Travel & Culture

Straya Weekend, Part 1 of 2

Good news! I’m getting the hang of the Aussie lifestyle. I accidentally ended up walking on the right side of the sidewalk and my whole body was going, “You darn idiot. WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!”

Even though I’ve been here for almost one month, I’ve only thought of my time in Australia as a ‘vacation’, not ‘temporary settlement’. It’s weird because when I worked in Boston over the summer for three months, I thought of my place as my ‘temporary home’. It might be because the weather is too dang nice here. Except for this weekend…it was windier than normal. It could also be because I haven’t been in the apartment except to do homework, cook, sleep, and shower. Otherwise, it’s all about exploring and getting out there in the world. That’s part of life, isn’t it?

In addition to interning, I have to take a class about Australian Culture and Society. History is interesting, but not my favorite subject. (The horrible memories from taking an International Relations course in freshman year.) There was a reading on Australia Day, and it essentially boils down to this: Australia Day means different things to different people. It’s the day the First Fleet of 11 convict ships arrived from Great Britain. To Aboriginals, it’s the day of Mourning and Protect (against the white man, of course). To foreigners, it’s a day to get drunk on the beach. To each his own, eh?

Thursday, January 23rd – Sydney Festival Village & Lobo Plantation (tequila bar)

After a day of work and 3 hours of class (but not really class), a bunch of us decided to go to Festival Village at Hyde Park for Sydney Festival. It was nice, just chillin’ together.

Hyde Park is just a beauty, 24 hours a day. In the daytime, it’s bustling and at night, it becomes serene and beautiful. I love places that give off different vibes depending on what time of day it is.

Last time, Janus, Sheena and I came here together, but Sheena couldn’t go in because she forgot to bring her ID card. That’s because they serve drinks in the Village, and neither Janus and I could be her “independent” because we weren’t 25. She remembered her ID card this time, but Janus didn’t. Girl had to use her expired license, but at least she got in.

While the other kids ate food and drank ciders, Yae Jin, Janus, and I went to do Folk in a Box. Groups of two to three enter a box, and someone will sing a song to you. While we were waiting in line, three random kids started annoying the guy who was working… and me. They were screaming right next to the box and running around, strumming a musician’s harp. At the moment, I thought, “Oh shit. Harps are super expensive because they’re a classical instrument… Dumb kids.” So I shook my head at one of them. He sees it, points at me and says, “Who do you think you are?” Whoa, dude. I come in peace. Don’t want no trouble, BUT STOP STRUMMING THE HARP! Go back to your mama and be a good boy.

Emily, the girl that sang to us, had a cool voice. I don’t know why I took a video recording instead of just an audio recording because it’s dark in there and you can’t see anything anyways. Just think of it as letting you see what I see. Check it out below:

After the show, we went back to the group to eat and drink. Janus and I got British India (butter chicken with yogurt raita dip on white bread) at Jafe Jaffles. Their tip jar was a mouth that moved whenever something went near it, and there was a sign that read, “I eat tips!” It was great.

In all my life, there have only been a couple of times when I’ve stayed up past 2 am, and I normally don’t like being out of the house past midnight. I really do like my sleep, and I’m never in a let’s-get-super-drunk-whoop-whoop mood. However, I’ve been practicing in Sydney… my roommates are gonna push me 15 minutes past my breaking point every weekend until I can go 72 hours without sleeping. Exaggeration? Just a little bit. It was around 10 pm when people wanted to leave Sydney Festival. Some went back home, and some went to go bar hopping. I pushed my natural instincts to knock out on my bed and went to The Lobo Plantation. It’s a tequila bar and the bartenders had these Hawaiian-Spanish shirts on… I loved the place.

Friday, January 24th – The Iconic & The Argyle

Some more things about why I like interning at The Iconic:

  • Internet is much faster here than at the dorms.
  • All the different accents are so interesting, and sometimes I stop listening to the content just to listen to the accents.
  • Beer, cider, wine and chips on Friday. It couldn’t get any better.
  • The company is situated in an interesting part of town. I like exploring around here.

The Argyle is one of those clubs that is a must-go-to. The DJ was good, the drinks were okay. This was my first day of staying out till 2 am, and holy shit, it was painful. When I’m tired, my stank face shows. It’s the make-me-move-unnecessarily-and-I-will-kick-your-ass face… the don’t-talk-to-me-if-you-are-going-to-be-stupid face. Janus has been telling me that I must keep my happy face until I reach home. I’m practicing, but in my head, we’re playing paintball, and I’m kickin’ everybody’s asses.

