I’ve been in Sydney for about a month now, and am thoroughly enjoying myself here. From Mondays to Fridays when I walk through the Central Station tunnel to work, I can always expect to hear this one old Asian man playing the er hu, which is a traditional Asian cello with two strings. I just can’t help but smile when I see and hear him play.
Surf Camp – Friday, January 31st to Sunday, February 2nd
First of all, I’m not a water person. That’s my sister. She can swim like a fish and enjoys the feeling of water. I know how to swim, but not the person to say yes to being dropped in the middle of the ocean. So it makes sense that a few days leading up to surf camp, I was excited and nervous at the same time. Turns out, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined.
Camp was located at Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park in Gerroa, which is about a two-hour drive south of Sydney. The beach is actually nine miles, and nobody seems to be able to tell me why it’s called seven mile beach. We lived next to a trailer park, and it was my first time seeing one. For the most part, the living situation was exactly what I thought it was going to be: bunk beds, communal bathrooms, outdoor hangout space, and hammocks. It was exactly what high school music camp was like, and I wasn’t a fan of music camp. Living in the mountains with no Internet, kitchen, or a comfortable bed is just not the way to go for me. For a weekend? I could bare with it.
We had three two-hour surf lessons. In the first lesson, we learned the basic techniques of surfing. I was good at that because we weren’t standing on the board. It was a different story when we learned how to stand on the board. On land, I’d say that I have decent balance; I know people who are much more clumsier than I am. On water, it’s the other way around – I am the clumsiest of the clumsiest. I got on the board three times by myself, but only lasted for about 1.5 seconds. The other times I stood up with the help of the instructors, who, by the way, were all 18-20 years old. !!!
By lunchtime on Saturday, I had a huge bruise on my stomach…rib…area… I would make up a story and say that I got hit by a board, or got in a fight with a bird and kicked its ass. Truth is, I got bruised just from carrying the board out into the ocean. Sad, eh? I call it the Galaxy Bruise. It’s my pride and joy, man. The picture below was taken a couple of hours after it formed, but it turned dark purple and ran along the side of my… pelvis? It was kind of cool and beautiful.
Near the camp, there was a big ol’ jumping pillow. It’s just a inflatable trampoline that sticks out from the ground. All weekend there were kids hogging it, and they really didn’t like it when us “big kids” came over and jumped on it. Whenever we tried, there was a kid leader who led an attack on us and tried to take us down. He succeeded 100% of the time. You know he’s going to be a Steve Jobs in whatever he does in the future.
Will I ever go surfing again? Yes. I just need time to heal.
The “Cake” Experiment
There’s a group at work who bring in cakes every week as a “yay, fun cake day”, and Sheena and I are bringing in one this week. We first tried making a no-bake cake that called for lemonade powder, graham cracker crust, Cool Whip, and something else, but Australia doesn’t have any of that. What’s Cool Whip? What’s a graham cracker crust? That’s what makes me miss America.
We settled on making a cake with three simple ingredients: dark chocolate, Tim Tams, and butter. That’s a lot of chocolate. We broke up the chocolate-iness by putting in some toasted walnuts, but then we had to add more chocolate to cover the walnuts. I’m a little nervous guys…. we’re trying it this afternoon.
I feel as though this post was a little off for me. Maybe I’m stressing out inside about classes at USyd, or my OCD-ness just wanted to get this over with in order to continue cleaning out my email inbox (yes, it’s actually a thing)… I don’t know what it is, but I’m definitely a little off today. Maybe it’s the shirtty weather Australia’s been having this week. And weather has a huge impact on my emotions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in no time.
Photos by Juliet & Surf Camp Australia