Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Undergrad vs. Grad classes

All of my classes are shared by grad and undergrad students. the grad students take the exact same classes we undergrads take- we have the same lecturer, the same class time and room, the only difference is, it seems, they just have to read a little bit more, go to a couple more tutorials, and do a tutorial presentation. seems so easy! its like theyre just taking the honours course instead or something! i wonder do grad students are berkeley do this too? the grad program here compared to cal seems pretty different.

im looking at 5 classes this week; im enrolled in 4 so im kinda shopping and dropping =p they do that here too hehe. i decided that i want to take lang in asia, lang in indigenious australia, language planning and lanugage politics and conversation analysis. im gonna drop cross cultural communication cause ive got the feeling ill be extremely bored sitting in lecture. but the reading is very interesting so im gonna be doing the readings on my own. its pretty relevant to my other courses, especially LPLP (planning and politics) and CA (convo analysis). i just dont want to do the essays and all that stuff for the class.

ah! >.< one of the SRs...or i think SRs....he was wearing a black shirt, just came into my room telling me bruce hall gets loud during the day. it gets loud during the night too. and he told me to get a pair of earplugs, but if i cant stand it, i can switch to another room....siigh...i hope he didnt come by because of what i did last night....XD i was in bed, trying to sleep and i got really mad (i was already in a really bad mood from something else) at the people outside talking loudly, laughing so i got out of bed, screamed down the hall at them to SHUTUP! and then i slammed the door. i couldn't sleep for a good while.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two O-Weeks in a Row! aaahh...

