Bali, Indonesia: a holiday from my holiday, part II.
(read part I here)
Bali, Indonesia: a holiday from my holiday, part II.
(read part I here)
Brisbane, Australia: Ten days is too much, yet not enough
When we get to YHA Brisbane, we have one very important job to do: go shopping at H&M! We take the train to Indooroopilly shopping center and we find out that H&M in Australia is shit. We buy some essentials anyway, and go back for some quick lunch at the food court. For dinner, we go to Caxton Street and end up at a Thai place, where Sharon finds out that she likes Thai food! We decide that all the bars around us are too intimidating, and we go to sleep.
The following day, we walk around for ages, trying to find a bus that will take us to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. When we finally find one, we wait 45 minutes before it arrives and takes us to our destination. Entrance is $31.50 and taking a picture with a koala is $18 – heaps cheaper than going to Australia Zoo! Our koala, Becks, is the sweetest, not wanting to let go of Sharon, and nuzzling her face against my neck.
We go to the central shop to get our pictures, but mine never arrives. The photographer approaches me after a while, telling me my picture jammed the printer. Great, my face breaks everything!
We go look at wombats, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and various birds before heading to a grassy area to feed kangaroos. We approach some kangaroos lying down, but they’re not very hungry. We eventually find a smaller one who’s being very greedy with the food. Every time we think he’s done eating, he nudges our paper bag full of food. We are in love!
Back at the hostel, we decide to starton Project Blue Hair. I’ve wanted it for a while, and almost gave up on it until I found some blue hairdyes in Surfer’s Paradise. We put two colors in three different cups and mix them with conditioner to water them down a bit. So we sit on the floor in our dorm room, with foil and blue dye everywhere, much to the amusement of our Swiss room mate.
Here’s the result:
The following day, Craig and Andy, who we met in Sydney, join us. Craig wants to buy a van and travel around, and Andy is going to stay and look for a job. We have beers on the roof of our hostel and feel fine until we head back down to our rooms, where we temporarily pass out in the hallway by the toilets.
The next day, we end up meeting up with three Germans who are selling their pink van, decorated with flowers, for $2000. We name her Princess Rosie. As Craig tries to drive it up a steep hill to the parking lot however, it fails to do anything but roll downhill.
Lauren, whom I met in Kuta, Bali, meets us in the Valley at Rics Bar for cheap drinks. She brings her friends Lukas and Ruby. Sharon, the guys and I are really enjoying talking to people who aren’t backpackers for once, and they are such hilarious people.
We find an inflatable parrot on the floor, which I grab and immediately name Perry. I try to deflate him by sitting on him, which looks very inappropriate, of course. Most of the night, I try to imitate a parrot, saying “ARGH! PERRY!”. It’s funnier than it sounds, I promise.
We go to a different bar, which is completely empty at first. As we dance and fill up on gin soda limes, the bar gets busier. Lauren, Lukas and Ruby call it a night, since it’s only Thursday, and the rest of us continue to dance with Perry. By the way, when you bring a prop to a place full of drunk people, you’re going to have to fight for it. As I am standing there, talking to a guy named Jack, a girl actually grabs it out of my hand as she walks by me. As if stealing it right from me is no big deal at all. I am speechless and in my drunken state decide that Sharon needs to get it back for me, which she does. The girl actually claims it’s hers, can you believe it?
After a long night with way too much gin in my bloodstream, I decide that I need a kebab and my bed. Of course that means everyone else has to follow me home, which I am not pleased about. We end up getting a taxi back to YHA, and go to bed around 3.30.
The day after, we’re all pretty beat, but still drunk. We go to breakfast and have beers and ciders, then head to a bottle shop for a few drinks while we go to the pool. The pool is unbelievably cold, and after a game of catch with a rugby we call Russell or Jeremy, I go pass out on a sunbed. Andy drops by with a big case of beer, and they decide to try to throw me in the pool, even though I am wearing all my clothes. As Craig puts me down, I decide “What the Hell?” and jump in, fully clothed. We play Piggie in the Middle, with Sharon and I being the piggies, and we get aggressive. Mind you, we’re also very drunk. The rest of the day is pretty quiet though, as we slowly sober up.
Saturday is Anzac Day, where we remember the fallen Australian and Kiwi soldiers. There is a big parade on the main street, which we go check out.
