utterly fed up with that iconic piece of Sydney engineering. I also wonder how long it will take for me to actually know the way to and from the school and not get lost even one single time. I fear that the first one may come before the second :p
Now that the holiday is over and I am actually spending some time in Sydney instead of wandering (and wondering) around in neighbouring territory I have also started building up a pretty decent social life here! There are lots of great other au pairs in the city, and they form the basis of my new friends here. Though I am determined to spend some time with actual Australian people my age too at some point in the near future. Surely this is possible. So glad to be making some friends, because while pictures of drunken friends running around in bee costumes and your favourite girlfriends clubbing and taking over the DJ booth (both actual examples of this weekend) are amazing little presents to get when your day has just started and you are working on your first coffee..