I am in Sydney! Unfortunately not to stay yet, but only to do some business.
We arrived last week Thursday and will be leaving next week Tuesday. Sarel and I came to Sydney to do a couple of “business” like activities. Unfortunately not a lot of sightseeing or holidaying L
So far we did the following:
1. The main reason for our visit was to “activate” our visa’s. Thus, to do our entry. This was rather very un-ceremonial at the airport. The customs guy just politely said “welcome to Australia" and off we went. Stamp in the passport. Entry to the Country – as permanent residents!!! Off course, once we left the customs area Sarel and I jumped up and down an celebrated, but God Forbid!!! Just not in the Customs area. I was so scared to look “out of place” and end up on Border Security on the Discovery channel, that I deliberately kept my joy and happiness in until it was more appropriate to jump with joy!
2. We opened a bank account some time ago and had to come and verify who we are in order to “activate” the bank account. We did this last week Friday and they sent our cards to my in-law’s address. We received our bank cards yesterday (Wednesday). Can you believe, I had a choice of a black or pink bank card. I chose the pink one! I am so happy with it (and the bank’s service)
3. We met with several expats – mostly friends of my in-laws who all stay here in Sydney. We had such lovely chats with them. We asked so many questions and got so many good ideas and advice. It is too much to digest, but I am trying.
4. We met with a relocation specialist – and she took us all around the Northern Beach suburbs. This is a very expensive exercise, BUT, and this is a very important but … it is worth every cent! If we are able to chose the right school and area, it will save us a lot of money in changing schools / areas etc later on. Remember, in Australia, the schools are very strict on the feeding area, so if you chose the wrong side of the road, your child may end up in a school where you don’t want them. Thus, getting an expert to help is a huge expense, but a very good investment!!!
5. We met with a family member of a friend of mine, and she showed us the Castle Hill / Cherrybrook area. Very important to view areas on your own as well, in order to ask the relocation specialist about these areas as well.
6. We went shopping!!! With our eyes only. We went to compare prices so that we can chose what to bring, what to leave behind in SA, what to buy new in SA and what to rather buy in Australia.
We are also spending some quality time with my in-laws here in Sydney. Love the time with our 2 and a half year old nice!
I will definitely do a blog with some of my observations, conclusions etc regarding our trip, but now, I just need time to digest it all for now!