360 degrees of the city of Sydney

03 July 2011
I live a double life, reflective of the stark difference between grasping life abroad as a tourist and as an intern. Work by week, explore by weekend: I can safely say that no part of me is ready for weeks, or life really, structured by work (a full time internship really makes you appreciate the abundance of free time available while in college). There is something to say, however, about work only being work from 9- 5:30 each day. My tasks ahead stay at my plastic, white office desk. Come weekend… I’ve forgotten my office responsibilities. My focus instead: exploring Sydney.

My blog also takes a different shape come weekend time; I follow a more here is what I did (greatly assisted by a range of visual components) rather than an analysis and/ or reflection of my week experiences.

Friday
I left work 30 minutes early, giving myself ample time to reach Lindfield, the station in which Mark (my family friend) was picking me up for Shabbat dinner at his wife's parent's home.  Shabbat dinner at the grandparents was everything like Shabbat dinner with Jewish grandparents should be... there's really no other way to put it! After dinner, I returned to Mark’s home, spending time chatting with Sue (his wife) and Laura (their daughter). I finally returned to my apartment at around 11:30. It was wonderful, for the second week in a row, to have the opportunity to participate in the traditional, Shabbat meal. It’s my little connection to home… a factor I truly appreciate.

Saturday
The trains were down, which was really helpful as functional trains would’ve made our commute a tad easier. But there are benefits of living directly over the bus and train station, and that includes simple switch in mode of transport when one falls through.  

So bus it was and off we went to the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House offers $35 tickets to individuals under 30 years of age, a clever way of encouraging youth to come out to the Opera House shows. The six of us bought tickets for Terminus, a three character monologue show. Which incorporates no visual effects (excluding the one spotlight lit on the one person talking at the one time). The story line (which I’m too tired to type out) was interesting… for the part I could focus on; It was sadly a struggle to keep myself awake. But regardless, I am pleased I saw a show inside of the Opera House. Even if it wasn’t my type of show. And that it almost put me to sleep. 


The boys left our group to go prep for their evening at the Sydney Olympics Stadium for a soccer game. The remaining four of us girls strolled along Circular Quay, stopping for a quick snack and then continuing our journey.

Next stop: Sydney (City Centre) Tower: the tallest point in the city of Sydney. Tickets to the observatory are $35 whereas entrance to the revolving bar (which is a few floors below the observatory and still offers a wonderful view) has free admission. Although you are expected to purchase a drink. And $18 later, that I did. Sweet Southern NZ Something… 
Top & bottom: The view from the tower.


The group of us in the bar.
It was fascinating watching the sun set from the tower… being able to pinpoint landmarks 360 degrees across the city. And to eventually loose your bearings among the sea of lights as the sun sunk into its evening slumber.  It was 6pm by the time we left; the sun had long set, evident with the drop in the weather temperature outdoors. Our group had once again dwindled… now down to three of us as one had returned home.

An interlude to explain the three of us: It was just me, Katie and Keli left… Katie and Keli live on the 10th floor along with the two boys on our program. The rest of us live on the 8th floor, so I don’t see the 10th floor inhabitants quite as often.  (Well, minus the boy that I work with.) Spending the evening with Katie and Keli proved phenomenal… It was the first time I’ve really spent time with just the two of them. The pair of them are completely normal, very down to earth and just absolutely, wonderful girls. I truly enjoyed being in their company.

We proceeded to Darling Harbour where we ate dinner at an exquisite Italian restaurant overlooking the water. (I had gnocchi… I began my obsession with gnocchi probably some time in January.  I’m obsessed.) Dinner was fantastic and the check wasn’t too horrific. Thank goodness.

The three of us strolled along the harbour, biding our time before 8.30pm. Because it was at 8:30pm that the real highlight of the evening was to begin. A small store sold gelato. Chocolate truffle’s called my name… there was no way I was turning down that call. Gelato in hand, Katie, Keli and I sat on the harbour steps. Anxiously awaiting. And then a BOOM. Our gaze followed the spark upwards. It was 8:30 pm. The fireworks had begun.

An array of colors sizzled as they lit up the night sky. I really don’t know to describe it (on top of that, I’m exhausted and too tired to be creative in coming up with an accurate, picturesque description). I haven’t seen fireworks in years, as I am usually at camp for the 4th of July. The experience was just breathtaking. I left the evening with a feeling of pure satisfaction. Saturday was a great day.



Sunday
I met Mark, Sue and Laura at Lindfield station at 9:30 am. Which means I woke up at 7:45 am. Good reason for being drained now.

The family took me to a Koala Park, where I watched (and helped!) sheer a sheep, in addition to seeing a range of animals, including koalas and kangaroos. Sue packed us a picnic lunch to eat at the park. We concluded our afternoon with a stop at the Lindfield gelato shop.

I returned home at around 3:30, had 30 minutes to rest and then headed back out. Back out… to church. YES! I went to church with two of my friends, and WOW was it an incredible experience! I’m leaving my description of the experience, however, for another post when I have energy to accurately paint a picture of the evening. It really deserves it, so waving that doggy bone to encourage you to follow up on a future post!  

Back from church and off I went to Coles, the grocery store in the mall opposite my apartment building. (Coles is the main grocery store here… food prices are ridiculously expensive but sticking to Coles’s brand food helps lower your final total.) The bagboy at the register asked me if I were Jewish, obviously noticing the kosher chicken in my cart. Turned out he was Jewish too… it was perfect closure for my day.

Work tomorrow. Wow… two weeks over, another five weeks left in Australia. These two weeks have flown by…. This summer, in fact, has flown by. Life kind of seems to fly by as you get older… scary. But a constant reminder to seize each moment, making the most of every opportunity brought your way.



1 Response to 360 degrees of the city of Sydney

Hallie
July 3, 2011 at 10:08 AM

gelato and gnocchi? aka my typical day. just come to rome already :) (beautifully written as always)

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