Saturday, 31 October 2009

So far much better ...

Since we didn't have sport class today I did what anyone would do. I hit the shops. :P I wanted to take a closer look at the fashion in Surry Hills, having only seen it in passing. Along Crown street there was an interesting mix of vintage and new expensive fashion.

I tried on a lot of vintage dresses and some of them were great. Unfortunately my favorite one had some holes in it so I didn't think it was worth the price. I did make another find in a second hand shop, though. A leather handbag that had never been used for only $25 dollar. I couldn't help myself, I had to have it. :)

I also had a nice brunch in a bakery/cafe. Green tea, organic porridge and a pain de chocolate. Mmm. Later on, after at trip to Paddington, I also had a chilled chai latte in a book shop/cafe. It was a great place to get a bit of writing done. After so much walking in the sun, the basement seemed like a nice place, although it did smell a bit damp.

What now? I don't know yet. But if nothing else, I'll make myself some nice tortillas and relax. Bliss.

Is writing next to the Shakespeare section a bit too much pressure?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Bad luck.

Apparently I have created bad karma at some point because today brought some nasty surprises.

The day started out fine. I got some work done at uni and had a nice lunch in the sunshine. But as I decided I had done enough for the day and went to the shopping center to buy a bag for my trips, I suddenly noticed my wallet was gone. It was nowhere to be found.

I ran back to uni and searched for it. Talked to the security people and tried to think back, but nothing. I just couldn't remember a single time when I could have misplaced it or it could have been taken. So either I was really really distracted when I forgot it, or someone was really really good at picking wallets out of closed handbags. Either way, its gone.

I've now blocked all my cards and just hope that at least the new Australian one will arrive by post before I leave for my first trip on the 11.11. Such bad timing!
But at least they were really nice at the bank, helping me out and giving me money from the account even though I didn't have any ID.

Another heart pumping experience came when I got home and by chance looked up at a wall in the house lobby. From behind a door a pair of hairy legs stuck out and when I peeked around the door I saw it: My first ever Huntsman spider (I think) in "the wild". Brrr.

I just hope it stays in the lobby and doesn't decide to take the elevator up to the fifth floor. How did it get in in the first place?!!

Of course, being as fascinated by spiders as I am scared of them, I couldn't not take a picture. Enjoy!

The flash of the camera discolors it a bit. It's about the size of the palm of my hand (so not the biggest Huntsman spotted in the world, but big enough).

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Spleeendid weekend

This weekend has so far been very nice. Ignoring the class I had Saturday morning, let's go straight for the fun parts.
Eva turned 25 and we celebrated by trying Lebanese food at a restaurant in Surry Hills.

It was a nice culinary experience and we were surprised by some traditional dancing. Being boring Europeans we didn't join in ... :) After dinner we found a nice vegetarian bar/restaurant were we had a drink and tried not to think about the early start Sunday morning.

Morning still came and after cirka 2 hours sleep (my cough kept me awake) I got up and dressed for the first ever breakfast on Sydney Harbour Bridge. The early start did dampen the spirits a bit but we were still very happy to be 5 of the 6 000 people who were allowed to attend. What luck that Sebastian is so lucky in lotteries!

We got to the bridge by train a bit after 6 am and waited in a huge line to get in at 6.30.

The event was well organized and once the gates opened the picnicers started to walk on to the grass covered bridge. On the way you could get free coffee, hear live music and watch 15 cows.

I really have to learn how to walk slowly. I was so eager to get to the grass that I could have won a olympic medal in speed walking ... Which of course isn't a good thing when you want to experience things. :/

I would say that we had one of the nicest spreads on the bridge, or at least in our sector. We could have stayed there eating all day. Unfortunately we had to leave by 8.30 so they could remove the grass again and re-open the bridge for cars.

The food demanded some rest afterwards ...

Trains kept running over the bridge trough out the picnic and it was quite weird having breakfast just a few meter away from them.

There was a lot of media on the spot and in the air. At least three helicopters were circling the bridge. No one wanted to interview us though which was quite nice.

(A channel 9 reporter)

We got some free food and memorabilia, for example caps in a green or suspect yellow color that made you look like a tennis ball. We also got some nice jam, bread and yoghurt.

Me admiring myself in the surprisingly comfortable hat.

We were really lucky with the weather. Just a few hours after the breakfast it started raining like mad. Umbrellas weren't allowed on the bridge so it could have gotten really wet. But the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and it wasn't too hot or too cold.

Great weekend!
(Annette certainly enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. And rightly so!)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Colorful artwork

So for weeks people have been knitting during the weekend market in my local park. I actually wanted to join them a few times but had class so I couldn't.
Well, the day I got back from Townsville I took a walk past the park and found this! The knittings were everywhere! On trees, benches, poles etc, etc. It' so much fun. I've seen it in other places too but never this much. It made me smile. :)

Is it me or does this bench look a bit weird ... Hrm.