Me and sean arrived at our uni the day before mandatory o-day (orientation day) for international students so that we could settle in. OMG my room was incredibly dusty. good thing i brought wet wipes with me so i could wipe down everything. there was also a dead moth on the carpet in the corner, the deadbolt didn't work and my window curtains didn't close all the way. the dead moth is still there. that's right. i dont like to pick up dead things. especially ones with wings and or lots of legs. *shiverr...* the dead bolt was repaired the day after and the window curtains the same day. its all good. im living in mid ex and sean's top ex. that means i live on the middle floor of the extension wing. they abbreviate everything here. sean's room is alot hotter than mine but his floor is also quieter. everyone goes thru my floor and at night when you want to sleep, theres also lots of loud and (prolly) drunk guys gong thru my hall. its connected to the main building and the packard wing, maybe that's why. the packard wing, or as they call it here, the people's independent of packard is the self catered wing of bruce hall. so they have a kitchen and stuff to cook their own food.
i get catered, with means i get meals everyday lol. the only thing with that is that they have REALLY short hours for mealtime. and mealtimes are REALLY early. im getting used to it now that ive been here for 2 weeks now. you see, breakfast starts at 7am and ends at 9am. no brunch here, not like crossroads where its open all day almost. lunch is an hour and a half long and if you miss it, well, i guess all you can have is cereal. and they only have skim and soy milk! wth? dinner starts at guess what time? freaking 5 pm and lasts until 6:30pm. during the first weeks, it was really hard to get used to having dinner so early. the sun was still shining brightly, good thing there's lots of tables right outside the dining hall. the dining hall isn't small either. it has really high ceilings and lots of light comes thru. there's also a podium and a high table with a grand piano in there. oh and of course, lots of paintings. the high table is like the one in harry potter where all the professors sit. the three chairs in the center even have high backs! definately cool. food here is ok, i think ill get tired of it soon. their salad bar is really bad. ive taken for granted the ones at xroads and ckc. *sigh*
not only is there a resemblence in the high table in harry potter, we also have academic gowns! theyre long and black with huge sleeves, like the ones you wear at graduation. we dont wear them everyday haha, theyre for special events only. we also get a bruce hall polo shirt. everyones gets a blue one with the bruce hall crest on it. lol it looks reaaally preppy... esp if you pop the collar =p the SRs (senior residences = RA) get red ones and other ppl get black ones and there's also bruce hall jerseys, shorts, the like for athletic stuff, interwing and interhall competitions, no doubt. bruce hall has quite a number of wings, mine is the extension wing, and theres several other halls (dorms) on campus. they're all on the same street going down. i guess i live on frat slash dormitory row, if there's such an equivalent. at bruce hall, we also get free laundry. theres a big laundry room and the first time we did laundry there, all the machines had (wet, but clean) clothes in them. omg there was wet clothes everywhere! ppl! take your clothes after youre done washing them!! geez...the cool this is that its no coin operated!! oh theres a blank space where the coins WOULD go. lol its pretty weird how you just close the door and it works! =D very excited about that! we also have clotheslines here and ppl actually use clothespins(remember what those were?) and use the sun, ah glorious sun to dry their clothes. ppl are very green here. in everyroom we have a recycle bin for paper (including a rubbish bin of course), all the toilets are water efficent (half flush or full flush), the showerheads are water efficent, all the lights have stickers reminding you to turn it off when youre done, the outlets have a on/off switch, we recycle wasted food at the dining hall, its pretty neat. i mean, i see berkeley doing only SOME of these things but australia as a whole it seems are waaaaaay ahead of us. i mean, even the hotels have half/full flush toilets! the people that live on my floor, at least the ones whom ive met, are all international students hailing from germany, china, the US. oh and ONE girl from melbourne but shes chinese and speaks with practially no accent. no real australians. =( sean's floor has a healthy mix of both. iono why it turned out this way. actually the girl living down my floor is from the eap program like me! but she's such a socal girl: white, blond and obnoxious. (i dont talk to her). when i moved and had the floor meeting during my 2nd o-week, alot of ppl still hadnt arrived yet. im looking forward to the next one so i can see everyone together and get a better picture of my floor. ok, so why 2 o-weeks? the first week was for international students. the second one is for everyone else. so there were events specifically for internationals students, then ones for bruce hall people, then the general events for everyone on campus. much to do. most of it involves drinking. XD *sigh* sooo...i have to admit, i was pretty bored these past 2 weeks. What have i done then? well, i didnt not go to anything. that would be pretty sad. i went on a bus tour of canberra, did the campus tour too, did enrollment- that one lasted a good half a day, lunchtime BBQs (not very good and they dont use hot dog buns here, just a folded piece of white bread XD), went on a scavenger hunt at bruce and civic, there was "speed dating", a bush dance, market day, lawn bowling and film screenings. those were interesting lol. sean and i joined the ANU film group. we got membership and we get to watch movies screen on campus for the rest of the semester. that's how we're going to spend our evenings for this semester lol because there is no night life cept for mooseheads (the closest pub to campus). oh and we tried to get gym membership so we could go somewhere to pass the time but it was really expensive! it was $200+ what kind of student has that kind of money?!!! i think ppl really dont take advantage of cal RSF memebership. its only when you go somewhere else that you realize how ridiculously inexpensive it was at home. seriously! who would pay that much?! i really want to be fit but that's waaay too much to shell out. lol ok back to events: lawn bowling was ok, i beat sean hehe. i was the only girl who went, there weren't that many ppl total anyway, but i felt pretty excluded cause it was the bruce boys who took us and they didnt really socialize with us or help us. then market day, which is like calapolooza(sp?) was the only time i saw (so far) any sort of large number of students gathering in one spot since i came to canberra. it was exciting, it was actually crowded! the clubs they had were diverse too! there was also lots of free stuff lol. bush dance was for international students. it was a buffet dinner and then the ppl from the international office taught us to bush dance. one of them i thought put it quite nicely: we learn to bush dance when we're in 4th or 5th grade, dont do it again for 30 years. (until they have to go up front and show everyone how to do it) hahah so it wasnt a very serious dance, kinda like a hoedown or something. you switch partners and do the same things over and over, involving clapping and skipping alot. =p oh and also the bar was free so i took the opportunity and had champagne. just like wine. alcoholy. speed dating was just bruce hall. it was intense! you get only a few minutes with each person, then everyone moves down one and you chat again! it was really loud too! my voice got hoarse lol from screaming that whole time. you meet alot of ppl tho and its cool cause i see them around and i know them somewhat. makes bruce seems smaller =) the cooler thing is that everyone was wearing their academic gowns so it looked like a harry potter scene or something! keke =D
the animals here are really big! if you walk around campus, dont look down because if you do, youll get freaked out by the huge ants walking around you everywhere. its really really scary. they are huge!! and their ant hills are huge! lol what i like best are the parrots flying around. theyre really shy but really pretty in bright red and blue feathers. =D its disconcerting to see such pretty birds flying freely. you'd expect them to be someone's prized pet, locked up in a cage. there's also cuckatoos (yes really!) lots of geese and rabbits and the occasional kangaroo walking around. ( i havent seen the last one yet on campus but other ppl say they see it outside their dorm)

