SYDNEY!

my mom and I on the boat cruising around Sydney

SYDNEY! Most people associate the Sydney Opera House with Australia, much like the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. so when I was about to head to AU I had numerous people telling me (regardless if they had been here or not) to go to the Sydney Opera House. I was lucky enough to stay only one night, in a very, extremely scary hostile (like one you would see in movies with cockroaches and everything, it was so ekky!) and enjoy the night life with a few of my friends and the rest of the weekend with my mom and brother. My mom and brother flew into the Sydney Airport on Friday morning and I met them at their hotel and was able to avoid the bullet of staying at the scary hostile another night like my friends did (they did not even have free pancakes like advertised, I think that was the most disappointing). After we rested for a while we headed down to Patty’s Markets. Beforehand we had to walk through China Town which is much like New York’s China Town but a little smaller. My friend asked me to find them these candies called White Rabbits and I was determined to find them. So, I went into around 6 different shops asking for these candies and none, I mean none of these people spoke much English. Every time I would ask them they would reply, ‘No, no we no have no rabbits, only kangaroos and koalas’. Which I assume they meant the stuffed animals but I never stuck around to ask. Eventually I gave up and accepted defeat and went shopping at the markets for clothes and jewelry instead, it was cheap too.

But that first night we were in Sydney we got to experience the real Aussie treatment by going to see Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a dramatic play, in the Sydney Opera House. Not only did we get to watch it but we were in the FRONT row! I mean close enough to watch them sweat! It was AMAZING. My mom and brother were a tad jet lagged and dozed off a little, I mean I have read the book 3 times and still can hardly understand Shakespearian language, but I was wide awake and thoroughly enjoyed the show.

My brother and I waiting for the train to see Macbeth

After a good night’s rest we headed to the docks for a cruise around Sydney. Our first stop was a place called Watson’s Bay. It did not seem all that interesting at first, then we went into this little restaurant for some food and ordered a muffin. I have to say it was the most delicious muffin I have EVER tasted! If anyone ever goes to Watson’s Bay go to this little cafe before you get to the sight seeing area, I’d tell you the name but I googled it and I cannot find it. This muffin was HUGE and it had pieces of pear and cinnamon in it, oh man, SO yummy. I could quite possibly live off those every morning it was that good. Not only was Watson’s Bay good for food but it also had amazing views.

The view from Watson's Bay

Once we headed back on the boat, we headed to Darling Harbor. This is where the real fun began because we had a little bit of a culture shock. The day we were visiting was actually Buddha’s birthday. Because of this, there was a large festival in his honor with real Monk’s and a lot of different kinds of foods to try. My brother really like Asian food so he tried something which I can only describe as chicken on a stick with peanut buttery tasting sauce. It doesn’t sound that good but it definitely was.

Another interesting thing we found at Darling Harbor was a street performer that my brother wanted to stop and watch for. It was a pretty woman dressed in athletic gear and was stretching. Sounds boring right? Well it was until she started moving her leg behind her head, she was a┬ácontortionist and she needed a helper from the audience. That was when my brother got called on to be a helper, which I thought was funny because he was the one who wanted to stop and of course she would pick him he was the biggest guy in the crowd. She first made him pick her up while both her legs were behind her head, it was pretty funny to watch. Then, she told him to lay down and put his hands on her shoulders, this was her next trick…

My brother and the contortionist

For her final act she asked my brother to hold a latter for her, this was what we watched from afar…

she got in that little box

Overall, it was a pretty amazing show and a pretty amazing day. For my brother that was probably his favorite part of Sydney, mine is in my next blog: The Sydney Harbor Bridge.

 

The Gold Coast

Before setting out to the Gold Coast, Andrew, my friend Emily and I went to another USC Rugby game. This one was extremely exciting because our friend Shaun actually scored a try! Unlike athletic teams back at Queens (or any college team in the US) at USC you are allowed to play until you are too old/tired to play. In saying this, for our friend to score a try was a pretty big deal. I also got some great pictures as well!

Shaun scoring a try!

a USC player after a heartfelt tackle

But once the game was over we headed to the train station. It took approximately 3/4 hours to get to the Gold Coast so we did not arrive until pretty late but it was definitely worth it. The next day we went shopping at the numerous outlet malls (American and Aussie stores) and laid out at the beautiful beach. Then we headed for our real destination, a true Aussie concert called Creamfields.

Emily and I before the concert

A little background on the concert is that it is held every year in different sections of Australia including Sydney, Perch, Brisbane, etc. DJ’s from all around come to play for it whether they are Dubstep DJs or House music DJ all are welcome. I learned a lot about the Aussie culture because almost everyone there was Australian! It was pretty crazy to see, for example:

this was your average male Aussie at the concert

Now I have not been to many American concerts but seeing Aussies in a natural place was actually extremely entertaining. Like I have said before, hardly any of the Aussies wore shoes, the guys hardly ever wore shirts and the girls wore pretty short shorts. This is all stereotypically speaking but it definitely opened my eyes to the youth of Australia. I was also with an Australian girl, Emily and she was able to pick out the Australian DJ’s. Some of the more famous artists included David Guetta, Alesso, and Dirty South. Overall it was an amazing concert and the Gold Coast was beautiful. Here are some pictures of the following night and the day after.

the city aspect

Queen's Max K. shaking hands with a street vendor

some of the group before we headed into the city

I definitely loved Gold Coast but right now I am currently packing for Sydney! From today until Sunday I will be traveling around the city and I even get to watch Macbeth front row at the Sydney Opera House!! What is even better is my mom and my brother are meeting me there! I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how my trip goes! :)