See you later alligators!
When i first arrived in Sydney I was treated to a typical Sydney night out with my friends and adopted flatmates from Harrow road. When I stepped out of the train at Circular Quay station on a clear ( unexpectedly chilly) Sydney evening I could hardly contain my excitement. The bright twinkling lights of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House lit like a larger than life lantern and the sounds of hundreds of people below enjoying the social atmosphere of the Sydney night life was fairly overwhelming and in stark contrast to my usual Friday night at 5 Stags in small town Cambridge, New Zealand. I tried to hide this excitement that seemed to bubble over like lava as to my Sydney tour guides this was just another night like any other. We sat by the water at Opera Bar sipping Champagne in the Harbour breeze and listening to the vibrant live band selected to play that night. This was my first impression of Sydney, a big city like any other but a city that has a lot of soul and over my two weeks here I am still hiding my childlike excitement whenever I arrive at Circular Quay Station!
I have spent my last couple of days roaming the city where I walked the 30 minutes from Museum Station to Centennial Park to be inspired by all the Sydney locals here getting out and being active. The Centennial Parklands is basically a massive grounds area for people to come and be active. It hosts horse riding trails, cycle tracks, soccer grounds, dog parks and more. An amazing place to spend a sunny afternoon I felt compelled to engage in my own little exercise regime using the benches there to do a little body weight circuit, emphasis on the “little”. The walk back to the station meant I had clocked up some kms during my morning which meant of course that I deserved a little treat (: I entered the nearest Woolworth’s and stocked up on salted caramel Tim Tams and a bag of Cadbury Favorites. I did of course include a few mandarins in the mix, just for a bit of balance. I plonked my treats down on the check out counter to a stern, disapproving look from a pint-sized middle aged asian woman. I looked at her quizzically as it appeared I had done something wrong by her judging eyes as she looked me up and down. Sensing my uncertainty she scolded me with a “very naughty, very naughty” (in a way that only a small asian woman could). Well how awkward I felt as a 26 year old woman being told off for being “naughty” by a small motherly asian check out chick. She pointed to my myriad of treats and explained that because I had obviously just been exercising It was naughty of me to now be buying treats! Fairly taken aback, I tried to justify my cravings by explaining that by exercising it means that I am allowed all of these treats, it all balances out. Not convinced, she shook her head at me and I left feeling like a scolded child. Didn’t stop me from indulging in my coveted Tim Tams though and with where I’m heading on the next stop on my journey, somehow I don’t think I’ll be following my adopted asian mothers advice!
I board the plane today on the 4th of July to arrive in the beautiful San Francisco. With my lack of American history knowledge I have only just realised that I will be arriving in America on the morning of the 4th of July, which is apparently kind of a big deal. I am expecting to be overwhelmed by American national pride as I walk off the plane and have just booked myself in to the San Francisco International Hostel for the night. I am unsure of what awaits me in the big U S of A but I am sure it will not be my idea of “normal”. Sydney has been an absolute blast in all of its engaging diversity but it’s time for the next step. Thank you to all of my new and old friends in Sydney for showing me how you do it across the ditch and for being so hospitable, I am 100 % certain I will be back here again. But for now I am heading to the fourth of July! ¡viva red white and blue!