ok now for some more differences:
fire brigade= fire station
reading brick=reader
yea i kno those are also the british versions, here for some candy examples hehe:
timtams=yummy chocolate coated wafers
mintys= white colored taffy-ish candy. bad for you, of course
the bad thing is theres a soda and snack vending machine like 4 doors down from my room. and i use it. XD
they use longer paper than our US standard of 8.5'' by 11'' they use A4 which is longer and a little thinner. so! all my folders dont work for it! and the whole thing about driving on the left side of the road, its not only that, but theres also other stuff because of that, that i never took into account. most obvious is that the steering wheel is on the right side, which means the passenger seat is on the left! really weird! i was in a taxi in the passenger seat all the while feeling like the space in front of me is awkwardly empty.... the other thing is that doors in buses and such open on the other side of the bus. people pass each other on the other side when walking on the road or anywhere, and even escalators are on the other side. lol at the mall, i catch myself cause i would go on the escalator on the rightside but it would the down escalator, not the up one id expect it to be.
alright, thats all so far, ill try not to have so many long posts but these were catchup ones, sorry!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Longer Rant - a week in Sydney cont'

day 4
the eap hotel accomodations include breakfast down at the hotel. the hot breakfast is buffet of beans, mushrooms, eggs, tomato, and bacon. and actually, thats bascially the same hot breakfast they have at bruce hall (my dorm). apparently australians dont do bacon eggs and sausage for breakfast. nonetheless, the beans are really good. the mushrooms too, although im a sucker for them anyway =p we were late for orientation because sean was waiting for me, but i was already eating so he didnt get to eat. silly boy. anyway, orientation was just a powerpoint lead by the eap office manager, kay harmes. she's pretty amusing, as were her slides but all the info we already know, like voltage, money, phones, the like. oh and she handed over a $50 bill to each person. that was for lunch haha. after orientation, we had murray's drive us over to circular quay. murray's is like a tour bus, like greyhound in the US. it took two murray's buses to get everyone there. we were about 70+ people. quite alot. i didnt expect that many mostly cause berkeley didnt bring overthat many. well. i guess we were a substantial amount. everyone went to get food. theres tons of places to eat around circular quay. its basically the ferry terminal. lots of activity and lots of tourists. me and sean got a seafood platter. the name was deceptive cause it was basically fish and chips. with one or two fried shrimp and a lobster leg. booooo. very unhealthy. but i was eyeing it for a few days now lol. finally got it using that $50 kay gave us! lol since there was still plenty of time before we went on the harbour ride, we walked over to the Rocks and the weekend arts market, which was right next door. the rocks is just a street lined with old pubs and touristy shops. it used to be the centre for convict life and where all the whore houses used to be. really. but now, theres little alley ways and cobbled sidestreets coming off from the main street. the arts market is an open air market at the end of rocks and it reminds me of arts and crafts street fair, like telegraph's at the end of the semester. cept it was filled with aboriginal art and other cool stuff. also, it was VERY hot. it was all under giant tents which made it seem even hotter. *sweat sweat* we walked back to circular quay where we found the eap ppl gathered in front of terminal 6. sharon block (the eap director) and her husband saw me and sean lingering at the edge of the group and had to ask us if we were part of eap. grrr that kinda offended me cause we were the only asians that hadn't integrated into the eap cliques that had already f-ing formed. plus, almost everyone was caucasian and had blond hair. what the fuck is up with that? that doesn't represent california! so i was mad that them silently. we boarded the cruise ship and i prompty forgot my bitterness. wow! it was really nice once the boat got moving! REALLY WINDY! but lol really nice to finally cool down from the heat! we went around the harbour, and even went under the gigantic harbour bridge twice. very very good angles of the opera house of course. that's where ppl get their super good touristy pics from lol. some of the ppl from our group brought some champagne? something. and even had champagne glasses, walking around and taking college spring break pics >.<; it got really sunny up on the ship deck and im sure lots of ppl got sunburned that day. the ozone layer is really harsh! we got off the ship and headed over to the front of the opera house to take a group picture. then everyone dispersed to do their own thing for the rest of the day. me and sean finished walking the Rocks and then started heading back to the hotel. slowly. lol we walked thru the royal botanic gardens and then couldn't find a way out... then we shortcutted thru The Domain, which is extension of the gardens, mostly fields of green grass and the occasional tree. the botanic gardens is huge! we didnt get to see much of it but what we did see: the rose garden, the trees, the grass, the flowers, walking along the paths with so many benches put in strategic places.... it was sooo relaxing.=) im thinking this must be like how central park is for new york. we got the mexican food at king's cross, one of the ones ben the hostel manager suggested to us. it wasn't half bad, surprisingly. we got some sky blue and went back to the hotel to eat and drink lol. we watched a movie in sean's room. it was on tv, called billy elliot. nice story. im surprised tho cause so far, australian television is very dissapointing. everyone watches the same 4 channels so theres not much variety. ok, that was an understatement. but theres really very few channels: two sports, (TWO sports!) one comdedy, one or two? news and another channel. blah. we were looking across the street watching someone else's tv thru their window and lol they were watching the same thing we were! not a big coincidence tho XD
day 5