We have Subway sandwiches on the warm grass on the Anzac Square, listening to speeches broadcasted from Turkey, where the battle took place. For dinner, we decide to be super Australian and have kangaroo steaks, baby potatoes with parsley, and of course, goon.
Craig’s Canadian roommate, Nick, joins in, and it’s all good fun until I yet again am too drunk and need food. Craig and I go for a late night snack at McDonald’s, taking ages to get back with cheeseburgers for the rest of the group, because we sit down to eat our nuggets, while talking to Sharon on the phone, saying we’re on our way.
On Sunday, we go to an AFL game: Brisbane Lions vs. Westcoast Eagles. We go all out, buying souvenirs, beers and snacks, while sitting almost front row, cheering loudly. Apparently, Lions haven’t won a single game this season, but we still root for them and enjoy the game very much. Sharon and I mainly drool over all the Lances on the team.
After the game, everyone rushes out on the field and kick their balls around. Sharon buys one, and all of us tackle each other, go long and so on. We’re covered in grass by the time we leave the stadium. Back at the hostel, Sharon dyes my hair again, and we get our goon out on the rooftop, where we all decide to extend long enough to go out again on Thursday.
The day after, Sharon, Craig and I take everything out of the van, Princess Rosie, and clean her and dress the bed in new sheets, wash all the pots, buy new cups and wash the doona. It takes us most of the day and we’re exhausted by the time we’re finished. We decide to make it easy and just get a pizza for dinner.
Tuesday, we end up having drinks on the roof and start playing Heads Up, when a big group of Canadians join us. It gets loud and kind of out of hand, so when we kicked off the roof by midnight, we go back to bed. When I wake up at 2 AM, Sharon is gone and not answering the phone. I freak out until Craig answers his phone and tells me everyone went out to a bar on Caxton street. I go back to sleep, but when I wake up Sharon still isn’t back. She makes up for it by buying me Skittles. I go for a ride to a store with Craig, and spend most of the day chilling out on a couch. After that, we hang out in the game room, where we attempt to play pool (I end up on the pool table several times). We are bored, so we go for a walk and end up at McDonald’s. Then we go back and watch Gladiator and pass out soon after that.
Thursday’s the big day! I’ve been looking forward to going out again for several reasons. Unfortunately, I wake up bloated and my stomach’s cramping up. I spend all day buying Gatorade and drinking water to rehydrate, drinking peppermint tea and taking pills for bloating, cramping, pains and nausea. I even have a nap that makes me feel so much better for like 5 minutes. Everytime I stand up I feel like vomiting, and my cramps are getting worse. It’s raining heavily, so we have dinner in the kitchen and drink a few beers. I hope the half beer I have will loosen up the knots in my stomach, but it makes things worse, so my mood is pretty shit. It’s Andy’s last night with us, as he has gotten himself both a house and a job, so I say goodbye to him and then head to bed… Where a very drunk English girl in the bed above me smuggles her loud boyfriend in. For the next hour, all I hear is “yum yum, ginger cookies” and “sshhh shut up!”. At 6 in the morning, they get up, still drunk, and try to pack.. loudly. I am furious, but at least my stomach cramps are almost gone.
So, a city we hated at first ended up being a city we now love. Thanks to Craig and Andy failing at fixing the car, we’ve kept extending to the point where we are now YHA members!
Surfer’s Paradise and Gold Coast, Australia: I’m drunk
Coming from a small hippie town where everyone wear tie-dye dresses and no shoes (Byron Bay) and going to Surfer’s Paradise with skyscrapers and Macca’s is just what we need. We are staying at The Islander, which is very close to the main strip that leads to the beach. Since we arrive in the evening, we go to an Irish pub on the strip for dinner and some beers, when our friend Jay calls us.
Jay was a guest at The Pink Palace back in 2013, and what a legend. Always wearing Budgy Smugglers and singing Disney songs, he was one of those people you remember very well. We’ve all kept in touch, and he’s invited us to stay at his parents’ house in a few days. And right now, he is out with a friend, drunk, and wants to meet up.
Sharon and I quickly finish a few beers and then meet Jay and his friend Veronica. We go to The Avenue, where we all spend at least $100 each on drinks and dance to the live music. We’re having a great time, when I spot a guy from Boracay that Sophie and I desperately tried to avoid. So what do I do? I go over to him and say hi of course! After that, we go to Orporto for a late night snack, before Sharon and I go back to the hostel and crash.
