SO I'm in Vancouver now. I spent my last two weeks in Australia in Sydney. Well. And three days in Newcastle, for the third time. It was very rainy weather...pouring like there's no tomorrow. But that hostel (the best YHA I have ever stayed in - and I hate YHAs - so that's saying quite a lot) is like a giant house. So everyone was inside, watching lots of TV and drinking a lot. Lucky me, I got a cold, so I was miserable and sleeping enough. My biggest achievement was starting a puzzle of the 12 Apostles and filling in a good deal of it. I got company at some point, an Irish guy whose name I forgot (:S) and who had a cold like me. So the two sick people puzzled their way through the night - while, I kid you not, everyone else partied. More or less, anyway.
I was happy to come back to Sydney, though. Last time, I was there for four days and saw the usual stuff. This time around, I experienced a bit more. For starters, I stayed in two hostels - one that I didn't like - there were (very friendly, but also very) drunk Brits that would keep the light on a lot at 3am - but they were really nice people, still. I did meet a guy called Obi (like Obi Wan Kenobi!) from Scotland who was quite lively - and an older married couple that was going to Tasmania, I think it was. Had a good breakfast conversation. Most people I met here have just arrived in Sydney from wherever they lived. I felt like a veteran. The other place I stayed in was called the Pink House. The location of the Pink House is better..quiet street. The street that the DLux hostel (the first one) was on is Darlinghurst - which is the main street of the chaotic zoo that is King's Cross. King's Cross is the red light district of Sydney. It's lovely. Actually, it's not that bad at all. It's definitely lively - but you can find loads of cheap meals and drinks and deals and good pubs and clubs - and bad ones, too. So! It's ok. It's crammed full of backpackers, too, of course. The Pink House has cockroaches and rats (I heard about, didn't see them). It's not the cleanest place - but the people are wonderful. I liked it there, it was like a big family. But coming there through King's Cross at night - its relaxing..so quiet. Cause there are all sorts of drunk, drugged, and prostituting characters ...everywhere.
I met up with Michael (who was one of the people I spent the holidays with in lovely Adelaide - and with whom I have meanwhile gotten together with ) and later his friend Max. We had a few drinks and got lost a bit in Sydney. Ended up hanging out together for the next many days, visited the Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, all over downtown...Went to a rich people residential area near the harbour, where we sat to have some beers (from a pub that sold take aways with people with Scottish accents), and sat on the bench under these trees to drink them (not allowed to drink in public). There were bats rustling in the tree above us (with possibly what sounded like bat poo plopping here and there) - and then a black rabbit hopped his way to us and started sniffing near my foot. OK...a bit random...but they do have a rabbit issue in Australia, I guess.. (eons ago, someone brought rabbits over and let them go, who multiplied at the speed of light, and started killing life on the island, until eons later, they created a virus that kills rabbits, which killed 99.9% of them, and that 0.1% survived and became mutant rabbit that cannot be killed by said virus, so now the they're in rabbit poo.) ...but yes. Random. And then, to top randomness, there was a (dark) alley behind us and bench - and this guy walks down it (toward us) in a black trenchcoat and hat, carrying an old fashioned doctor's bag (kind of like a scene from The Exorcist) - He put his bag down near us, which is when we got up to go away, cause he looked like he was gonna murder us. And then all these people came around the corner in costumes (but they were dressed weird so we left, since it was dark and didn't notice the costumes right away). As we walked away, I saw a guy holding a bloody axe (a fake one). So that was pretty cool! And then we made out way down past these dock areas (near people fishing), where there were these tables and chairs in a row - close to what looked like a closed pub. It was quiet enough, so we sat at one of the tables to drink out beers..some people came out for some smokes out of these doors on our left and right sides, but whatever. It was only a while later, that we realized that behind every set of tables there was a door...where someone lives...it was a hotel! We luckily picked a set of tables the belonged to a room that no one stayed in. But it was awesome, we had his speaker and good music, there was this inky black water infront of the hotel thing, lights in the water, quiet, pretty relaxing. Loved it. Came back there a few more times. The problem was that at first we didn't know if there were bathrooms nearby, so the first night I ran up these giant stairs (seriously, loads of stairs), near a rich people residential area and a construction site (right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge) towards the (as I found out after) public bathroom, and was watched in my business by a white rabbit - again..lots of rabbits in downtown Sydney.