breakfast at the hotel. by now, the novelty of the different style of breakfast had worn off. fast, i know. then it was orientation again. this time, it was the boring stuff: school and grades. also we did an activity on matching australian slang to the american translation. oh shoot! ah we did that at yesterday's orientation. too lazy to cut and paste. my bad. anyway, so this orienation was boring, but important we are here to study afterall. some ppl say study abroad is like the school's paying you to vacation. its somewhat true, depending on whether your classes are easy or not lol. mine are not boooooo. so after orientation, we walked to the australian national musuem, where i got concession (discounted) ticket cause i used my musuem pass from work! w00t! it was a cool musuem, filled with stuffed marsupials and birds and the like. there was a skeleton room which was scary, a dino exhibit, which was also scary, a birds and insects room, which was terrifying, and a mineral exhibit which was REALLY boring. while walking to chinatown, after the musuem, we stopped to eat at a hungry jack's. can you guess what the american name for this franchise is? lol the logo is almost the same too: burger king. that's right lol. and you ask for tomato sauce, which is a watered down version of ketchup. ppl charge you extra if you want it with you chips (fries). the walk to china town was tiring but that was only the start. once we entered paddy's market, i was completely overwhelmed by how big the market was. it's like an underground flea market (which means it was natually air conditionned, thank god) although the prices weren't dirt cheap, even tho the market and the stuff that was being sold closely resembled something you would see in china, chinese markets. i know, lol ive been there recently. you look down one aisle and can't see to the other end, its remarkable! and then wen we went upstairs to the clean and sparkling shopping centre, it felt like i was back in china again with their large department stores and huge shopping centres. and ppl everywhere speaking cantonese! i was so excited lol i felt back home....sorta but sean would not repeat canto phrases after me wen i try to teach him -_- we went down dixon street which is where the gates with the chinese writing are. there was dim sum houses ( which they call yum cha places, very correct, i think cause dim sum only refers to the food, while yum cha refers to the actual act of eating the dim sum while chatting and gossiping.) chinatown is right next to darling harbour and the chinese gardens. we didnt go to that cause it had just closed, but its ok, you go to china to see the real thing anyway (which i have 3 years ago, but i was still dissapointed) the outside looked very authentic chinese. we continued into darling harbour, following the breeze somewhat. theres a lot of little public parks ie wading pools and grass. very nice for families (we saw many along the way) eventually i got enticed by a spiral wading pool in the heart of darling harbour. so, =) we took off our shoes and cooled down beside little kids with their parents. it was relaxing and entertaining to people watch (ie lol watch kids get soaked and then cry. it was cute!) then we walked back to the hotel ugh...very tough after a whole day of walking around. we got meat pies and sausage rolls at the shady place in king's cross. it was REALLLLLLLY bad food. dont'g to there. we took the food back to the hotel to eat and then relaxed. oh we also checked out the hotel's rooftop pool and gym. pretty decent. but then a bunch of kids took over the pool. no doubt from our group, so noisy and rambuctious XD
day 6
we stayed at the hotel while the other eap kids left to go to their college or moved into a different place while still in sydney. my roommate left at 5am to catch her early flight. breakfast was still included, thank goodness. it was surprisingly cloudy, the first since we got here!! and we planned on going to the beach! noooo...... well, it was our last day in sydney and we had to go to the famed bondi beach no matter what. so...we changed into our swimclothes (that never got wet) and headed on the bus (the first time getting on the bus! the driver was really friendly and helpful!) headed to bondi junction. it was a long and windy ride. lots of twists and turns in the suburbs and the roads here are so narrow! then we got off at bondi junction and was immediately lost. wheres the beach?! lol we were at the crossroads of large department malls and lots of touristy surfing shops, not to mention the very big bus terminal we just got out of. so we followed the road signs and walked to bondi beach. trust me, after that, we learned how to use the bus system. the walk was very far and the buses kept speeding past us grrrrr. we got there and there was.....no one at the beach! it was a cold cloudy windy day (where we still got sunburned.....) it even freaking sprinkled a bit! we built a sand castle and explored the tide pools. oh we also ate at mcdonalds lol (it was cheap!!) mcdonalds is the only place with free wifi. everywhere else charges you at ridiculous amounts, even the hotel. and just spent the day at the beach, on the sand, watching the waves a bit until it got too cold and lol we took the bus back. transfered at bondi junction! oh yea! using the system, so proud of us! =D except.... we got lost coming back...... so we just walked the rest back lol we weren't that far from the hotel by then.... this is when we got dinner at elvis' pizza. two pastas and then bought a bottle of wine from the bottle shop. hehe i drank too much wine at once and got tispy. XD not doing that again, wine tastes so strong of alchohol.....
day 7
we slept in, in the morning and left the hotel at noon. took the bus (yes!) to circular quay (it cost $3.20 one way, which is considerably cheaper than taxi, which was enticing everyday so far cause we didnt want to walk back to the hotel from CBD (central business district=downtown) ....so far....and hot..) we ate lunch there, also very bad lunch. lol i dont think any tourist place sells good food... we bought ticket for ferry and zoo, it was a discounted package. targona zoo can only be accessed by ferry, which was nice cause i like ferry rides and its a nice way to get from point a to point b. we were at the zoo until it closed at 5. seriously. australia just closes down at 5pm everywhere. everyday. *sigh* even in canberra!! so annoying!! -____- it was also a cloudy day filled with light sprinkles (the weather, not the candy) and taronga zoo has great views of sydney skyline but it was really foggy so it was dissapointing. you couldnt see the top of the tower that day! yea...the zoo itself was really big! so many animals! and i liked how there was many enclosed parts where the animals could roam free. like the walkabout where wallabies were just hopping meters away from you, peacocks hanging around the zoo, getting chased by maggie =p. it was a great day, yet another chance to see australia's animals. we took the ferry back and bused back to king's cross where we went to cole's andg ot dinner there. it was delicious and inexpensive. we bought a whole cooked chicken in the deli section and finished off the wine from the night before. (sean payed close attention to me this time)
day 8
day 8 is actually spent not in sydney but on the road and in canberra. we took a taxi to central station (it costed $13.50 XD) but we had 3 suitcases so i dont think taking the bus would be easy... and brougth along fruit and snacks we got the day before at cole's. it took 3.5 hours by bus, we took murray's, to get to canberra. we had a meet and greet, a service from anu where someone picks you up and drops you off in campus. we got to bruce hall and got to our rooms, unpacked and settled in. our rooms are all singles and things were very dusty as no one had been in the room since november (its their summer break right then) the hall was also very quiet cause we got there early for international orientation and it was before the official date ppl move into the dorms. This very ugly fountain sculpture outside Bruce is apparently nicknamed 'the eggbeaters' appropriate no? haha ps i hate those cuckatoos now, they are freaking LOUD like a blowhorn!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Become a Follower, Be in my cult!

