Pull Me Under

16 08 2011

So I’m finally writing my post about Sydney.

Here we go.  Sorry for the delay.  I hope it’s as exciting as the build up made it seem!

I talked about meeting the Tanjas on my day trip to the Great Ocean Road and about how they asked me to go to Sydney with them here.

I got home from my trip and got onto my computer immediately.  I found a flight to Sydney but it was unfortunately not the same flight that the Tanjas were taking, mine was the day after theirs.  Not really a big deal, they just got to the hostel earlier than I did.  I booked my flight and was SO happy about it!  I had finally found friends and was going to get to travel with them.  I was smiling sincerely for what was probably the first time since I’d gotten to Australia.

Me and the T’s… also some random guy who jumped into the picture

I got there late so the Tanjas were already back in the hostel after their day.  I got my room key and went down to my room (the T’s were staying in a 2-person room the floor above me… I naturally went cheap and got a 10-person room).  I expected to be a bit uncomfortable in this 10 person room by myself, but the level of discomfort was out of control.  One of the guys was living in the hostel semi-permanently and was working in construction, so he was getting up at around 5 am and waking the rest of us up.  Two of the guys were Swedish I think, maybe Norwegian, I can’t remember.. but they didn’t speak much english and were always together and not very attractive.   They also liked to walk their unattractive selves around the room in just their underwear and it was not pleasant at all.  Another guy was Australian and always drunk, one of the guys was chinese and didn’t say a word when he was awake but he mostly just slept every day (some vacation eh?).  I don’t remember much about the other ones.

Enough about the hostel awkwardness.  I got my stuff under/onto my bed so that everyone else knew it was taken and went up to find the T’s.  We went out to wander the streets a little bit just to get our bearings for the next day.  We grabbed a very quick supper (I hadn’t eaten in a long time) and just went back to the hostel to sleep.

The next morning we agreed on a time to get up and had breakfast in the hostel.  We got ready ASAP so that we could take in as much of the city as possible.  We walked down to the waterfront and took some touristy pictures of the bridge and opera house from afar and walked around the harbour until we actually got to the opera house.

Street Art

Not very flattering.. but that’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind me

Opera House

Now like I say, I can’t remember the order of events AT ALL.  So I don’t know if it was actually next or not, but we went to the Zoo and I went to the Aquarium by myself (because they’d already seen it, or maybe had been to one in Melbourne or something and weren’t feeling it.. I don’t remember).  The Zoo was a lot bigger than I was expecting and had some really cool animals in it!  The aquarium on the other hand was slightly smaller, but not disappointing by any means!  It was new for me to be doing something like that on my own but it was kind of nice!  Not that I didn’t want the T’s there, it was just a new and refreshing experience to set my own pace doing the touristy stuff.  I’m sure Jess would appreciate what I’m saying and probably agree with me.

Big Gross Grasshoppers

Big Croc 😐

Just Chillin

Cassowary – The freakiest looking bird on the planet

I have some pictures from the aquarium too, but I kind of feel like if you’ve been to an aquarium you’ve been to them all hahahha.  Here’s a few anyway I guess:

Manatees! I like these guys

Sea Dragon

Dude

Sea Cucumber and Sea Apples

I was loving seeing Sydney and being a tourist with the T’s, but I have to be honest when I say that going back to that awkward hostel sort of loomed over me every single day.  It really was brutal.  Anyway.. another one of the days we went out to the beach!  Bondi Beach to be more specific, you may have heard of it, maybe you haven’t.  It’s a pretty famous Australian beach, lots of surfers, tourists, and native aussies.  The downside?  Because it’s so famous it’s become somewhat of a contest to be at the beach.  Everyone there belonged to one or more of the following categories:

  1. I do nothing but work out all day
  2. I’ve had a boob job
  3. I take steroids
  4. I have a fake tan
  5. I don’t really surf but I pretend to because it makes me look more cool/australian and it helps me pick up

Bondi Beach

So needless to say, the T’s and I more or less kept to ourselves and enjoyed the (somewhat shy) sun and waves.  Tanja K and I MAY have tried to enjoy the waves a bit too much though…
Not a bit of an exaggeration when I say this, I near drowned at Bondi Beach that day.
The waves were big, bigger than I’m used to on my little island.  Tanja and I didn’t realise just how big and dangerous the surf was until it was a bit too late.  We felt completely fine, and having a great time out in the water, when we casually decided to go back to the beach and lay down for a bit.
We turned around and that’s when things went wrong.
The backrush of water was overpowering, the undertows were much stronger than I could handle and, without sounding cocky, I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years so for me to feel overwhelmed in the water is not a good situation.  I was so worried about Tanja.
There were many times that I got hit with a wave and sucked underwater by an undertow and ended up with some much rushing, swirling water that I quite literally didn’t know which way was up, I couldn’t find the surface.  A couple of times I only knew where to go to breathe by hitting my face on the sand underwater.  It took everything in my not to panic and to remember how to get out of this.  Tanja had started crying, I grabbed her hand and told her to swim sideways and to try to stay on top of the waves.  We fought the water for awhile, and I was very close to screaming and throwing my hands in the air so we could hopefully be rescued, but we got lucky and our feet hit sand a few times.  Thank god Darwin we did because I wasn’t sure how much longer I could fight and help Tanja too.  We didn’t get to stand for long.. every time we hit sand we got smacked by another wave, so we have to sort of shove off the sand as hard as we could to launch ourselves as far forward as we could towards the beach.  Eventually we made it back.  Completely exhausted and terrified, we laid on the sand for awhile before going back over to the other Tanja.
The rest of the day went well!  We got over our near death experience and kept on trying to make the most of our adventure in Sydney.  At least I have a story to tell now right?

Me and Tanja.. unaware of what’s about to happen

Tanja M deciding she didn’t want to go… she was the smarter of the three of us

Tanja’s top MIGHT have been waved off.. should’ve probably taken a hint

Ummm… that might be all I have to say about Sydney.  I had a really good time minus dieing and the awful hostel mates!  I would probably recommend only staying in Sydney for 3, maybe 4 days.  I was there for five and we ran out of things to do pretty quickly.  I did go see Wicked with Tanja K while we were there though and it was really awesome.

Thanks so much for reading!  Next post is about my University of Melbourne orientation and the week I spent with the international students.  It was SO much fun and I met a lot of the friends I stay in contact with now during that week.

Aren’t you glad I didn’t die?

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