Landing in Australia felt so surreal, especially looking at the map and how far away I am from anything else! Since our flight was long and early, we were pretty spaced out after landing and just took the train to our hotel. As I’m posting this (a couple days later) I’m still a little jetlagged, so if anything you’re reading makes no sense, blame it on that?
The next morning, I got a phone plan! Then we went to the King’s Cross market. We took the train, and wandered around looking at the flowers, fruits, veggies, and foods to buy. Things don’t seem very different upon the surface, but there are lots of little differences! First of all, because people drive on the other side of the street, they walk on the other side of the street, too! The higher value coins ($1, $2) are smaller in size than change, you’re not supposed to tip, and there are tons of ibises here.
It was also amazing to see all the fruits that aren’t in season at home; passionfruit, nectarines and peaches, lychees, mangos, cherries, strawberries, finger limes, the list goes on. We even tried a new fruit called achacha, which tastes a little bit like a lychee, but is fleshy, kind of like a mangosteen. If you know me well, you probably know that I like a good fruit, so it is such a treat to be able to eat berries and watermelon this time of year!
We then visited Hyde Park, which is just downtown. It reminds me of Central Park, as it is rectangular and large, and right in the middle of the city (except the Ibises are a new addition, not found in New York). Since we were due for a stormy afternoon, we spent it exploring the Queen Victoria Mall, which is a shopping center with beautiful architecture (big domes and ornate stained glass). At dinner I had a legal drink!
This morning we got up and took the train to Bill’s, a breakfast spot in Bondi beach. We walked to the Bondi market, with clothes, flowers, and all sorts of things to buy. I bought a new pair of sunglasses (they’re a little extra, but what are you going to do). We then walked down to Bondi, and spent some time in the sun! There were tons of people surfing, far too many people in speedos, and the sand was so lovely and smooth. We got fish n’ chips for lunch, and then came back to the hotel to gather ourselves before heading out again. Tomorrow we hope to visit the opera house and the botanical gardens!
So far, the sun feels good, and I really like the hustle and bustle of Sydney! I am a little concerned for when I’m on my own, because things are quite expensive, and I’m nervous to start my program, but it’s hard to argue with good food, sun, and sand!
Australian vocabulary log #1: Rubbish=trash, lollies=candy, lift=elevator, sorted=organized