A round up of my first week in Sydney. It has been a hard first week but I am slowly settling in and acclimatising to Sydney life!
1. Sydney is a FABULOUS city. It is not too big which is what I love, compared to London where you can often feel quite lost and lonely. I have loved exploring Sydney! I think the best way of getting to know a place is to walkwalkwalk around, I have on numerous occasions got lost but I have discovered so many cool places! Also what other city can you get a ferry to work, have so many beautiful beaches, an iconic harbour, amazing weather and an accent to die for?!
2. I am LOVING running in Sydney. My runs this week have really helped me let off all my negative energy I have been feeling [discuss later]. I find running SO good for my emotional state, and how can you not feel amazing when running across sydney harbour bridge! I have to stop and stare at the Sydney Opera House – I think it will always be a novelty! I am still getting used to running in the heat- I tire a lot easier here and cant keep up with my usual speed. But I am not bothered about running at a fast pace, I just want to enjoy running longer distances! I will do a separate post on my runs and #halfmarathontraining.
3. Sydney is #coffeeheaven. If you are a coffee nerd [like me] Sydney is THE PLACE to be. I have discovered more coffee houses here over the past 9 days compared to my year in London. There are NO coffee chains here, apparently Starbucks tried to start up but all the independent coffee shops here are so strong, that they had no business. The Sydney coffee scene is incredible, the baristas here have mastered the art of coffee… from piccolo to cold drip coffee to their brewing methods. I am pretty confident that even with a bad bean they could make an amazing cup of coffee.
[photo: compulsory slice of banana bread A-MAZING]
4. My hospital placement: I havent really mentioned much about my elective- the actual reason why I am out here! I am based at Mater hospital which is a private hospital in North Sydney. On my first day they introduced the hospital as the Belgrave of London! I have to admit, it is pretty swanky and modern. Most patients have their own rooms, the wards feel very open and airy [not what i am used to!] and they have little touches like fresh flowers! My supervisor is a cardiologist physician [specialises in hearts and blood vessels] and he is quite a character [I think they call it Aussie sarcasm- I am still getting used to it!]. I am the first overseas elective student they have ever had, which means they are still not too sure what to do with me! I think i will be shadowing my supervisor- in his clinics and seeing his patients on ward rounds. Also they are very into research out here – so I will be getting involved in a small research project. My supervisor has a very chilled attitude and keeps saying he wants me to make the most of being in Sydney and not spend all my time in the hospital but go and explore!
[Mugshot photo: walking to hospital on my first day ]
The difficult moments:
1. My accomodation: I think this is the main reason I have found my first week so hard. To be totally honest, my accomodation is pretty shit. It is student halls but run down and in quite shocking conditons. When I arrived I wasnt aware that you needed your own bed linen, towel and kitchen stuff so that was rather unsettling. The place is not somewhere I would call home. It is dirty- the communal kitchen – I think I could potentially get Salmonella from #notjoking. My room feels like a prison [even have bars at the window waheyyy!!] and is not particularly a place I look forward to coming back to. Lastly, the people are an interesting cohort, to put it nicely. My plan was to stick it out for a week and see how I feel. Then I met another elective student at the same hospital as me and enquired where he was living. He said he originally stayed in student accomodation but it was so foul that he moved as soon as he could. Guess what? The student accom is the same as my current one!! It actually reassured me as I thought perhaps I had too high standards [as I can be Princess Caroline sometimes]. So now I am trying to find a short term flat share, for the 7 more weeks i am here. I am feeling more positive about it now as I have a plan and I feel more settled in Sydney.
2. Not knowing anyone: this was always going to be the case for me as I came to Sydney toute seule. I dont have any friends or family out here so I knew it would be difficult at the beginning. It also is quite exhausting to be constantly enthusiastic and positive when meeting people! Actually though- over the past few days I have met a few people from elective students, aussie medical students and other bristol students who are out here. I think you have to be proactive and open-minded, for example a lovely aussie girl who I met at the medical school invited me to a house party on saturday night. Ok so I dont know anyone but hey why not! And actually it was good fun and through someone I met there- I have been invited to a birthday party next weekend. So i am just trying to go with the flow! I have found the Aussies are very friendly and welcoming which is quite refreshing!
3. I do miss my family. I am very close to my family and it is weird thinking I am on the other side of the world. When I was having a bad week at uni or missed home, I could just drive home for the weekend #notquitethesamehere! Actually my father is coming over Sydney early next week [he comes to Aus quite frequently with work] and so will be seeing him for dinner.
Speak to you soon! [in fact i have a post about my #weekendfuntimes and #halfmaratraining]
PS shout out to my dear friend Katie who is currently going through the gruelling process of revising for her final medical exams which are next week. Keep going girl! You can do it!