Towards the end of the night, one of my guys pulled me over to dance with one of his friends. I was getting in my boy-don’t-touch-me-cause-I-ain’t-interested mood, but he kept pulling me. I danced for about five seconds, chucked the deuces up, and walked away. Don’t ever try to make me something I don’t want to do.

Saturday, January 25th – Exploring, Pancake on the Rocks & Shake What Ya Mama Gave Ya!

The girls of 2.06 explored around Surry Hills and Paddington today. The Iconic is located in Surry Hills, but I haven’t explored much around the company because… well, I’m at work. There’s a street called… and then we turned onto Crown Street where there were lots of good food. We ended up eating at a place called Four Ate Five, and it was absolutely delicious. I don’t remember what I ordered, but it tasted so good in my stomach.

There were so many places I wanted to try in Surry Hills: The Clock, which has a outdoor seating on the second floor balcony; Messina, a gelato store that made the Messinaweiner and Yeeeah Dawg! at Sydney Festival… Is it weird that whenever I see fancy places I think to myself, “When I grow up, I want to go there”? I find it a little odd because somehow I still feel like 16-year-old, and I’m waiting to grow up and do things. But I’m 20. Hopefully someday I’ll feel my age.

Meet Joe the Hipponkey. Janus bought him for $0.50 at the Salvation Army. It’s part hippo, part donkey, and Joe’s damn proud of it. He has a British accent (at least that’s what it is when I do his voice), and he’s got more game than… Taylor Swift? Whoever you believe has a lot of game, Hipponkey has more game. He’s now the room mascot and man, he is so adorable that I want to wrestle and squish him.

We meant to go listen to Symphony at the Domain at the Royal Botanical Gardens, but we couldn’t figure out to get in. That’s why we’re the #4lostbitches. We ended up walking along Sydney Harbour and going to Pancake on the Rocks, which was fine by me because I was hungry and pancakes can holla at me anytime, anywhere.

I know… those aren’t pancakes! But I wasn’t in the dessert mode, so I ordered a crepe with mushrooms and sour cream (I love sour cream) and something else. Our waiter had an unrecognizable European accent, so Sheena asked where he was from. He made us guess, so we named off the European countries we knew. Not French. Not German. Slovakia? Romania? Czechoslovakia? He said it didn’t end in -ia. Estonia? Nope, but close. And Sheena said LITHUANIA! Ding ding ding! Too bad we didn’t get free pancakes.

Now it was time to Shake What Ya Mama Gave Ya! which was located at Paradiso at Town Hall. It was around 11 pm at this point, and once again, I wanted my dinky old bed and my eyes started to droop. Janus noticed that there was a game of Space Invaders shown on the side of the building across the street, so to wake me up, we went to go play. I KICKED ASS! Never played Space Invaders and got to level 2 easy breezy. And then I sucked ass. Whatever. Not like it’s a competition or anything.

The security guards didn’t let us in before the event started because there was a paid event going on. We did get to catch the encore performance of Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, which is a six-man Japanese club jazz band. They were great! The people were lovin’ them, I was lovin’ them…

I thought that the music would’ve been remixes of Britney Spears, Rihanna, etc. Nothing like that all. It was old, groovy music, which was a good change of pace.

There was a random guy behind us who enjoyed bombing our photos and videos.

There was a dance competition, and Janus immediately signed all four of us for it. I’m not a dancer, I’m a groover. Step and clap is where it’s at. But I thought, “What the hell” and did it. Jana got worried last minute that they were going to have people go on stage one-by-one, so she backed out. None of us made it past through the first round, but it was fun nonetheless. Some highlights:

Round 2- check out Girl #17!

She had some serious competition from Grampy #14, so the judges made them do a dance-off. Um, Gramps might have had a little too much alcohol, he definitely was feelin’ it.

There was also a guy who didn’t get a number but decided to dance anyways. The judges loved him so much, he became one of the finalists.

In the end, Black Girl #33 won because, in all seriousness, the male judges wanted to bang her. She had groove and she looked good, but come on! #17!

This is part 1 of 2 for Straya weekend. I’ll hopefully finish updating tomorrow!

By the way, did I mention that I got a haircut? One of their cheapest cuts costs $32. Hear that sound? That was my jaw dropping.

Till we meet again,

Photos by Juliet and Sheena

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