Monday, September 13, 2010

Hyde Park, Night Cruise in Sydney Harbor, and Manly

I didn't write yesterday because what I thought would be an afternoon harbor cruise turned into an all night dance party and drink-fest. I spent yesterday morning at Hyde Park quading and trying to plan out what I would be doing next week in Brisbane. I spent most of my time watching a group of goth-ish high school aged kids messing around in the grass. I really hope they were drunk- the girls were wearing very short dresses, and kept falling down and rolling around showing their underwear. They would shriek and run around and push each other down. I don't know if it's a cultural thing or if I'm not giving them a fair chance, but I have observed an disproportionate number of girls that do anything to be the center of attention, even if it is insanely annoying or childish, even girls my age. Another side note- Australia, or maybe it is just Sydney (I will let you know) is very environmentally conscious. Every toilet I have seen has a half flush function, just in case you do not require extra water. And their buses have printing on the side, explaining how environmentally friendly they are. And when I bought a ticket for my Qantas flight, I was give the option to pay 98 cent more to offset my carbon footprint created by my flight. How nice for them to be so environmentally aware and conserve natural resources, without ulterior motives or political reasons- just do it because it's good for the world. After my afternoon in the sun doing planning and social observation, I ran by Woolwirths again to pick up some stuff and got back in time to get dressed for the cruise. I went down to Scary Canary, the meeting point for the group going to the cruise. I bought a beer, and took up my usual position watching the boys play pool. We got a group together, and walked down to the harbor around 5pm. We met at a restaurant called pontoon and pushed together 3 tables to make room for everyone. We went around the circle and introduced each other, telling where we were from. I, of course, was the only one from the US. There were 6 girls that knew each other, and they were on a girl's weekend from Melbourne, who invited me to sit with them. There were 2 guys from New Zealand, 3 guys from Scotland, and Mario and Sam and Jimmy who all work at the hostel. We got a free drink at the bar and the girls ordered wedges, which are eaten with sweet chili sauce and sour cream. We spent about an hour there hanging out and talking, then when the boat was ready, we walked back down the harbor. The sun was setting, so I got some amazing shots of the opera house and the bridge all lit up for the night. There was a cash bar on the boat, so everyone was ordering drinks. There were 2 levels- the bar level and the dance floor. The dance floor had loud, loud music, and strobe lights, it was intense. We circled the harbor and drank and danced, it was lots of fun. When it was over, we walked back together as a group to continue the party at Scary Canary. Sam, from London, and has been here 5 months but hasn't left Sydney or this hostel yet (and is now employed there) insisted I wear his sailor hat for the walk home. I danced with all the Melbourne girls some more, then we watched TV in the common room, and went to their room for cake. We ran into the french guys that I met the other day, and to prove I had learned from my previous experience, I forced a 2 kiss cheek greeting on the person I had met the other day and he laughed. They were carrying around a bottle of Jack Daniels, apparently drinking it straight from the bottle. When I told them it was my favorite, they offered me a swig. I then went to Mackers (McDonalds- my 2nd trip since being here, they love their Mackers) with 2 of the Melbourne girls and Sam. They all ordered food, but I refused, saying that it was my goal to not each American food (or chains) while here. Sam ending up force feeding me a nugget and fries (he was feeding everyone at the table) so I guess I broke that rule (I think there is an exemption that says if it is fed to you by an Aussie, it doesn't count). We then walked back to the hostel and called it a night. I rode the lift with Sam, and he requested not one, but two good night pecks. I went into my room, realizing I had a new roomie, and that her first impression of me would be me coming in at 2am. Whatevs. I went to bed, then a few minutes later, the person in the top bunk climbed down. I realized it wasn't my normal roomie, and although I wasn't sure because I was watching through closed eyes, I think it was a dude. He grabbed something from the drawer under his side of the bed and left. He wasn't in the bed with the new roomie, just in the top bunk over my bed. I guess they thought it was going to just be the two of them, so he could sleep in the room too, but I ruined that plan I guess, haha.

Anyway, fast forward to this morning, I am a tired from last night, but for some reason cannot sleep anymore past 7am. I get up and take a shower. My roomie is still asleep around 8:30am, so I am on the computer a while, then go downstairs to call my Grandma. I am meeting the Melbourne girls at 10am to go to Manly. I meet up with them checking out, and they store their luggage in my room. Everyone is dragging this morning, after all, they were right there with me last night. We start walking toward the harbor and stop at a place called Vivo to get brekkie. I have an open face sandwich with amazing bread and ham and tomato with melted cheese on the top- maybe it was more amazing because I was hungry, but it was great. We continue walking and stop to shop a little. We get to the harbor and ride a ferry to Manly. Manly is a little town with shops and restaurants and a tiny beach area. We sit on the shore a while, then go get fish and chips, they tell me this is a very Australian thing to do at the beach. We also have a cheesecake for Beth's birthday, one of the girls. We ride the ferry back and walk back to the hostel in time for them to catch their shuttle to the airport. I got their contact and will be visiting them again in Melbourne, because my Melbourne girls know how to party. I'm trying to decide what to do this evening. I plan on writing postcards because tomorrow I am going to seek out a post office, but I don't know if I want to go to the Canary for dinner or not. Now that I was part of a group for a while, it will be harder to become the loaner again, haha. I am sitting in the common area near the bar and they are pretty much DJing for me- Chili Peppers, The Killers, and now Foo Fighters- maybe it's a sign. Cheers!

PS- Hulu cannot stream in Australia- can I make it 3 months without my TV or Arrested Development? At least still works...

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