The following day, we go to a Vodafone store to sort out a plan. We are told we need our passports, so we go back to the hostel to get them. When we come back, we are told we need a list of transactions from our Australian bank account. We go to the bank to get them, but their printer is not working. We go buy lunch at Woolies, when the bank calls us to inform us the printer is working again. We get the lists, go to Vodafone and then I realize I need to go get my Westpac card, instead of my Danish card, so I run back to the hostel again. When I get back, we finally get things sorted out. We eat our lunch back at the hostel, but it’s nowhere near filling, so we run to McDonald’s, where we order on touch screens (!). We treat ourselves to a nap after our trying day, and for dinner, we have Mexican food and frozen sangria. We’re mentally and physically preparing ourselves for the mayhem that is hanging out with Jay.
We check out in the morning and go to Ripleys Believe it or Not!, which is an interesting experience. Kinda shit, really.
We then go sit on the beach for a while. It’s a beautiful day, but we didn’t bring our bathing suits, so we just sit on a staircase in the sun and look at the bright blue sea, when Jay calls. He is on his way to pick us up, so we head back to the hostel to pick up our backpacks. We drive for a while before we reach Sanctuary Cove, a gated community on the Gold Coast. We are staying with Jay’s parents, Cathy and Ian, in their beautiful 4 bedroom (I think?) house – or should I say mansion!? I have never stayed in a nicer house, and it’s full of life – the parents of another Pink Palace guest are also staying, as well as Jay’s sister, Nikki.
I jokingly ask Jay about kangaroos and whether there are any around here, since there is a big golf course in their backyard. He asks Nikki and Cathy as if I’m crazy, which makes me regret it – until Cathy takes us in her golf buggy to see a big mob of them! A few of the females are carrying joeys, and they let us get pretty close to them, before jumping away. Such a great experience.
Jay is heading to work at the Cove, and we sit back at the house for a while, watching TV with Nikki. Around dinnertime, Nikki drives us to the Cove so we can get some food and drinks while watching Jay work. It’s a Tuesday, which is usually pretty quiet, but as soon as we arrive, it gets quite busy. We have a few beers and one of Jay’s homemade drinks, which gets me pretty drunk. After Jay gets off work at around 10 PM, we go back and watch Aladdin in the TV room. After that, we watch Pawn Stars and I am so intrigued that I fall asleep and start snoring. Loudly. We go back into the room and have an amazing nights sleep in the most comfortable bed I’ve been in in ages.
The next morning, Jay gets up early to play golf with his dad, while we sleep in. Around 11, we finally get up and lazily starts dressing before trying to sort out bank stuff. It’s proving to be very difficult. Nikki knocks on our door an hour later to let us know they’re heading out for the day, and then Jay gets back and takes us to his workplace, where we get some food – we’ve only eaten a banana all day. At night, Jay is working again, and the whole family is going out, so they show us how to drive the golf buggy – and that’s how I drove my first golf buggy!!
Scared shitless about driving on the left side in the dark, I manage to get us to the Cove, where it is completely hectic, with an hour long wait for food. We try a sparkling wine called Innocent Bystander, just because of the name, and it proves to be amazing. A few of those later, we are driving home behind Jay. It turns into a bit of a witch hunt, Jay being the witch who’s driving with his lights off.
The next day, we sleep in yet again, and since Jay has a few stuff to sort out, he drives us to Main beach. We lay out there for a while, before we decide to walk 3 km to Surfer’s Paradise for lunch. We accidentally end up on a crazy shopping spree, buying jewelry, blue hairdye, clothes and whatnot. Before we know it, it’s almost 5 PM and Jay is on his way to pick us up.
We go to the Cove for dinner again, and then we pre-drink at Jay’s house, before going out in Surfer’s. First up, we go to Waxies for beers, then Avenue for more drinks, and then Orporto for late night snacks, before being picked up by an Uber driver.
On our last full day with Jay, we go to the mall to buy some stuff, and some beer and champagne for his parents as a thank you for letting us stay with them. We have a quick nap before sitting down with everyone for a great dinner and a chat about our countries educations systems and how we can extend our stay in Australia. Jay and Kimberly (the mom of the other PP guest) have a great discussion about equality. Kimberly brings up hand jobs. We are almost on the floor, laughing.
