...capture this moment and hope it do[es]n't pass...*

Eleven hours in a car for an 8 hour trip with three (3) friends and 1 driver. We rented a Silver Ford Falcon for 3 days. We had 5 mixtapes (CDs) to keep us going on such a long ride. Honestly, I slept for a good chunk of the time, but when I was awake, the backseat driver in me came out...so I think I'll need to keep myself distracted when someone else is driving for a long period next time (especially when its not my parents).

Nevertheless, we arrived at the Sydney Central YHA Hostel. It's a "5-star hostel," so it's almost as good as a hotel, sans room service. There was a sauna and cinema in the hostel, as well as ScuBar - "Sydney's bar 'down under'" (literally). We got a room with four (4) beds to ourselves and crashed upon our 2AM arrival Saturday morning. Our Saturday morning start turned into a search for day parking, then a look for brunch (1PM).

We ended up by North Shore, where the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are, so the food was quite expensive. After my first and last experience eating the traditional UK meal, fish and chips, we enjoyed a nice, cold beer in a brown paper bag on the side of the street -- classy. Seeing that I did not want my food, I thought the birds might be hungry, so the pigeons surrounded me...waiting....

Picture taken by Arianna F.
An aboriginal family/group was performing in front of the harbour. They called me to come up and join their music jam session (sesh), which was pretty fun. The guy playing the didjeridu (on right) also gave Washington, DC a shout out, naming the United States the best place he has been to.

Picture taken by Arianna F.

After making my first musical debut with the Aboriginal musicians, we headed to the infamous Sydney Opera House. We caught a glimpse of the Royal Botanical Gardens next to the Opera House, but the Harbour Bridge (World's largest, not longest, steel arch bridge) and sailboats captured our attention. 

Picture taken by Arianna F.
What better way to experience the Opera House when you're not seeing a show than to check out the washroom?! I'm pretty sure the toilets were heated and the bathrooms smelled like Bath and Body Works (I miss you...). Aside from checking out the loo, my friends and I decided we should get a coffee or beer at the Opera House -- when is that going to happen again!? Beer, it is.

As we were waiting to order, my eyes were set on a keyboard, stage, and microphone; as well as a beautiful Australian singer, performing for spectators of the Sydney Opera House. The pianist and another guy with him approached me, so I smiled, and we engaged in dialogue. About 4-5 questions in, I was offered a beer and a chance to sing in front of the Sydney Opera House.  WHY NOT (my motto while being in Australia). Who can say that they've gone to a country on exchange and been able to perform in front of a [inter]national icon, such as the Sydney Opera House. (Video of performance below)

Eminem:  Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity ; To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment ; Would you capture it or just let it slip?

The day continued to get better. We went to Sydney's 360 Bar and Dining, a restaurant with revolving floors so you get the view of the entire city,  for cocktail hour...but left with no cocktails or coffee. One of my friends from Belgium/the hostel that I went to Penguin Parade with on Phillip Island met up with my friends and I. It was so nice to have someone in the city to show us around! :)

Off to Darling Harbour for dinner. We only spent $10 on for our meals at Lizard Lounge. There were a lot of burger and fries (chips) options, but with all of the junk we had been eating throughout the road trip was enough for the weekend. Salad and kababs are never a bad idea.

It was Saturday night and we were in Sydney. I was prepared and excited to experience the Sydney nightlife. Unfortunately, my friends were exhausted and didn't have the energy to make it. So, I ventured alone to ScuBar. I didn't think it was too far of a distance to worry; after all, it was right "down" stairs. I bought myself a few drinks and danced the night away. Per usual, I met some cool people for the night and made one new friend from England that I already met up with again in Melbourne! ;)

The night ended for me at 6AM and I think it was all worth it. I mean, it's Sydney.
Three (3) hours later, I woke up to shower and check out of the room. I retold stories of my night with my friends over brunch and coffee. It was a beautiful day, so we headed to Bondi Beach -- one of Sydney's most famous beach.

Of course we entered the water for the sake of opportunity and felt the waves thrush as high as our knees, until the water began to come up too high. When in Sydney...

Bondi Beach in Sydney sounds like a great excuse for a new piercing. Arianna and I talked about getting our ears pierced together when we first met, so here was another chance to do something. We spotted a tattoo parlor across from the beach and headed over to create a memory. I got my left cartilage ear pierced and she got her tragus done. Afterward, we sat down at a Brazilian restaurant with a perfect view of  the beach.

 Our trip was coming to an end and for a day and a half, it was enough for now. I definitely think I'll be returning to Sydney. I'm not sure when, but we had something...

 *Eminem - Lose Yourself

It's better to Know than to Wonder

Take every experience as a new start. Trust your judgment.

Classes started on the 25th of July, and things are starting to get REAL. I really needed to get a job  in order to afford an Australian lifestyle for basic survival ($10-20/ avg. meal). So, I did at AegisDirect; and with many benefits. Essentially, I love my job. The atmosphere is great, as are the people. One point on the chart for Oz.

It took some time, but my schedule has been perfected. I'm taking four (4) courses/subjects:
  • Television and Popular Culture  - watch classic and modern TV shows that shape what we watch today and talk about it
  • Self and Other - psycho-social-political aspect of the relationship between Me and You and Everyone We Know
  • New Media and Future Technologies - we talk about the internet; new media vs. old media
  • Human Rights and Global Justice - talk about refugees; asylum seekers; and their rights to self-determination in political, medical, legal, social, and cultural aspects...interesting

My  group of friends at the Uni has grown. I've met several more Europeans and made some good friends from India (yup, we're staying away from most of the Americans around). To say the least, I may have found my "niche" with an excellent crowd (age 23.24.25); where my days and nights are usually long. We all contribute our own thing to the group and we have different outlooks on many things, but we always have fun. We go out and have fun; but with a touch of class. Home cooked  dinner (most of the time)and wine have become weeknight specials. Kindof like a family. One of my Italian friends (Arianna, from the hostel and Uni) made the most amazing tiramisu I've ever had. It was so good, I thought I'd take a picture so it could last longer…

I'm still curious about where all the Australians are -- or is that just me?
I also went to my first Aussie Rules Football (AFL) game - Collingwood versus Brisbane Lions. It took 5 minutes into the game to realize that I did NOT like/care about footy. Collingwood had already scored a point and I didn't understand why we needed to know how many 6-point and 1-point points were scored, separate from the total score...and I didn't see where the quarter/game time was, but that could be based on my inability to pay attention to the field after those first 5 minutes. Instead, my attention went to asking questions about the game and anything I didn't understand (sorry to the people who actually wanted to "enjoy" the game). Luckily (kindof), my friend and I were saved from 2 hours of boredom when our friend got kicked out for bringing outside beer into the stadium. I'm sure he was upset, but it was the perfect excuse to leave.
Too much has happened within the past few weeks. I was in a 24 hour musical where a show was written, produced, rehearsed, and performed within 24 hours. That means writers came together at 7PM the night before and we came in at 9AM to learn the script and music written specifically for the Mudfest 24 Hour Musical. I think it was quite a success. (SCENE: 1960s, Catholic school girls, abortion, acid trips, and grades becoming a determinant of the future).

On another note, any previous short-term 'like-affairs' mentioned in the past are now over. I've met a lot of guys since I've been here. None of them have made it very far because, of course, you need both physics and chemistry. It's funny because I've made good friends based on great chemistry and no physics. As expected, anything based solely on physics probably isn't worth my time.

Onto the next one....next: ROADTRIP TO SYDNEY 2011 ...of course there are stories ;)