Monday, March 21, 2011

Wallet Found!

Oh happy day!

I was at school when I received a call early in the morning from the man from Dooley's. He told me that someone had turned in my wallet during the weekend, my my what luck!

I ran there and retrieved that bad boy. I was amazed to find that everything still intact, even my $2.40 in change!

I love this country :)

Thank you to the unidentified stranger who turned in my wallet. Hug!

Thai Food & Culture Festival

On Sunday afternoon, a couple of us headed to Federation Square to attend the Thai Food and Culture Festival.

The Festival took over the entire square, with food stands all along the Yarra River. Singha Beer sponsored the event so everyone was wearing these ridiculous yellow hats. It was ironic because all the kiddies were sporting a beer-branded hat.

There was food, a thai beauty pageant, a crazy hippy man who spoke fluent Thai and produced world music. He was a kook. There were also dance performances and he took to the stage and started singing about nature...or elephants. One or the other.

The funniest thing that happened was when we went to Flinder's station to use the washroom. My Myki card wouldn't let me through the gate so I attempted to run through with the girl in front of me. Of course the gates slammed shut right when she passed and I ran so hard into the gate that my sunglasses flew off my head. Erica and Johnny just burst into laughter. I jumped the gate and walked away with what little dignity I had left. :P

Then on our way home, we stopped at Oakleigh station where I had lost my shoe the night before, and decided to go see if we could find it. We peered into the tracks and low and behold, my flat was sitting right there! We retrieved it, though train attendant was not very impressed with us. A very successful day if I do say so myself!

Clubbing With One Shoe

Saturday night in the land down under!

It was our friend Gabe's 23rd birthday so we all decided to celebrate it the Aussie way, which involves a lot of drinking and not much else.

We left halls and headed to town around 9pm. When we got to Oakleigh station, I ran off to go to the washroom (apparently) and someone yelled "Winnie the train is leaving!" so I ran for my life to catch the train. As I leapt onto the train, my shoe slipped off my foot and into the crevice between the platform and the train, thus effectively losing my shoe. As expected when you are me.

We headed to a bar in the city called "The Lucky Coq." My greatest accomplishment of the night might have been getting in with one shoe, but I can't be too sure :). The Lucky Coq had 2 levels, the bottom level with seating and a bar, the top with some couches and a dance floor. People kept breaking glass all night (myself included) so it was quite the challenge to navigate the dark room, intoxicated, with one shoe, and glass all over the floor. Magically, I made my way around just fine! The highlight of my night was on the dance floor, when I turned around Brittany was standing there as she had shown up late and unannounced. We both looked at each other and turned into the biggest weepy babies :)

After we left the bar, we bought the most delicious cookies and cream ice cream bars while waiting for the Nightrider. Purchasing that ice cream was one of the best decisions i've made in this country so far. During our ride on the Nightrider, the lights started to blink and the bus started making unfortunate sounds. As you would have it, the bus broke down and everyone had to evacuate onto the side of the road. Since it was 3am in the morning, it only seemed fitting to run across the street to Hungry Jacks for some chips. And of course, it was only logical to walk through the drive through. As Erica put it, "turn the hydrolics on."

Funnest. Night. Ever.

Just another Saturday night in the land down under.

St. Patty's Day The Australian Way

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For the festivities, we all headed to a local Irish pub called Dooley's. The entire night was a sea of green, with green beer (disgusting) and a lot of dancing. I didn't have anything that was green, so my floormate gave me a German hat! Wrong nationality, but it did the trick.

Everyone called me a Leprechaun that night, I think they're just jealous of my swiftness and stealthiness. And my pot of gold :)

The only unfortunate turn of the night was when I reached into my bag to show someone my license, just to find that my wallet wasn't there. That kind of sucked, but who knows, maybe it'll turn up.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sydney 2.0

Sydney is an amazing city.
It is so amazing that I went back a week later.
Lots of amazing adventures were had in this city :)

Brit and I took the train to Sydney, which takes about 14 hours. It was absolutely the most uncomfortable 14 hours of my life. However, according to Brit, I "curled up into a little ball and passed right out" for most of maybe it was the most uncomfortable 3 hours of my life :P It was inhumanely cold on that train though, so it was really uncomfortable.

We took it pretty easy the first day, took a nice shower after a long train ride, bummed around the apartment for a bit and then headed out into the city. We took in the usual tourist attractions like Hyde Park, The Opera House, The Rocks. The thing about Sydney is that it doesn't get old. I could walk around that city a million times and still not be sick of it. It's just the perfect mix of everything.

