As of press time, Australia still doesn’t have a prime minister. Consult http://doesaustraliahaveagovernmentyet.com (credit to Jordan) for a current update on the matter. Even though there hasn’t been a standoff like this in a long time (70 years?), nonchalance pervades the citizens of Oz. If we, the Americans, still didn’t have a president a week after federal elections in the US, both the media and the public would be in a frenzy. I personally think it’s silly that no one can make up their mind over there in Canberra. Whatever.
Speaking of indecision, we (Preya, Shrey, Richard, and myself) have been restlessly mulling over a few spring break vacation ideas. The clock is ticking, and it’s essentially come down to Gold Coast/Byron Bay roadtrip v Cairns tropical party destination v Fiji magical island experience. Everything is expensive, in part because we waited too long to book flights (SBX 2 is in about a month) and in part because it’s just the way Sydney is, a point I can’t stress enough. I’m pulling for Cairns because I desperately want to dive the Great Barrier Reef and then be able to say I dove the Great Barrier Reef. Richard and Preya seem to be largely supporting the Gold Coast plan for it’s flexibility and lower cost, while Shrey still wants to make it to Fiji while he’s in Oceania. If you are reading this and you have been to any of the above destinations, I would love to hear from you. Anything to sway the masses one way or another would be heaps helpful.
After I expressed my anxiety to Richard about feeling the pressure of “too-much-to-see-too-little-time-to-see-it-in”, he promised me a touristy day in The Rocks ie this past Friday. We started by getting lunch in a noodle house in Chinatown. The place, about the size and formality of my kitchen, was packed with Chinese and European-Australians alike. Steam wafted into the dining area, where we sat squished in, cupping our jasmine teas and anticipating our heaping plates of steamed dumplings and spicy chicken-noodle dishes. It was only afterwards that we discovered this was the exact same restaurant recommended by my nifty Lonely Planet guide conveniently and concurrently stored in my purse that day.
Then it was off to the Rocks – the area slightly to the left of Circular Quay (Opera House/Botanical Gardens/ferry wharfs) right on the harbor. The Rocks is historically significant in that it was the sight of the first European landing and colonization of Sydney. I was excited to see some old stuff cause, let’s face it, there isn’t much old stuff in Sydney. Not only did we walk through a 19th Century cottage, but also stopped to marvel at two of Sydney’s self-proclaimed oldest bar-hangouts. We also went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (free entry! My list has paid off) which was reminiscent of Cockatoo Island in its shockingly confronting creepiness. There was one film featuring a woman who tickled and toyed with ceramic bowls and mugs before sending them smashing to the floor with zero remorse. It was quite frustrating.
Didn’t get to walk across the Harbor Bridge – next time, I suppose – but we did make it into an Aboriginal art gallery. That was neat. We went back home, and, rested and replenished, set out to Shelby’s house party. It was the first house party I’ve encountered since my arrival, invoking within me fond memories of Athens. Sigh.
Saturday, Richard and I checked out the Pet Fair on campus. I got to pet a cow. And a llama, and a goat, and a duckling, and a piglet, and a bunny, and a guinea pig…I was a happy camper, and kinda sniffly too. No matter – the poodle with pink hair could have brought cheer to even the most allergic of fair-goers.
Ever seen the movie, The Holy Mountain? Think ‘shrooms, acid, violence, religion, sex, the 1970’s, and you may have a vague idea of the content of this non-narrative art film. We watched it at Josh’s house in what began as “boys’ night in” and ended with every one mentally and emotionally drained from a noble attempt at wrapping our minds around something so very trippy, convoluted, and full of impenetrable yet *deep* meaning.
Today, after trekking to Chatswood, North Sydney for group work on a school project, and promptly losing my binder on the train (Mom, don’t hassle me on this one. I’m already upset enough as it is), I searched the grocery store high and low for some corn meal. Why, you ask? Tonight was potluck night at 3 Creek and, dammit, I was going to make cornbread if it was the last thing I did. Found “maize meal” in the health food section and impressed my housemates with good ‘ol Southern cornbread. Hermant, our new Indian housemate, made out-of-this-world fried cauliflower with chili sauce and poppadoms with chutney.
I have a job interview at a children’s clothing store in the mall tomorrow. To lie or not to lie about how long I’m going to be here is the question. My last interviewer advised me, before sending me off in a caffeine-daze as I had accepted his free flat white offer,
“Listen, your honesty is worth gold. But, the last guy said he would be here for a year. I trained him, he worked here for six weeks, then he left.”
“So you’re saying I should have lied to you?”
“No, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying he got the job and you didn’t”
I guess it’s worth mentioning at this point that Clipper was too good to be true. Free food, under-the-table compensation…I haven’t given up, just need to re-strategize. Re-strategize, decide, and hopfully find my binder.