They also have a camel infestation in north Australia. Many years ago, they were building a railway that went basically right across the middle of Australia, through Alice Springs (which is apparently a "hole" according
to other people I met that went there) - which is near Uluru, or Ayers
rock. Anyway. They had people from the middle east, along with camels, come to help build this railway. Well, they left some camels - which multiplied like the random rabbits - and so much, that it's crazy. In the meanwhile, that species of camel started to dissapear from its' original home in the middle east (which is bad, since we make everything extinct one way or another) - so now Australia is the only place where this type of camel resides (or in such large numbers, anyway). If something changed in the meanwhile, tell me, but that's what I heard while I was there.
But Sydney has a million brilliant memories now. We spent all the time we could together, which would leave us both going back to our seperate homes (manors and hostels!) at...3am. The transit system in Sydney, by the way, is awesome. There are trains, which stop at night - but there are also busses - and night busses - which go to more places than the ones in Vancouver, that's for sure. Unluckily for me, however, there were no nightbusses leaving from the Town Hall Station area (downtown) that went to King's Cross. So every night at 3am I would walk down/up Park Street, past/through Hyde Park, up the hill and on for 25ish minutes to get to King's Cross and the zoo it is. The Pink House had codes at night, so the house was locked. At one point, they changed them..I forgot to ask for the new ones. So I got in luckily (someone was up). The next night...not so much. Everyone was asleep, I couldn't get in, considered climbing over a wall (which would have murdered me), but decided not last minute. I got lucky, since I hammered like there's no tomorrow, until one girl timidly opened the door to the potential axe murderer and saw me standing there. Excitement!
We also went to Manly, which is an area of Sydney that you can reach easier by ferry. So we ferreid across and spent a nice day there, walked along the seawall (not unlike the one near stanley park, sort of), past this little cute beach, and climbed up a bit onto these boulders, which had the most amazing view EVER of the water and of the Manly city centre in the
distance. There were waves crashing into the boulders below with gusto, stretching out into the bluest water ever. And it was a clear day that day, so the light was magnificent! Went to a few pubs with some friends, as well. Most of the places we went to were in The Rocks, which is an area near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There's a fair few pubs and restaurants there, on smaler streets, or cobbled pedestrian areas, here and there.
The last several days of my stay in Sydney, I moved to kip with Michi and Max. They stayed at a manor in a suburb called Ashfield, about 20ish minutes by train to the centre. For the first night, my gentle man snoring kept everyone awake, I think. :S Awesome. But at the same time, Angel (who I Deluxed with!!) came to Australia - so we went out and about a bit, too. It was great to catch up. The night before my train, we had a bit of a going away party for me and drank and played drinking games. A bit of beer and a bunch of goon (which is this wine-like substance that is supposed to be wine that tastes like gasoline if drunk quickly or a lot at once - but is wonderfully cheap) were the main ingredients. The next day I was off for my flight, and after some goodbyeing (which was too sad), and a dinosaur-sized plane flight, I arrived home to surprise everyone. Only a few people knew I was coming...so when I caught my mom thinking someone broke into the house I found I surprised her very much, indeed.
All in all, I loved my time in Sydney. I spent the whole summer in Australia, and at the end of it left to come back to Vancouver for a while. It's amazing how different it is here, now. I see the city in a completely different point of view, and everything that is so familiar and dear to me is sort of strange and different. But it's great to be back for a while..one always does miss their home in the end. Although I'm very excited to be off again, too...it's not over yet
..And I know for a fact I'm missing a million things in this post..but there you have it for now.