We start pre-drinking, taking turns introducing each other to good music, when our Uber driver arrives a bit too early. We hurry outside and go to Surfer’s yet again. At Waxies, we meet up with a couple of Jay’s girlfriends, joking about how Jay has so many girls sitting around him, and yet he’s still watching the sports game on TV. We move on to Melba’s, a nightclub full of creeps grabbing us for a dance every now and then. Jay follows one of the girls home, as she is “too drunk”, so Sharon and I grab his keys, go to Orporto, and then get an Uber driver back to Sanctuary Cove.
In the morning, Jay calls me and asks me to unlock the front door. He then goes to sleep, while we start packing very slowly. I am feeling hungover for the first time in ages, but thank God it’s not too hard to be alive today. We go to Macca’s for brunch, before Jay drives us all the way to Brisbane, which is so sweet of him. We’re going to miss him so much!
Byron Bay, Australia: What was supposed to be two relaxing (read: boring) days on the beach, became so much more than that.
It’s early morning and we get off the Greyhound bus in Byron Bay, a small hippie town, after 13 hours. A female staff member picks us up at the bus stop and drives us to the beach, then to the hostel, Backpackers Holiday Village, where we check in. We stay in a 4-bed dorm with our own common area with TV and a kitchen. We are exhausted after our bus ride, so we unpack and go back to sleep.
In the evening, we decide to go to Cheeky Monkeys across the street for a $5 dinner and a free drink. We’re absolutely starving, waiting outside for 40 minutes before the place opens. We get talking to Hannah and Sarah from England while queuing up, and we end up sitting at the same table. Immediately, we realise that these girls are just as disgusting and filthy-mouthed as we are. Score! For dinner, Sharon and I order pasta carbonara. Bad choice. After that, we get our free drink, and since there’s face painting happening on stage, we line up for that, too. People keep skipping the line, despite the four of us being next, which annoys us. When my turn comes, I am stuck with the new girl on the job, so she takes around 40 minutes painting my face. I tell her to make me look like a mermaid and this is what I end up with:
Over-saturated, because the colors looked really shit
Sharon asks another girl to paint her pink and purple, but instead, the girl says “I am going to make you look like an intergalactic fairy!”, so she also gets some bright green on her face.
Sharon, Hannah, Sarah and I leave Cheeky Monkeys after being harassed about not donating to the paint girls, and we head to The Northerner, where a guy is playing a set on his guitar. We get some more drinks, and Sharon and Sarah, who both celebrated their birthdays on Monday, convince the guy that it’s their birthday, and he dedicates a song to them. A very drunk girl comes over to take photos with the Scissor Sisters on Tour (that’s the four of us) and says she “loves” us.
We decide to move on from the bar, and Hannah and Sarah drags us in to Cocomanga, which is more of a nightclub. While Sarah is talking up all the guys to get a free drinks, we are all standing around with our drinks, laughing at her. I decide she is my inspiration in life. The nightclub isn’t really our scene, so we quickly tire from it, and decide to just go to bed. It’s 1.30 AM.
The next day, we all go to Wreck beach together. It’s right next to Main beach, and has parts of an old shipwreck partially submerged not too far out in the water. People occasionally swim out to climb the rudder tiller (that’s what Wikipedia says it is), so of course I want to do that too.
I convince Hannah to come with me, as I am really scared of shipwrecks. They’re scary! We swim out, thinking we’ll never make it because of the big waves pulling us back in, but eventually we make it out to the ship. And we can’t climb it. A lifeguard passes us by to tell us to come back for high tide tomorrow.
Me, failing at life
Bummed out, we swim back, and find out that Hannah has cut her wrist on the rudder tiller. It’s quite a big cut, so we go to the lifeguard tent and get it cleaned up.
For lunch, we go to Hog’s Breath and wait ages for food that isn’t even that good. We are very disappointed with our lunch, so we just head to the bottle shop and buy some goon (Sarah’s never had it before!), so we can redeem ourselves later.