After a nice long walk in the city, we went back to the apartment and drove to Watson's Bay. Watson's is one of the most insanely, ridiculously gorgeous places i've ever visited. On one side of the Bay there were these glorious cliffs. They were massive and breathtaking, and they made me feel like I was in Wuthering Heights. On the other side of the Bay, there were a little village of houses and boats and a dock. You guys know about my obsessions with docks right? Then futher down there was a nude beach (damn you old pervert, damn you to hell!) more cliffs, gorgeous houses right on the beach and a lighthouse thrown in for good measure. It is definitely a place I would love to revisit someday.

Then we went home, made a delicious dinner (pasta with cheese-filled meatballs - good call win, good call :P), did a couple Tim Tam slams, went for a refreshing midnight swim and called it a night.

On Saturday we all headed to Bondi, here they were having a surf competition and giving out a bunch of free swag. The surf competition was there the entire weekend, which I wish I could've went back to watch. Em and I did the must-do tradition, "The Walk from Bondi to Coogee."The views on that walk were breathtaking, and pictures will never do them justice. The walk took us a good 2 hours, but it was worth every step.

At night, we hit the town in Kings Cross - Sydney's Red Light District. We went to 2 bars, including a gay bar (or so i'm told) and at the end of the night ran into a tranny! She was the worst tranny i've ever seen in my life (hello 5'o'clock shadow!) but she was a tranny nonetheless. When I saw her sitting there by her lonesome, naturally I ran and plopped myself down right next to her, without any regard for my personal safety (whether it be by knife or needle). But hey, it was a tranny in Sydney, what was I suppose to do? NOT take a picture with her?

Then at home, apparently I made Brit and I toast, and she dropped hers on the couch and wouldn't eat it so I grabbed it, blew the dust off it and shoved my piece at her and told her to eat it. She can't keep a straight face when she tells the story :)

We took it really easy on Sunday, just vegged a little bit, went into the City for a while, came back for a swim, ate some toasties and headed back to Melbourne. The train ride back was a little less uncomfortable, but i'm glad to not have to take another train. Brit and I agreed that train riders are kind of every way, shape and form. Despite it all, it was an awesome weekend in Sydney.

I unfortunately met 2 of the rudest Australians i've ever encountered in this country at the train station in Melbourne, and they almost ruined my entire day. I was quite upset, and teared up a little bit but at the end of the day, they're wasted space and not worth my energy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free stuff is the best

So 2 weeks ago Brit and I saw a sign for free mug painting at Whole Foods. Of course, being the highly logical, intelligent and broke students that we are, ran our asses as fast as we could to Whole Foods. They told us that we couldn't paint the mugs...but we didn't take no for an answer. We just sat down and they were like 'eh, alright fine'. So you better believe that we painted our awesome mugs, we painted the crap outta those mugs (with the ghetto 3 colours provided).

The next week we were so excited to go back to collect our mugs but were horrified and thoroughly let down when they told us that they couldn't find them. It was so heartbreaking, tragic really. So today, being the highly logical, intelligent and broke student that I am, decided I wouldn't accept no for an answer. I just couldn't let Whole Foods get away with this injustice, so I went to Whole Foods to investigate. I walked around and to my disappointment didn't see them anywhere. Feeling dejected and slightly rejected, I was just about to walk out the door when I walked past a display case. I looked in and low and behold, THERE WERE OUR MUGS! Just chillin' with their other mug friends.

So...BA-BAM! Proof that never giving up pays off :) (yeah, you better believe that I took a whole 360 of my mug. I'm so very proud of my mug. It is my pride and joy. There's a turtle, hearts, a butterfly, a starfish, a sun, and a sailboat. I think my mother would be very proud of me. I also think the paint is coming off in my tea and I am ingesting toxins. Ah well, a free mug's a free mug :P

Funnily enough, a floor mate of mine asked me when I made it, and I said 2 weeks ago. He responded 'oh, I was going to say that the last time I painted a mug, I was 6' :). No baby, I made this bad boy 2 weeks ago, and I ain't ashamed of it!

Then tonight, there was a free ice-cream dinner. It was so delicious, they had all the fixings like sprinkles and marshmallows and chocolate sauce and strawberry sauce and caramel sauce. Of course, being the soldier that I am, I decided to multi-task this ice-cream cone. So I climbed 9 flights of stairs while eating my ice-cream to burn off the ice-cream that I was eating. I felt pretty frikkin' accomplished by the time I got to the top of the stairs.

It doesn't matter what it is, free stuff always tastes better.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I left my heart in Sydney..or it was stolen by a bat

The land of all things that are good and ridiculously overpriced.

