The Karen Files

New wrinkles in my brain…

Well, today wasn’t all that extraordinary.  The only thing I really did was orientation for the program, and when that was done, I did a bit of walking about and getting lost in the city.

I have only been in Sydney for one day, but I’ve already learned some very interesting tidbits of knowledge. And because you are my captive audience, I will share them with you.

  1. The crosswalk lights beep loudly when they turn green. How convenient is that? No more staring at that little red hand so you don’t miss the second it turns green. Instead, you can stare at all the other people waiting. Who doesn’t love people watching?
  2. It seems like there are more Asians than Australians in Sydney.  All the store signs are translated into Chinese or Japanese (I can’t easily tell them apart). Everywhere I look I see giant green flags telling me that 2008 is the year of the rat. Also, the products that you can buy seem to be targeting tourists from Japan or China… there is a lot of Hello Kitty. I guess it makes sense because Asia is the closest continent, and that must be where all the tourist dollars come in – but you’d think that they’d want to buy products that they couldn’t get from home, right?
  3. Apparently, redback spiders like to do their hiding under toilet seats – just waiting for the unsuspecting person to sit down.
  4. All of the music that is playing in stores is the same music that we Americans played in stores… in the 90’s. “All I wanna do is have some fun” … “You spin me round” … Good music, but it makes me feel like when I crossed the date line I went back in time 15 years!
  5. They don’t seem to have paper dollar bills. Instead, they have one dollar coins and two dollar coins, that they actually use! Also, their “paper” money is neat. It’s plastic and has a little clear window on each bill.
  6. I did have a few other things to mention, but I think the jet lag is starting to kick in so I can’t remember them. I’m just trying to kill time for a few hours until I go to bed. I don’t want to go to sleep before 9 or I’ll have the same problem when I wake up tomorrow. But tomorrow I think I’ll do some of the tourist-y stuff in Sydney. I still have a week before surf camp starts so I need to make do in Sydney until then.


  1. Hey Karen,

    Thanks for the update. A lot of great info. Forgive my ignorance but can you also incorporate pictures in your blog. Sure would love to see that redback spider under your toilet seat :).


  2. Redback spiders! Pictures! Noooo….

  3. i hope their not poisonous….ick!! sounds like an interesting visit so far. i’m so glad you’ve been able to update so much already. i hope you’ll be able to continue to have easy access to internet.

    gooday mate!!

  4. Hey Karen,

    I heard that many places over there have heated toilet seats… Those spiders must be in heaven LOL Take care


  5. I would kill my self. Literally kill myself if I had a run in with one of those red jerks coming at me while I’m minding my business.
    Anyway, please tell me reasons why I would WANT to visit Australia! I’m losing hope!
    Still miss you!

  6. We have beeping walk lights here too.. they are used for the blind usually. ;)
    Miss you! Need to see pics!!

  7. ahhh, i just checked and they ARE poisonous!!! not many known deaths, but STILL!! buy a can of raid asap!!! otherwise you might have to ask the front dest to suck the poison out your a$$, LOL ;-)

  8. Hey Bear,

    OMG – Spiders!!! Under the toilet seat!!! Dare I ask HOW you found out that is where they like to hide? Man, think I would want my comode sealed in plastic. Hehe

  9. And the itsy bitsty spider…

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