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 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) 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!!

1 comment:

wuncliq said...

"yum cha" vs. "dim sum" learn something new each day :)

so cool that you're moving into your dorm! what hard classes will you be taking?

post pictures ! :D