Saturday, November 27, 2010
13 Nov 2010: Arriving in Sydney
13 Nov 2010 (Sat):
I woke up early in the morning to get ready to leave home by 6.10 a.m. for the Singapore Changi International Airport. It was rather busy by the time when I reached the Terminal One. I checked in and board the flight after spending some time browsing the Terminal One.
Thank goodness for good luck, I had a window seat. In fact, technically, I had the entire row to myself. No one else was allocated the two seats that were just to my right at the same row. One smart-looking German-speaking gentleman decided he wanted a aisle seat, and he changed his seats to the same row as me. So, I get a chance to converse with someone during my ride to Sydney.
Most of the time on the plane, I was either intrigued by the view from the window or I was enjoying my read of Char Margolis' Discover Your Inner Wisdom.
What would the trip to Sydney be like this time around? I have no specific expectation except that I hope to achieve the following:
1) Catch up with one of my good friends, RL.
2) Catch a glimpse of whales.
3) See dolphins in the open sea.
4) Listen to a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra playing the Second Symphony composed by one of my favourite composers, Johannes Brahms.
5) Enjoy some special time to myself.
Guess what? I feel so lucky that I have achieved all my set objectives, and came home with more wonderful learning points and experiences.
Clearing the customs was smooth. Many thanks to a friend Randy who has helped me to check on the customs regulations. I had brought along with me prescribed medications, health supplements for my personal consumption and a packet of green tea for RL. All these items are considered food items. These items were the items that I would need to declare. I have learnt that when visiting Australia, honesty is the best policy. The people at the customs are absolutely helpful as long as we are honest and sincere in helping them ensuring that no prohibited item is being brought into Australia. Thanks to being honest and as helpful as possible, I cleared customs pretty smoothly.
On the arrival at the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, I purchased a sim-card from Vodafone. I was later told that the charges were a little steep, and one of my friends recommended Virgin Mobile instead. On the good side, I was very lucky at the airport. The Vodafone shop was closing but the staff member present attended to me nevertheless.
I met a couple from Singapore on the pre-arranged airport shuttle bus to the Sydney city. They were visiting Australia for holiday and more so, to visit their daughter who is on exchange in Adelaide. I hope they have an enjoyable vacation.
Checking into the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour hotel was quite a breeze. I was hungry for dinner and wanted to get myself drinking water to quench my thrist. With great luck, I asked one of the staff members of one of the convenience stores that I had bought a bottle of drinking water from, and I was given the recommendations to check out the Japanese restaurant, Wagaya. Using the touch-screen technology at Wagaya, I ordered a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen. The taste was average to me perhaps because I generally do not like noodles and ramen.The following day, I found out from my friend, RL, that Wagaya serves the best and most affordable Japanese food in Sydney city.
After dinner, I eased myself into a relaxed mode, took a shower, and went to slumberland. The day was blessed with good luck.
Moments to be grateful for:
1) I arrived in Sydney, safe and sound!
2) Smooth customs clearance
3) I have got a sim-card even though the shop was closing (in fact, it was closed).
One new thing that I did:
1) Ate Japanese food in Wagaya, a restaurant that is totally new to me.
Level 1, 78-86 Harbour Street,
Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Open 7 days, 5 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Tel: +61 (02) 92126068