Just kidding, but be cool like kathleen over there and follow my blog. your face will be on my page and everyone will know that you are cool =)

ok i will go and edit and add to that long sydney rant....tomorrow.. thanks for reading so far! there's still tonnes more. (haha see that intentionally mispelled mistake? thats how they do it here =p)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Long Rant - a week in Sydney

Day 1

The flight over was expectedly long and tiring. The air was dry and I kept having to reapply chapstick and having to get up and get some water whenever i had the chance. The thing that sucked was that the moniters weren't logded in the seat in front of you, rather they were along the hall and there was a huge one right in front. and movies and tvs shows were shown the entire freaking time. i regret not bringing my eyemask...it was really hard to sleep cause of the flashing lights up in your face that whole time. =( wen we landed in sydney, we called the hostel and asked them to pick us up. they told us where to wait for them. and so we waited...and waited.... and then i called again an hour later, pissed off. they said they dispatched someone to get us and blah blah blah. turned out that there was this old guy walking around the area the whole time asking people if they needed a shuttle. he never asked us, but just smiled and walked past. so i was like...ok... thinking well we dont need a shuttle cause one is coming for us. i went up to him and he was actually the guy rounding everyone up to get you on that shuttle. god dammit. i was so mad and even yelled at him. so *sigh* we got to the hostel more than 3 hours after we landed in sydney. sooo frustrating! oh yea and the turkey jerky sean brought as a snack got confiscated by quarantine. =(
the airport is located far from downtown sydney and i heard from my roommate later that if you took a taxi from the airport to the hotel we were staying at, it costed $40! anyway. we got to the hostel at 11:30am and we were pretty hungry so we dropped off all our luggage and headed down to go grab something, anything to eat. oh yea, another thing, the hostel we were staying at was pretty small and didn't have elevators so we had to pull our 3 luggage up 2 flights of narrow stairs. i think at that point, i was so exhausted, i just ran on adrenaline... we went down the road and ate at a thai place.
that's one of the first things you notice, beside the humidity and that people drive on the left side of the road (its scary cause the cars are coming at you from the other way), is that there's so many thai restaurants! the orientation book from eap said that there's no mexican places in australia. i decided to test that and asked ben, the manager at the backpacker's headquarters hostel (where we stayed) where the mexican places are around here. he told us of TWO. count em, TWO mexican restaurants. we later ate at one of them and it was pretty decent. i think the people cooking were actually speaking spanish! anyway, the rest of the day was spent napping. lol well at least sean did. i couldn't. our room then, was shared with 2 others, there was a total of 3 bunk beds and some tables, and oh, a locker in the corner if you want to stow then away. pretty sparsely furnished. the window was aways propped up with a huge bottle of coke, filled with water. i still didnt get that.. after sean's nap, we walked around and ben pointed us in the direction of the hotel we would be relocated to in a couple of days. we walked over there, it wasn't very far and rushcutter's bay was right there so we walked around in the park. it was really nice, sunny and breezy and the sailboats and yachts floating around. i thought the hostel was pretty ok. there was a place to eat, and even a kitchen and places to stash your food. there was a big screen tv with couches and books, basically their lounging area. the rooftop was accesible, it was another lounging spot and clotheslines were there with peoples boxers drying lol. the laundry room was up there too. the bathrooms were really small tho, it wasn't co-ed, but there was only one sink and one toilet and two showers stalls. the water for them was unpredicatable at times. i think circle k event accomodations prepared me for living at a hostel. lol.
day 2
the next day we woke up naturally at 7:30 in the morning. theres free breakfast at the hostel, which is just cereal and toast everyday. rested somewhat, we began to explore sydney. ben gave us a map, now very much used and abused, but it was extremely helpful because most tourist maps of sydney only show downtown and doesn't go far enough to include the location of our hostel, near king's cross. we walked down the street, straight for maybe half an hour to get to hyde park. sydney in the morning was really nice because the strong noontime sun isn't as bright yet and it isnt as hot, very mild and breezy =) the park was nicely manicured and the trees were the right height, shading you as you walk down its promenade. there was alot of benches everywhere too. we just walked