It's a judge free city

17 June 2011 

It’s a judge free city. Which explains why know one batted an eyebrow (alright, except for me) when the waitress requested a signed release form for dinner’s leftovers. Or why an entre of kangaroo blended in naturally with the various other options listed (from salmon and pasta to pizza and crocodile burgers).

I am an observer in a foreign country; It’s natural to notice differences and easy to judge without understanding. That’s not the trap I wish to fall in.

Matt, our group leader, was the one who stressed Sydney’s role as a judge free city. Although, he was referring to the city’s legalization of prostitutes and to the container of needles often found in public restrooms. (To which he clarified that Sydney does not have a heroin problem. Steroids and insulin are, in fact, the most common use for these needles. I didn’t catch why people drop off needles in the bathroom… Matt mentioned something about sanitation. Still unsure how used needles correlates with cleanliness. Prostitution, on the other hand, was made legal to help curb sexual violence. To which it has. Additionally, the legalization has made prostitution a recognized career. Sick leave and benefits are all part of the package.)

Today was my first day upside down. The clouds seem to move faster here, although that could be my jet lag goggles talking.

My group seems fantastic. There are seven girls and two boys so far. Two additional girls will join our program this weekend. The first girl I met was Jewish; It was a great comfort. The other participants are far from it, however I’ve wasted no time in educating them on the concept of keeping kosher. One girl seemed confused, so I reverted to the “I’m vegetarian when out” description.

I am living in a service apartment (a hotel apartment) in Bondi Junction (an area technically a part of Sydney, although privileged enough to have its own zip code. I noticed we took Oxford Street to get to Bondi… I purchased my blue shoes on the Oxford Street in London!) Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full size kitchen, a living room and flat screen TV. Oh, and balconies on each of our rooms. Balconies with a view… A view of the spokes of the opera house’s roof peeking out through the Sydney skyline. A view of the Sydney Bridge towering over the harbour, a backdrop to the Sydney skyline on its left. It’s a spectacular view. Breathtaking when we got into our apartments this morning and equally as phenomenal this evening.
It's difficult to see from the picture but the bridge is in the background and the opera house is directly in front of it.
We ate breakfast at a cafĂ© in the mall that served everything in chocolate. (The mall is directly opposite our apartments, and owned by Westfield. We have a Westfield mall back home, although that one is a one story mall with limited options. The Westfield here has five floors [I think] and includes a full size Target, grocery store and movie theater [tickets are $AUD18! So ridiculous. Well, ridiculous for any movie that’s not titled Harry Potter and is not coming out July 15].) I gorged on two nutella, banana crepes. They were completely worth it.

We spent our afternoon on a walking tour of the city. Matt’s plan was to keep us awake for the day, part of the battle against jet lag. The city is such an incredible blend of… everything. There were moments that I could picture myself in Europe, other times in downtown America. We walked through Hyde Park, taking a moment to enter the ANZAC War Memorial. We took a “toilet” break at the Art Gallery of NSW and continued through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Merely a few minutes away from what Americans would call “downtown,” the gardens provide an escape into a peaceful ambiance in the beauty of nature. Well the beauty of nature until I saw the bats. Which I thought were massive, leather black bags hanging from trees that seemed to come straight out of a Disney, horror/ Halloween movie. They were frightening. 
The ANZAC memorial is on right with part of the skyline on the left. These are the actual colors, no editing! Doesn't the light seem to shine brighter?
We continued our walk through the gardens. Matt had two hamburger buns, which he shared with our group. It was for the birds, parrots to be exact. About fifteen of them swarmed in, beautiful white birds with yellow Mohawks. And they landed on top of us… on our arms, shoulders, one of the guy’s heads. I only had one come to me… I can’t say I particularly enjoyed having a parrot perched on my shoulder, but it was a remarkable experience. 
One of my roomates... The birds SWARMED to her.
Not exactly a recognizable landmark, but there are the shoes. And a parrot. All standing on Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.

 At last, we arrived at the harbour. Our first close look at Sydney’s icon… the Opera House. I think I expected it to be larger… not that it’s a small structure whatsoever. Pictures just warp my sense of perspective. The structure is magnificent…. Directly on the harbour, which made the winter breeze quite painful. Matt explained that the spokes of the roof are meant to represent clouds and the brown frame symbolizes cliffs. The opera house as a whole is meant to embody and characterize Sydney’s harbour.

We eventually walked to the other side of the harbour, caught a ferry, had dinner on Darling Harbour and made it back home. By then, our group as a whole was so finished. Jet lag had officially won over.

It’s almost 10 pm… I really should have gone to sleep about two hours ago. We have orientation for our internships tomorrow. Should be informative.

Until then, I’ll be enjoying a fantastic and much deserved night of sleep. Jet lag is not welcome tomorrow morning.

No Response to "It's a judge free city"

Post a Comment




100th blog post 762 curves Alice Springs Alipura Amsterdam Anne Frank House Art Fair attractions August vacation Australia Ayers rock Ayuttahaya backpacker backpacking bamboo rafting Bangkok Bangkok hospital of Phuket Barcelona Bastille Day beaches beggars Berlin Berlin Wall Blue Mountains blue shoes Bondi Beach bucket list camp Cathedrale Notre- Dame cemetery Chabad Chabad Champs Elysees Chabad of Bangkok Charles Bridge Chartres Chartres Chathedral Chateau de Vincenne Chiang Mai Chiang Saen chicken thigh Christo Claude Francois Cloclo Cold War Cultural differences Czech Republic day trek day trip DC travel definition Dengue Fever developing connection East Side Gallery Eiffel Tower light show elephant ride elephant trek England Festival Fnac Live Florence FOAM Museum Fragonard France French culture French friends French presidential inauguration GAdventures Germany ghats Giambologna Giverny Golden Triangle graduation graduation travel Grand Temple guesthouse hairdresser Hales St. Pierre Hall of Opium heritage Hinduism Holocaust homestay hundred step staircase identity India internship introduction Israel Italy Jardin de Tuilleries Jardin du Luxembourg Jeanne- Claude Jewish Quarter Jewish travel Jubilee Judaism Khao San Road King Solomon restaurant ko phi phi koi samui kosher Krabi La Defense La Grande Arche Lesser Town Lido life thrill London Louis XIV Louvre Mae Salong Marmottan Monet Melbourne metro Milan Munich Murano Nazi Germany New York City northern Thailand Oktoberfest Old Town Orchha Overnight train Pai Palazzo Grassi Palermo Parc Montsouris Paris Paris Statue of Liberty Paris summer sales Passover seder people watching Petrin Tower Photography Phuket Piazza San Marco post-graduation Prague Prague castle President Francois Hollande publication Ram Raja Rape of the Sabine Woman Ray Caesar returning abroad Rome Rouen San Spirito school Seine Shabbat Shavuot Siam capital Siam capital city solo travel Spring break St. Chapelle studies study abroad study abroad program summer friends Sydney Thailand Thailand elephant Thailand historic capital Thailand hospital Thais The Pont Neuf Wrapped thrill of life Tiger Airways time off from work toilet Tordi Sagar Tour de France transportation travel travel alone travel blog travel essay Trocadero tuk tuk USA TODAY College Varanasi Venetian Jewish Ghetto Venice Versailles Versailles Light and Sound show Vincenne white water rafting Yoga Jardin du Luxembourg Yom Kippur in Berlin zip line

All Rights Reserved © 2011 The Girl with the Traveling Blue Shoes All rights reserved.
Converted To Blogger Template by Anshul Theme By- WooThemes
This template is brought to you by : | Blogger Templates