Back in Sydney

It’s been 2 weeks since I came back from New Zealand. Life has been pretty low-key. Half of the time, I venture out into the city and just walk around all day, browsing shops but never really buying much. It’s more fun that way! I bought a prepaid cell phone from Vodafone, and it’s really cheap… I’ll end up paying like $22 for 2 months’ worth. I hate the phone, but it’s really something I should have with me in this big city. So alas. It’s a tiny little LG phone, and I like it except for how I can’t download ringtones — what am I going to do without 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” notifying me of my calls?? I have also yet to figure out how to properly fit the battery cover back into the back of the phone.

Last week we had International Students Orientation for 2 days, where we were scheduled for “mandatory” 6-7 hours of presentations. Most of them were common sensical babbling that I already knew about from obsessively planning for this semester and browsing the USyd site. So it was pretty boring. I met some new people, but you really don’t get enough time to connect and exchange contact info between all the lecturing before they’re gone and you’re around different people. I really don’t enjoy the process of meeting new people because I’m a freak and I hate repeating the same boring stuff about myself to everyone. And I hate small talk. I just want a few close friends to hang out with, but it’s proving to be difficult without classes in session or clubs meeting yet.

I also recently won my battle against the heinous USyd firewall and am now able to sign onto AIM via VPN. I probably should have figured this out during my first week here since I *am* supposedly computer savvy as an Info Sci major, but hey. I’ve been uploading and editing my NZ photos and uploading this journal with NZ entries. When I’m not roaming the city or playing online, I’ve been trying to watch the Olympics on the Village tv. Some of the stuff just blows my mind, like doing all these crazy stunts on skis and snowboards. Incredible.

Street performer Didgeridoo!

As far as the city goes, I’ve been hitting up Paddy’s Markets every few days to stock up on apples. They have such amazing deals on fruits and veggies there — I can get a kilo of apples for $1.50AU, which translates into like $.20US per apple. Crazy. The market contains lots of stands run by Asian vendors who all shout out “One dolla! One dolla!” to attract customers, and it’s always so crowded! I also recently discovered the bargain that is Hungry Jack’s [aka Burger King] ice cream cone — $.30AU for one soft-serve cone. SO CHEAP!! That’s like 22 US cents for a cone! Perfect after a day of walking around the city in the heat. Love it! It’s especially nice after seeing the ridiculously overpriced clothing in Sydney, and it somewhat balances out what I spend on Starbucks frapps.

Today I was kinda touristy and went down to the harbor and Opera House, since I hadn’t been since pre-NZ. I love this city! Down in Circular Quay [harbor area], there were aboriginal people playing the didgeridoo, just sitting on the ground all decked out with their tribal paint on their face and chest. So cool. There are random people throughout the city who will sit in touristy areas and play guitar or do something to attract donations. Today I saw a guy playing guitar while balancing another guitar above his nose on its end! And to complete my day as a tourist, I finally went up the Skytower because the sky was deep blue and cloudless, perfect for picture-taking. Except when I got up there, it looked hazy and the windows were dirty. Boo. I do have a better concept of Sydney’s geography though.

And yesterday I spent the day at Bondi Beach, laying out and swimming in the ultra-clear water. I like to lay on my back at the point just before the waves break, so that I get moved by the wave but not pummelled by it. It’s SO crowded at this beach, but still nice. There are lots of shops and cafes along the street there as well. I took the bus back to Bondi Junction, which is full of shops, and caught a train back to Newtown.

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