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Orientation Pt 1

Bondi was breathtaking. Jordan and his friend Josh picked me up from McDonalds, where I had been video skyping with none other than Morgan Capps, and drove me to Bondi. I’m going to go ahead and say that it was less thrilling and more frightening to be a passenger in a car on the wrong side of the road. I’m also going to go ahead and call it the “wrong” side since the rest of the world drives on the right side (pun intended). Anyways, anyways, we hung around the beach area for a bit, ran into some of Jordan and Josh’s friends, watched a sick skateboarder do his thing, then made our way to Southhead. Sunset over the city, cliffs, ocean, lighthouse, stars, …The photos speak for themselves. But you should really see some of the shots Josh got with his spankin new camera.

And then, as promised, the boys took me to the most legit Lebanese restaurant for some serious kebabs. Kebab rhymes with “crab” not “mob” and consists of a do-it-yourself arrangement of pita, meat, garlic butter, tzatziki sauce (?), tomatos, banana peppers, bright pink pickled root vegetable, olives…Sorry that was becoming a long list but you get the point. Great day and great meal. Thanks boys ☺

At Bondi Beach
Bondi with the boyz
Climbing around near Bondi
Climbin to see the sunset
the sunset from Bondi
The harbor at sunset

The next day I went to Paddy’s Market in Chinatown with Julia. Flea market meets ethnic grocery store. I think it might be the only place around you can get things at “American prices”, so I’ll probably be heading back over there when I decide I feel comfortable enough to shop frivolously in this city. Julia bought a cute watch with a ginormous face and some chic sunglasses for cheap cheap cheap. Like I said, I didn’t buy anything yet but there’s always next time. Frankly, I think we were both far too overwhelmed (and kinda lost) to spend any more time in there than was necessary.

Small-world story: I turned to check out the Americans sitting next to me at McD’s today during my daily internet sesh and asked where they were from in the States. We bonded over the expensive McDonalds fare; scoffing at the lack of a Dollar Menu, then quickly discovered we would all be exchange students at uni. (Then we talked about how weird it felt to call it “uni” but that it was so much easier to say than the real word.) Long story short, they go to Tulane and are apparently, and this may or may not be true, bffls with Elliot Chaiken and Jenny Mosely. Small world, ain’t it?

Julia and I just took it easy the rest of the day, making sure to stop by and pick up some double dipped Timtams before calling it a night.

Yesterday was less than thrilling. I woke up late, presumably because I was feeling a bit sick (you know how these things go in communal housing situations), then went to campus for some internet. Didn’t get internet so much as I realized how many f-ing Americans are exchange students here. It’s nice to run into them – feels like home – but at the same time it feels like home, and I didn’t come here to “feel like home”. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hatin’ on my own kind. I just don’t want to get caught up in an exclusively American social circle.

Another small-world story: Went over to Sydney Village aka on-campus housing to see what A$300 a week would have gotten me and met a girl named Sylvana from McGill. She knows Maya R-M from her freshman biology class. Small world, right?

Last night was the eagerly anticipated International Potluck night at 3 Creek so I picked up some wine and headed over there. Sorry to disappoint, but I just didn’t have it in me to try to cook for the occasion, so wine would have to do. It’s so nice to be able to perform such a gesture without the hassle of having to use a fake ID.

Today was Orientation Day 1, most of which I spent in the bank on campus opening up an account. Yes, yes, I skipped some of Orientation, but I had heard a lot of it at the Daily Arrival session last week, so I think I’m good. The whole thing was kinda long and repetitive but I’m certainly not going to complain about the free Morning Tea with cookies and sandwiches and fruit at lunchtime. I give them credit: the Sydney Uni people understand a few things about human nature that don’t come so easily to their American counterparts. They successfully organized this entire week in such a way that prevented us from getting caught in awkward conversation/awkward silence among strangers. For example, lunchtime served the dual purpose of exposing us to campus organizations and activities via booths bordering the room and feeding us. They placed tables with food in the middle, letting us roam around as we pleased, talking to other international students and/or browsing the organizations fair. So kudos, Sydney Uni ISSU.

More importantly, though, I met Jenni. This is quite the notable accomplishment since she’s one of two Finns here. She’s kind of a big deal.

Julia surprised me with special crunchtastic Timtams when I got back from uni today and I think we’re going to go to YHA Central across the street for them A$5 ‘roo burgers. Currently she is talking to her mom in German on the phone.

Julia and I talked about having big crushes on boys today. Seems like it’s the same for all girls, no matter what nationality:

“When you go to a party and you hope that this person is there, and you look in at the entrance the whole night and hope he is coming. You see him come in and then the show’s on. When he’s ordering a beer at the bar you of course go to this bar and then you are standing next to him but you are ignoring him totally but you hope that he is talking to you like ‘oh how are you going?’ and you just hope that he is talking to you…”

I taught Julia some American slang and she proceeded to bring her hand-phone to ear, and in her adorable German accent she pretended, “Yo, What it do? How goes the party? Laaaame. We should go to Micky D’s, cracka lackin.” I LOVE her.

My birthday is in precisely one week. Suggestions?


  1. KimVo says:

    Looks like you are settling quite nicely. Funny how you ran into friends of friends. And I understand you not wanting to hang out exclusively with the “‘Murkins.” (otherwise why go all that distance?) You are very wise.

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