Our journey to Sydney began on Wednesday at the ungodly hour of 5am. We caught the bus to the airport, walked a mile and a half to the terminal and boarded our plane like a boss (stairway style!).

The city is gorgeous and the people are unnervingly friendly - we were literally approached by 3 people the first day because we looked so lost with our maps out. People just came up to us, directed us in the right direction and had us on our way. We walked around the city (my legs were still burning from BODYPUMP!! Such a bad idea to do that the day before leaving for Sydney. My thighs burned for 3 days!), and being the city girl that I am, instantly fell in love with all the buildings. We saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The first two nights we stayed at the Westend Backpackers hostel on Pitt St, in a room called 'The Church' which is a room of 32 was an interesting experience. At night we went to Sidebar on George St. (free entry on Wednesdays!) where an awesome band was playing awesome cover songs all night. However, since everyone got up at the most ungodly hour, we were so exhausted we called it an early night and just crashed.

Day 2: Thursday March 3

On the second day the sun was shining, it was 30 degrees, and everyone was re energized so we hit up Bondi Beach. My new favourite place in the entire world <3. It was soo flippin' gorgeous! The water was sapphire blue and the sand was so fine it was like rolling around in fairy dust. We spent the entire day lying on the beach soaking up the sun, playing in the water, and just bumming around. It was perfect. At night we went down to Darling Harbour and met up with friends of my friend Erica at a swanky bar on Lime St. Darling Harbour is amazing at night, it's all glittery and shimmery and the bar scene is huge down there.

Day 3: Friday March 4

On Friday, we had to change hostels so we walked from the CBD to an area called Glebe. This area is quite far removed from central Sydney, but it was so cool. It's young, fresh and has a real artsy, hipster vibe. Imagine if Main Street and Commercial Drive got together and had a baby - that's what Glebe is like. There were rows of restaurants and it just felt very relaxed and homey. After getting settled, we walked to the Sydney Fish Market (very fishy) and then to Darling Harbour where we went to the Sydney Aquarium. They had a Lego exhibit throughout the aquarium which was awesome. Huge murals and sculptures made out of Legos. They also had an entire exhibit dedicated to sharks, which I failed to appreciate. At night it was Erica's friend's going away party at The Beresford Hotel - a really chill, awesome bar with a beer garden in the back. The beer garden had all these lanterns and the atmosphere was real laidback. We partied well into the night.

Day 4: Saturday March 5

Mardi Gras! One of the main reasons why we went up to Sydney this weekend. We had a lazy morning and hit up the Glebe Market in the afternoon. It was held at a primary school in Glebe, and it was real cool. It was essentially an outdoors flea market, with really cute stuff. At night, we went into the city to watch the Mardi Gras parade on Oxford St. It was wicked, the entire city got into it and everyone got dressed up and it was a huge party downtown. It wasn't like the New Orleans Mardi Gras, but the parade was awesome and I love ladyboys :). Of course we lost each other within the first 5 minutes of Mardi Gras, then I was separated by myself for a good half an hour (and of course my phone died right when I got lost) until Johnny magically found me. We met some locals who took us out to a bar afterwards, and we danced the entire night. Anytime there's music and dancing, that's a good night by me.

Day 5: Sunday Mar 6

Since we had to catch an early flight in the morning, we decided to take it easy on Sunday. However, we walked from one end of the city to the other, so I wouldn't call that taking it easy. We went from our hostel in the outskirks of Glebe to Chinatown, then all the way to the Botanical Gardens (which were very pretty), to the Harbour to see the Opera House again and then back to Glebe. I don't think i've ever walked so much or so far in my entire life.

I love Sydney and I did not want to leave. The city is gorgeous, with old and new buildings all mixed together making it this big mishmash of culture and architecture. One thing that surprised me were the bats. We were walking down the street, I looked up at the sky and thought there were crows flying above us. Upon further inspection, I realized those are effing bats! They're bats not birds! It's actually more rare to see a crow that it is to see a bat flying around in Sydney. I wouldn't be surprised if Sydney was the inspiration for Gotham City.

I love Sydney so much that I am heading back this weekend with Brit and Em! We're going there by train, which will be so awesome because i'm going to feel like i'm going to Hogwarts. I didn't get to see Kings Cross or explore Paddington (which is a huge shopping district with a big market on Saturdays). It'll probably be my last time in Sydney for a while, so let's make it count! We already have plans to spend a day at Bondi, do the walk from Bondi to Coogee, hit up a market, explore some of the bars in Kings Cross, order pizza and veg, drink some wine, maybe go for a swim...hey, the world is our oyster :)