Hello again! Time for an update…
I have been really bad at catching up with people recently because it’s been a stressful couple of weeks. Being in the middle of a semester sucks. Since it’s stressful, I’m going to answer the question I get asked by the people I am having to put on hold for work: how’s Sydney?
So, I live on the other side of the harbour bridge to the rest of Sydney- this sounds horrific, like I would spend an inordinate amount of time commuting, but I still get excited, even 2 months in, at the bridge and the Opera house- none of the locals understand this entertainment. I managed to get a cheap student ticket to see something in the Opera house which ultimately made me appreciate it more: the inside is so grand and the bar has a beautiful view that just reminds you how sexy that building really is. If you can get inside the concert hall and the back bar (legally, of course), do it.
I haven’t gotten out of playing sardines, sadly: My first lecture requires leaving in peak time. At least there’s a nice view. Then, I arrive at uni where the main building was based upon Oxbridge with the notion of ‘whatever the poms can do, we can do too’ (POM=prisoner of motherland) and, thus, were the first uni to accept students on academic merit alone.
Sydney is amazing. It is beautiful, sunny, filled with fantastic people and food: I always judge a place on its food. I’m lucky to be here and I love it, the work interests me, there’s so much to do and so many people I want to chat with and go to fun things with… but here lies the problem: there is too much I want to do and balancing is quickly becoming an art I’ve very obviously not perfected. I want to do everything and experience everything as soon as I get the urge to do it because I’m scared I will forget this amazing thing and it’s something that could just make you love life… but then I have a deadline in a few days and I have no idea if I did the right thing… and then I have a lecture to go to.
The last two weeks were really bad. I realised how much I had on and felt the overwhelming sensation of running on a treadmill that has the up button stuck. I’d planned to go scuba diving without realising how much theory was involved the same week I had work due and several big pieces in the upcoming weeks. I ended up postponing scuba diving to my pockets tears, a lesson in my sanity is worth the $100 postponing fee. I’m lucky I have people who put up with my bad moods and break downs with grace and kindness, otherwise I would be alone and that would feel even worse.
Homesickness is also becoming a reality: I’ve never really missed home before. Maybe the odd occasion I was tired at uni and no one was understanding what I was saying and all you want is someone who responds exactly as you need them to, or when I was particularly ill and wanting looking after but never really to be somewhere I’d been longing to leave. I’ve taken to thrusting my phone into people’s faces and going “Look! Look how pretty this is! It’s in the UK!”.
The realisation of no cold Christmas on the other side of the world hit the oth
er day: no early dark nights with twinkling lights, no Christmas dinner with my family and no present buying with family and friends for family and friends, deliberating what they will like. I love present shopping, it’s like flicking through memory triggers and deciding which one suits the occasion. On the plus side, I will do present shopping before I leave which will be a lot of fun, I’m so excited- maybe too much so. I’ve even started writing ideas down…
Even though I haven’t painted the best picture with the previous paragraphs, I am loving this. I love the challenge and it’s an amazing feeling to have somewhere that was a wild tangle of unknown suddenly feel familiar, like the moment you remember how to get to this one street just purely because you know the names on a map. Weirdly, I’m enjoying the challenge of balancing things too, even if break downs are an occupational hazard.
To end, a few notes for anyone maybe going to Sydney: Surfcamp is awesome, I strongly recommend it. You meet lots of people, have fun surfing and get a free t shirt! PADI certificates and sky diving are cheaper in winter because no one wants to do it in the ‘cold’, same with the beaches, they’re all empty in winter. For travelling around New Zealand, Kiwi tours often have discounts.