around downtown basically, with no destination in mind. we went past martin place which is a street and center of the financial district essentially. walking around, you can tell who is working cause they were all dressed up professionally in their business suits and women in their heels. we went into an opal showroom and museum. i had no idea that australia was famous for their opals. but now that i see opal jewelery everywhere, its hard not to miss it in shops. eventually we wandered to sydney opera house. we walked under it, where the gift shops and tickets were sold (it was nice and cool there to get out of the sun) its a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you cause everything costs alot there. i was so excited to finally see this iconic building up close! we went to circular quay a bit, but it got too hot and so we started heading back, down macquarie road. we had to go thru hyde park to get back to the hostel where we rested. it's tiring to walk so much! and so far!! it took, maybe an hour? we took lots of breaks lol cause it got really hot. then towards nighttime, we wandered around king's cross. its a really slutty place! all these adult shops and ugly whores standing outside shady doors with neon lights. lots of pubs and little restaurants tho. once walking thru is enough lol.
day 3
the next day we had to check out of the hostel to check in at the hotel, where the eap orientation was held. from the hotel, we walked to sydney tower, but not before picking up some fruit and powerade lol at the supermarket at king's cross, called cole's. reminded me a bit of smart and final. sydney tower was ok, there was one of those 3d imax screens sorta (but not 3d) with the moving chairs, where you watch a movie about australia. we got a sydney pass which paid for admission to the tower, the aquarium and the wildlife world for a discounted fee. we headed to the aquarium next, which was AWESOME. it was kinda like the monteray bay aquarium but they dont have a huge ass tank of waterthat you could walk thru filled with sharks, huge rays and turtles and fish... it was pretty spectacular. most people walk thru the tunnels but what they should do is just sit down and watch as the sharks come behind, in front and overhead you. oh and they had all the regular fish and regular things too. the next was the wildlife world which was right next door to the aquarium. they had everything that you wanted to see- right away were the platypus, then later came the kangaroos and koalas, even the alligators and insects, snakes, the majestic dugongs, lots of fish again, but skipped those cause we just went to the aquarium, all the pictures were up on facebook. yea it was pretty awesome, although very tiring cause you still have to walk thru all that and we still had to walk back. everynight we came back exhuasted with our feet hurting. =( oh and walking back that day we got lost cause i decided to take a shortcut but it just ended up leading us farther away from the hotel. yea... don't ever listen to maggie wen it comes to her "instincts" about direction. (it took a hour to get back. and that's an hour WALKING. XD) by the time we got back to our hotel, everyone from eap was hanging out in the atrium and that's cause it was 6pm, time for informal BYO (bring your own) which means you bring your own alcohol and mingle with people. it was also to retrieve your eap info packet. i checked out my room, it was occupied by a girl named natalie. shes pretty nice and what not, a foresty major (thats the shortened version of it) and doing a year in australia. down at the BYO, the nice eap ppl from the melbourne study centre passed around a tray of carckers spread with vegimite. they also gave napkins just in case you hated it and wanted to spit it out the moment you tasted it. haha it wasn't that bad, really salty and then bitter. yea....its definately an aquired taste. apparently its made from malted beer or lol something malted. they have it here at the dorms lol right next to the honey and jams. i changed and showered and then met up with sean to go eat. we didnt want to trek all the way to king's cross. (the hotel now was farther away from it than the hostel) so we just ate at a pizza place across the street called elvis' pizza where all the eap ppl went too as a large group XD and yes, it was acutally called elvis's pizza. all on the walls were elvis posters and the pizza names were titles of his songs, etc etc. later, a couple came in to eat and brought their own wine bottle! most restaurants are BYO and they provide wine glasses for you. actually, we went to eat there again and this large party of ppl showed up, and each person, it seemed, brought along a bottle of wine! lol yea...the waiter doled out lots of wine glasses then lol. near the hotel is a bottle shop and that's where we got our own (small) bottle of chardonnay lol. more on that later.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coming back from Bondi Beach, we were trying to get back to the hotel and got lost. But we got an awesome view!

