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Reading week plus the two weeks of exam period here at Sydney Uni are, in true Aussie-lingo fashion, referred to as “Stuvac”, short for “study vacation”. Funny to me that they would even try to associate these two words together because they connote two completely opposite mentalities. As a first-hand witness of StuVac in action, I can tell you I don’t like it at all. Here’s why:

1.    I’ve been ill. We’re talking the cold from hell. Like stuck-in-my-house-for-five-days kind of cold. Really, really ill. I’m 9 days in, going on 10, and still cannot travel without my handy toilet paper roll for periodic nose-blowing sessions. My voice isn’t back to normal quite yet and I still can’t taste just how good the mangoes are (they’re in season now and reportedly INCREDIBLE)
2.    Everyone is either studying or taking exams, so finally being free from the constraints of my bed is only mildly liberating. Plus it’s been all sunshine and 80 degrees outside and going to the beach alone? Notsomuch
3.    I have exams. But just one because the other one already happened. It would just be nice to get these kinds of things over with instead of drawing them out for three weeks. I mean, my goodness, who needs three weeks to study for two exams??

I’m over uni, definitely over this cold, and sooooo ready to just enjoy the “vac” part of all of this. Clo and I rented out our room, so I’m moving out November 20th aka the day we leave for New Zealand. I expect our NZ road trip/camping extravaganza is going to be full of mother naturey-zen moments and crunchy hippy-style activities like hiking and glacier tromping. I don’t know, really, what is going to happen but I keep hearing wonderful, glorious things about the Kiwis and their picturesque country so I’m eagerly looking forward to it. I have ten days here when I get back from NZ. Ten epic days. Ten days filled with FUN. I’m talking balls-to-the-wall, up 24 hours, crazy, ridiculous fun.

The only fun thing I’ve done since my personal “plague” hit, was to organize a 3 Creek Thanksgiving meal. Yes, my friends, I, with a bit of backup and some tips from Rachael Ray’s online instruction videos, successfully roasted my very own 12-pound turkey. Thomas made sweet potato casserole, Colin and Magda made mashed potatoes, Kurt made green bean casserole, Jess made a salad, Rebecca brought cranberry sauce, Clo made an apple pie, Sarah made a pumpkin pie, and Edward, Lison, and Richard helped me with the turkey. And it was AMAZING. At least, I think it was since I couldn’t taste it all that well.

Before the plague, Rebecca and I finally walked from Bondi to Coogee along the cliffside. Stunning. Magical. Will absolutely do it again before I leave. As our luck had it, we stumbled upon the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibit during the first leg from Bondi to Tamarama.

Turkey for Thanksgiving
Isn’t she beautiful?
Thanksgiving potluck during stuvac
Everyone else’s first ever Thanksgiving
Bondi-Coogee cliffside walk during stuvac
Cliffside walk with Rebecca

Yesterday was my first big day out since the lifting of the plague, so Richard, Rebecca, Jordan and I went to Bondi. I swam in the briskly refreshing seawater and had a 50 cent ice cream cone from McDonald’s.

I love the ocean. I love the cliffs and the short little beaches. I love the way the weather changes suddenly and without reason, and how it often changes right back again. I love the surfers who don’t wear shoes, the women who don’t wear bathing suit tops, and the Asian tourists who wear their business suits knee-deep into the Pacific. I love the combination of conifers and palms; the crazy, caterwauling birds overhead. I love eating fish and chips on the beach. I love eating ice cream on the beach. I love eating apples on the beach. Living in the vicinity of the ocean has been a dream and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Today I met up with the Georgetown contingent and Preya and Shrey for Pancakes on the Rocks. Silky and I shared an order of Bananarama. It was just like in the picture on the menu – ice cream, butterscotch syrup, melty bananas, and all.

Tonight is babysitting, perhaps a bit of studying. Tomorrow is the last of the studying and maybe I’ll do something fun too. Monday night…celebrations. Lots and lots and lots of celebrations. Same for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday….You get the idea.

Bondi-Coogee cliffside walk during stuvac
Scenes from Bondi
Hanging out at Bondi Beach with Jordan Sernik
xoxo from Jordan


  1. KimVo says:

    What Lobster Boy said.
    Re: living near the ocean…that you were able to experience this joy…makes me so happy.
    Love, mom

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