As I bitched about on facebook recently, there’s a dearth of free Wi-Fi here in Sydney (in fact, there’s a dearth of quality Internet of any sort so far as I can tell, but I’ll save that rant for another time). After the concierge in our building informed me that the Wi-Fi in the lobby costs 55 cents/minute, I think I kind of flipped out at her and was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Angry spoiled American what? Long story short, I cajoled her into telling me that the only free Wi-Fi she knew of (and she couldn’t confirm it, it was just a rumor!) was at the McDonald’s in the underground arcade adjacent to Wynyard Station.
I should explain that part of the reason I needed Wi-Fi was because I needed to send something from my work laptop, and the Internet connection in our room only allows itself to be accessed by one computer. SO GHETTO! Anyway, off I set to look for the McDonald’s down the street. Btw they call it Macca’s here, which I can totally get behind. So I got to the dark underground McDonald’s, and ordered the cheapest thing I could think of, a small coffee. Then I parked it at a table and got to work. It really was free, so props to the concierge. Not that there was a power outlet anywhere, so I had to bounce when my battery ran out, but whatevs. Of course, two very obviously homeless people (or so I’m guessing by their smell) decided to park it on the bench next to me. Both of them looked to be about 75. One was a giant fat man with scraggly white hair and a white beard (like scary homeless Australian Santa Claus) and the other was a tiny Asian woman with a stringy bun on top of her head wearing about five sweaters on top of each other. She swung herself to the side so she was facing me the entire time I did work. It was hard being watched from about 10 inches away. I guess on the bright side they were quiet; I can’t handle noise while I’m writing.
So I feel like the McDonald’s wi-fi story is kind of emblematic of how I’m adjusting. They have most of the comforts of home here, they’re just harder to find and access. (Here’s another example: we went to the movies last weekend and the tickets cost $16.50 AUD each. The high price stung even more when we realized that He’s Just Not that Into You is maybe the most worthless movie of all time, but I digress…). Anyway, I find myself constantly calculating what time it is back home so that I can talk to my friends on gchat or BBM or skype, or watch a quality TV show on Slingbox. I hope that once we move into more of a neighborhood and get settled I’ll be able to meet more people and make friends, but for now while we’re living in the CBD I feel like I’m kind of floating around, waiting for the husband to get out of work or my friends to wake up so I can have human interaction. It’s not that I don’t like it here – it’s absolutely beautiful and I really have enjoyed experiencing Australian culture, depsite my tongue-in-cheek complaints – it’s just that everything and almost everyone I care about is so incredibly far away, and at this point I have so much time on my hands I can’t help but think about that distance.