=) we didnt get sunburned! haha!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House whilst on the ferry ride. It was VERY windy but refreshing =]

At the Wildlife World. The sharks were HUGE! and there were freaking lots of them!

At the Taronga Zoo. Got so close to the wallaby. wish i had some food to lure him out

A dozing koala...awww how cute

Sleepin with the kangaroos lol
im trying to figure out how to post pics with text underneath or something but i can only do one at a time which sucks. damn i wish i knew how to do html. it's gonna look kinda weird one pic per post but bear with me. unless someone can tell me how to do it. xanga's so much easier lol

Sydney Pictures

Sydney Opera House! the view from the steps with a speck of the Harbour Bridge behind it. very picturesque, dont you think?


eileen, i know you are not patient =p but sean is forcing me to do enrolment stuff so go away. (ill do it later i promise)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Leavin on a Jet Plane...

I'm leaving tonight! I'm taking BART from my house to SFO so it's gonna take an hour or so...and then I have to be there 2 hours before departure....and then checking in, security, lines....the whole deal XDD...and then the REAL waiting begins: the 14 hour plane ride.

Take a look at this Sydney's weather for wednesday:

Cloud increasing
Min: 22°C Max: 28°C
UV: Extreme

You see this? UV: Extreme. EXTREME... I wonder if I brought my SPF 100 haha....great.

Bye everyone! Thanks so much for wishing me a good trip! ^^ I'll be back before you know it! <3