The gleaming Opera House - 11th October 2005
So this is my final day in Australia. I arrived at about 7am with no problems from Narita, and got the train back to my old flat - after I moved out to go to Japan they managed to fill my room. I dumped my stuff, had a shower, and went out to do some basic jobs like close down my bank account. The weather was perfect - 26C and sunny - a classic Sydney day. I used to watch TV programmes where people talked about moving to Australia because (in part) the weather was so much better. I scoffed at the time, of course, but when you're over here and it's sunny, warm with a light breeze every day for two weeks it's just great. Not good for the water situation, of course, but for those of us on a limited timescale it makes a huge difference.
The Harbour Bridge with ferry underneath
I walked around to the Opera House and the Botanic gardens one last time. It was lunchtime, so the footpath by the water that winds around to Mrs Macquarie's Chair was busy with joggers, escaping the office for some temporary and frantic exercise. The Opera House was glistening in the sun, as white as I've seen it. I then got a ferry (the Charlotte) across the harbour to Milson's Point and walked back over the Harbour Bridge. I'll definately come back - but for now that was a fitting end, I think. Tomorrow morning it's back to Asia and an overnight stop in Korea.
Last look at the Opera House...for now
I'm not sure how I can sum up and entire year into a snappy paragraph. I think the posts I've been producing are a testament to how much I've enjoyed coming over here. The decision to uproot and move to the other side of the world is a huge one - even if I had the safety net of a one-year visa and my old job guaranteed when I got back. The challenge of fitting into a new city and culture where I didn't know more than a handful of people was greater than I imagined - but I never found it hard. I think that was in part due to the Aussies, who are to a man and woman the nicest bunch of people you could meet. Their relaxed attitude to life - even in (by their standards) hectic Sydney helps you adjust. Plus the relative ease I had in getting somewhere to live, and then a job, also helped. I really landed on my feet with the flat, it was a great place to live.
So that's it - the end of the best 12 months of my life. Well, not really the end, as I won't be back at my desk until the 7th of November, and there's a bit of travelling to do first. I've loved writing this blog, hopefully you've enjoyed reading it - thanks for all your comments. Rest assured I'll keep on writing DUaB after I get back to Edinburgh, I'm sure I can find something to write about. But for the Australian part of my trip - that's it...