I'll be home in just a little more than a month, and it's starting to freak me out. I'm excited to get home and see people, but Australia is definitely somewhere I'd like to stay. Despite the weather not really turning out in our favor, things are going well, and now that classes and papers are done, it's almost smooth sailing. I have two exams spread out over the next two weeks before I can officially be halfway through my junior year.
About that surf lesson I mentioned...I didn't do too badly. I got up twice, which is more than most people can do. Granted, I didn't stay up for very long, but maybe next time. I wore a wetsuit, which was great since the water is still pretty cold in Sydney. My friend Kendra took me and told me to avoid the bluebottle jellyfish, which I saw all along the beach. Once I got that fear out of my head, I enjoyed the water, although the waves tired me out due to the fact I'm not a strong swimmer and even the smallest waves are taller than me. I was extremely sore afterwards, but it was a great full-body workout. Good thing I can do all those pushups!
I went on my kayaking trip in Watson's Bay, which was pretty spectacular. The flies are pretty awful, but once we got into the water they left us alone. My friend Sarah, from high school, and I partnered up in a two-person kayak. I guess I'm renown for being strong because my roommates always ask me to open the jars and bottles, and Sarah asked for me to be in the back to be the power steerer. We went pretty well, I reckon. We kayaked almost to Manly, which is part of Sydney's northern beaches. Along the way we saw an old, pretty wrinkly naked man walking along some rocks. We giggled and then realized it was a nude beach. Haha. We kayaked a bit further to the entrance to the Tasman Sea. This was pretty surreal because it looked like a drop off; it was just a small opening and then wide, vast sea. Kind of eerie, really. Then we kayaked into various other bays with some incredible houses that apparently go for $10 million. We even saw Paul Hogan's Sydney House. (Speaking of houses, I've seen the 'Real World: Sydney' house in Darling Harbour; Paul I thought that might interest you.) I took the ferry back to Circular Quay, which was faster and way better than the bus.
Halloween in Australia isn't as big as it is at home, but I found some ways to celebrate. My ultimate team and I planned a bit of a Halloween party and then ventured off to this club, which was hosting a party with live music. I went as Peter Pan. My costume was pretty awesome considering I'm not my mother and can't sew and I was on a bit of a budget. I'll attach a picture. I did get some of my mom's creativity genes though and everyone loved my costume. The party was great, and there were some good costumes. I didn't go out on Halloween though. I got dressed to go out and then decided I'd watch Ghostbusters and study for an exam, which I think I dominated.
Last night was our big, formal Frisbee dinner. We all got dressed up and ate at this Nepalese restaurant. We had our own private room upstairs, and we sat on pillows on the floor. I was a bit skeptical about trying Nepalese food, but it turned out to be pretty good. Unfortunately we didn't get much for our $25, so that was a disappointment. My friend Waz and I were in charge of making and giving out awards to everyone, and that was a lot of fun. I was in charge of making the awards for the boys. My award was "Best Costume of the Year," with regard to my ridiculous outfit at one of the uni games party. After dinner we went into the city for some good ole karaoke. The place we went to had absolutely no ventilation and was seriously 100 degrees. Eventually we didn't even bother trying to wipe off the sweat anymore because everything just became drenched. I sang some tunes, "I Will Survive" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" were my spotlight moments.
Sadly, I had to say goodbye to some of my friends last night in a hurry because it was raining and we were hailing cabs. I wish I had had more time to say my goodbyes considering I may never see these guys again.
I'm headed off to Tasmania on Friday for a three-day tour and then in Hobart I'm going on a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. It turns out I'll be traveling with someone afterall. Originally some friends bailed, but it turns out my friend Kendra just booked the trip as well. I'm pretty excited.
That's about all the news from down under.