With the moves we've made over the past few years, the stuff I've found the most dislocating hasn't been the change in housing or climate or language. You'd think it would've been all that big stuff, but it's actually all the little day-to-day things. It's figuring out how to pay your electricity bill; what your postal address is (this can be trickier than it sounds!); and where to buy fresh flowers without the need for a second mortgage. It's finding a doctor, a hairdresser and, perhaps most importantly, a waxer you can trust. (Seoul failed me completely on that last one. Hong Kong however delivered in spades.)
Right now, it's only three more sleeps until we make the big move (!), and whilst I know a bit about where to shop and where to eat in Sydney, there's a lot of day-to-day stuff I don't know. So Sydnesiders - I need your help! Please, please share your Sydney knowledge with me! Got a favourite place for a cuppa, pizza or yum cha? A trusted GP? Know the best (or best value) mani/pedi in town? Tell me, please! We'll be living in the inner east, but I'm happy to travel, especially if there's food involved...
Here's some of the things I'm after:
- A hairdresser that knows a thing or two about hair dye. Especially one that does not worry about trying to make blonde look natural. I'm not a natural blonde. I don't want to pretend I'm a natural blonde. I want cold, near-white, clearly fake tresses. From my experience there are far too many hairdressers in the world obsessed with hair looking natural. I do not want you, natural guy.
- A good (flat-ish) bike path or three. Actually, back up a step - a good place to buy a bike. I want one of those retro looking ones in a cute colour like turquoise that you could probably buy for under three dollars in China. And I want a basket on the front big enough for two dachshunds. The basket will need to have restraining devices. And sedatives.
- A good dog park or three. Oh! And a dog beach or three!
- A good GP. Even better would be a good GP that specialises in women's health.
- A dentist that doesn't make me feel like crying as soon as I walk in. Or who at least shows some sympathy when I do sob uncontrollably as soon as I sit in the dentist's chair (true story!).
- A yoga teacher who has the right balance of compassion and working you until you cry. A yoga teacher who mixes things up and adapts routines to the changing seasons and the moods of the group.
- A good gym. One with machines that work, decent air conditioning, clean locker rooms and a non-judgemental vibe.
- A running path that's mainly flat (I'm not ready for hills yet, and there's a lot of hills in Sydney!).
- A pedicure where the polish lasts for a solid three weeks. And where they don't make me feel like a goose for not knowing anything about all those lady type things (gel nails? what? and how do I get one of these kind of manicures? I am clueless...).
- Somewhere to get a massage that strikes the right balance between clean, comfortable surrounds and price. A place that doesn't make you feel like a 'happy ending' is part of the standard services, but that also doesn't make you break out in a sweat when you see the bill.
- Some kind of club or group or something. To do with photography or craft or books. Preferably involving nice people, baked goods and cups of tea (or possibly glasses of wine). That would be ace.
- The best yum cha in Sydney. We will travel for good dumplings.
- And maybe a real life friend or two, to have the occasional stroll / dog walk / coffee / gelato with.
- And...anything else you think I should know about the sparkly gem that is Sydney!