Winter Break 2016: Part Three "We Did The Thing."

As with most things I do, quality gets worse with time.

Case in point, my ability to journal.

So, here's what happened in Australia, verbatim from my journal, picking up from where we left off:

Last Day in Auckland/First Day in Australia:

Woke up at 3am
Checked in 4:30am
Flight 6am
Slept the whole way
Landed at 7:30am
Declare/Don't declare -->Stupid soil
Hostel --> Arrived at 9:30am? 10:30am?
Ate @ Colombian Cafe
Art Museums --> Ran into Fumi
Lost Fumi
Went back to hostel
Burrito, margarita, guac
Walked around

What actually happened:

Once landing in Australia, I tried to "do the right thing" and declare my shoes because I technically went hiking. Bad idea. Because I checked that I went hiking and "had soil" on my person, I had to go into the long line for people who had to declare items. After getting told to stand in 3 different lines, I finally got a guy who asked to see the shoes I went hiking in. I showed him my gym shoes (that I was wearing) and shrugged. He sighed a heavy sigh and then asked if I had any sort of fruit on me ("Apples? Bananas?" as if I forgot what fruit what). Because I was fruit-less he just pointed the exited and said "baiiiii." (Not really, but he seemed as enthused as I was to be dealing with my "hiking"/"soil" problem.)

I made my way out to the arrivals area and saw all the people waiting with signs and balloons that you normally see at the arrivals gates. It was a really lonely feeling to be arrive and have no one waiting for you. It doesn't feel like a grand adventure when you get off the plane and realize how alone you are.

So I make it out, buy myself a train pass (called Opal card in Sydney), a SIM card, and exchange money.... And it's not even 10am yet!

Upon making it to the hostel, I lock my stuff in a locker (because my bed wasn't cleaned yet) and set out to discover Sydney, NSW, Australia with Sarah (a fellow Fulbright Korea ETA).

You're probably wonder why I even went to Australia. See, if I had gone home (to Korea) right after NZ I would have landed during the Seollal (the Lunar New Year). My host family suggested not coming home then because it would be awful to travel in Korea during the holiday. It also worked out because in New Zealand I got to see the all of Yasutomis' except Fumi because Fumi is in med school in Sydney. So wouldn't that be great to see him while I'm in Sydney?

Sarah and I take our first day to just walk around and go to museums. We walk into the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and who else is also at the museum? Fumi. We eventually lost each other in the museum, but made plans to meet up later.

Sarah and I went to eat a burrito, have a margarita, and enjoy the guacamole for dinner. Man, did we love the margaritas and guac.

Second day in Australia:

Tried to find market
Walked across Harbor Bridge
Stumbled upon The Rocks Market
Harbor Tour - so/so
Ate burgers
Came back to hostel
Met Fumi --> Thai food/gelato

What actually happened:

On the second day we tried to find a market. We never found the market we were looking for, but we did get to walk across the harbor bridge and then found a market at The Rocks. We then went on a Harbor Tour (which was "meh") and got some solid tourist pictures. That night we met Fumi at his place of residence (a dormitory for The University of Sydney) then went to eat Thai food and gelato.

I didn't talk about it in my NZ post, because it ended up being really long and I ran out of steam, but seeing the Yasutomis' was something really special. I feel really loved in Korea, but seeing them, being with them, was something more like being with family. It's so strange to know people, and spend almost 10 years apart, but still feel like they're your family.

Third day in Australia:

Blue Mountains Hike
Legs = SO. TIRED.
Met Krista (Canadian) and got pizza together
Sunscreen = 11.50

What actually happened:

We went on our Blue Mountains Tour/hike/thing. Man... Was that exhausting. Then we went to get pizza at this hole in the wall expensive pizza place. It was a place my dad would have loved. I wish I remembered the name.

NOTE: The details are really starting to fade now.

Fourth day in Australia:

Bondi to Coogee Walk
Olympic Park
Lunar Market

What actually happened:

On the fourth day, we did the Bondi to Coogee Walk. Then we bused over to the Olympic Park. It was sorta cool because that was the first Olympics I really remember. (S/O Thropedo!) And at night we went to the Lunar Market (a pop-up market for the Lunar New Year) and had Korean food. (Cuz we don't get enough in Korea! lolz.)

Fifth day in Australia:

Manly Beach
So much sand (the worst)
Swimming in the ocean (the best)

What actually happened:

We took a ferry to get to Manly Beach, which meant that we had traveled by every mode of transportation in Sydney. (Excluding taxi because taxis in Sydney are expensive!)

And this was the day that I realized I love the ocean. I want to live by the ocean one day so I can just go swimming in it whenever I want!

Leaving Australia:

Going home! (To Korea)
Woke up @ midnight & 6am
Left hostel @ 7:10am
Got to airport at 7:40am
Left $5 on Opal Card
Customs and check-in was so easy
Currently have $2.15 to my name... hungry, but waiting to eat flight food
Want to find water fountain
Walked almost entire departures area to find magnets &/or stickers
Got 4 magnets & 3 stickers for ~35AUD
Must buy new cord. This one sucks.
@75% I'll go to the bathroom and find a water fountain

What actually happened:

All of ^^ did happen, but the important story happened right before I was going to board the plane.

For those that don't know, I have pretty bad anxiety about traveling. That being said, when I was about to board the plane to come back to Korea, I handed my passport and ticket to the woman then she turned to her coworker and said "This is the passenger you wanted. Please step over here."

My heart DROPPED to my stomach. In a second I was thinking "This is it. They won't let me board. I'm stuck here. I'm poor and I'm stuck here."

It ended up not being a big deal. They just needed to check my visa and make sure I wasn't trying to like escape to Korea or something.

So that's that.


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