Why aren't all palm trees covered in yarn. It is so colorful!


Even the police station got its share. In matching colors!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A week in North Queensland

I spent last week in Townsville in the Australian tropics. Me and my classmate Mie from Denmark went there to work on a project about the Great Barrier Reef. We did interviews with a lot of people but also had time to explore the city and its main attraction, Magnetic Island.

Now that I'm back in Sydney again I have about 4 weeks left of studies and then I'm off for some more adventures. Yay!

Mie and I shared a room at a hostel in Townsville CBD. It wasn't great but it had comfortable beds and you could sit outside and read and write while enjoying the warm weather.

(It looks better than it was. My camera does instant renovation jobs! I do like the brick feature keeping up the left corner of the bed.)

We did many interviews during our stay, for instance with sugar cane farmers in the area. Now I've eaten sugar cane straight from the field!

Some of the farmers we visited.

Mie taking pictures of a fullgrown sugar cane crop.

On the weekend we went to Magnetic Island where we did a 5km mountain track. It doesn't sound very bad but it was a lot of upwards climbing which was tough. But we made it! And we were fast. The sign said it would take 2,5 hours and we did it in 1 hour 45 minutes. Haha!

We hade some adventure when Mie nearly steped on a snake. A lady had warned us that we might see it a bit further up the track but it still came as a surprise. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't have time to take a picture of the snake. We were a bit too shaken for that ... Hrm.

The easy part in the beginning of the track.

Happy to be on my way down the "mountain" again. Soon we'll be on the beach!

We also thought we would be a bit cultural and visit the North Queensland Museum. And guess what, I lost my head!

And at the end: A beach pic of course. My first Australian beach where I actually went in the water!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sydney things I'm getting good at

Another list. Just for fun. Procrastination? Maybe ... So, 10 things I'm getting good at here (and I am now jinxing):

  1. Getting up from my train seat in just the right second before a stop.
  2. Small talk in shops. Yes, me!
  3. Operating the washing machines. They are my new best friends.
  4. Applying sun screen.
  5. Reading maps and finding obscure places. Again: Yes, me!
  6. German! (Well, okay, better ...)
  7. Knowing what's on Aussie tv and when.
  8. Using the 1000 different Eftpos machines. Swipe or not? Me or you? Savings or credit? Oh, you only take cash? Oh, well.
  9. Showing my members card at the uni union shops.
  10. Juggling too many things at a time. (I think my brain is in at least 4 pieces. Not just left and right, but North, East, South and West. )

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A peculiar creature I am.

Yes, I have bought a wool hat. In Australia. In spring. Yes, I am a bit weird.

But. I never find any wool hats in Finland that fit me and I really liked this one. It's soft and warm and made in New Zeeland. So, this one is following me home in December and is going to be very much in use.

I decided to be a tourist this morning and went to The Rocks area and looked in the more touristy shops. I had a sudden urge for sheepskin boots (also known as UGGS) but we'll see about that. They're not cheap.

I should have been disapointed that my day off was cloudy but it was actually really nice in the beginning. The temperature was around 17 degrees, no wind, and just a slight drizzle that made my hair go all frizzy. Like a nice Finnish autumn day. A day you actually can buy a wool hat with a good conciense.

After lunch it really started to rain so I took refuge in then Museum of Sydney and learnt all about the first fleet, Harbour Bridge, important people etc. There was a special exhibition about the Sydney trams which sounds really boring, but it was actually quite colorful and cute.

The musem wasn't very big but it had some fun features so I liked it. As always I spent some time afterwards in the gift shop (so many fun, useless things!) and then had a cookie and green tea at the museum cafe while writing some postcards.

Now I'm back home but will meet friends in a while. Indian food and a lie down movie. Fun!

Friday, 2 October 2009

The small things

So, the past week has been our "study break". In other words, I've been studying more this week than any other.
There's about one month left of my active semester and the deadlines are piling up. Next week I'm actually going to Townsville with a Danish classmate to write some kind of story about the Great Barrier Reef. I'm looking forward to the trip but I wish we had all the plans a bit more under control.

Since things are a bit tough right now I'm trying to think of nice things in life. Nice stuff so far this week:

1. Coffee and lunch breaks with friends who are also stuck at uni with studies.

2. Initial travel plans for November and December. How to choose?!!

3. Warm weather (although just a second ago there was thunder).

4. Messenger contact with the most important people in my life.

5. Lush´s Chocolate and Orange soap.

6. Letters from my grandfather.

7. Found the watch I thought I had lost at uni!

8. Fresh fruitsalad from building 4´s cafĂ©. Mmm.

9. Fictional books that take the mind of other things. (The train ride to uni is way to short.)

10. Brainless morning tv that keeps you awake. (Who doesn't want to see a guinea-pig race?)