We all go to Domino’s for dinner, as the pizzas are $5! We eat them at the outdoor common area at the hostel, when it starts to rain. I feel a few drops on my hand and says “Guys, I think it’s starting to rain”, and right then, it starts to pour down very heavily. We move in to a more covered area, and start playing Wham Bam Slam!, and of course Sarah really sucks at it and has to drink a lot of goon, and she gets so drunk that she falls asleep in her chair.
More people join in on the card game – a bit too many – but it’s still fun nonetheless. I convince everyone I’m from Kenya, and I don’t know how.
As the staff tries to get us to go out, we retreat to our common area by our room. We talk a bit to our Swedish room mates, before going to bed. Extremely early.
We wake up early the next day and go to Wreck beach again. Of course, the sea is being super rough today, so the beach is closed for everyone but the surfers. The four of us just lay out to get some sun, talk about Sarah’s inability to poop over the last few days, and check out all the Lances (hot guys) on the beach. We keep having to move our stuff further up the beach, as the waves come closer every half hour-fifteen minutes. We go out in the water and try to jump over the waves, and I lose my sunglasses. We find them, but then another wave washes it away, and they’re gone forever. Time to go shopping!
After buying new sunglasses, we go back to the hostel and fix up some lunch. We find a “dragon” that we name George under one of the tables, and me and Hannah climb over to investigate.
We say goodbye to Sarah, who’s on to her next destination, and we have a nap. For dinner, we have mac and cheese, which on the box says it’s supposed to serve 4 people, but we are left feeling hungry even after devouring the whole thing. We run to Woolies and buy more food, which we eat while having a few beers. We all decide to have a quiet night, so we head to bed after watching some of season 18 of South Park in the TV room.
The next day, the weather is really shitty, so we don’t bother going back to the beach. We’re bored, so we decide to go to the Cinema right next to the hostel, and watch Cinderella. We sit in this small, really smelly room full of kids and munch on popcorn and watch an amazing movie. After it’s done, the weather is a bit better, and we go to Miss Margarita for lunch. It’s a Mexican place that’s always packed, and the food there looks amazing. We sit down and have 3 soft tacos each, and must admit that the food tastes amazing, too.
At night, there is a $10 BBQ at the hostel, that we all join in on. We wait for ages, but it’s worth the wait. After that, we play some cards until we get kicked out and have to go to Cheeky Monkey for our free drink. We end up dancing for quite some time with Harry (who reminds us of Alex from the Palace), until we finish all our free drinks. I decide to go home, while Sharon and Hannah stay until they’ve finished their beers.
On our very last day in Byron Bay, we have Miss Margarita for lunch yet again – their nachos and sangria are amazing, too! – and we finish our South Park season 18 marathon, before getting on our bus to Surfer’s Paradise and seeing the most amazing sunset.
Sydney, Australia: Mom, Dad, I am never coming back.
Going to Australia has always been one of those dreams of mine that I never thought would actually come true. I imagined this Paradise with beautiful people with those amazing accents, new friends on every street corner, kangaroos and koalas, amazing nature – and Christmas on the beach! And it’s only a million hours away from home!
Sharon and I used to work together at The Pink Palace. The year of 2013 was a great year for us, and we immediately decided we would go on the trip that was dubbed “The Husband Hunt”. Of course, there were times when it seemed like yet another travel plan that failed to come through, but here I am, listening to people saying “no worries, mate” and “how are ya going?” as they pass by, and I’m just loving my life.
We arrive at WakeUp! Hostel a bit past noon. My mission for the day is getting a new iPhone, and I need to transfer some money onto my Debit card first. Of course, the internet bank back home in Denmark is closed for the next 40 minutes, so I suggest we go for a short walk. We pass Market City, and end up on the main street (George St), and suddenly, I see the top of Harbor Bridge. We try to follow it, until we end up at the Observatory, where a bunch of brides and grooms are getting their photos taken at the Observatory Hill. We keep walking, and eventually find the Opera House, where a few more couples are taking pictures – and there is even an actual wedding taking place! Since we aren’t prepared at all, we have to rely on Sharon’s phone for photos of the Opera House. By Sydney Harbor, it is warm and windy. People are having expensive lunches with a great view, boarding a giant cruise ship, or watching the street performers juggle with knives and fire with their eyes closed.
As random as it has been to bump into the two main Sydney landmarks on our casual afternoon stroll, we also manage to find our way back to the main road, where we see an Apple store. We go in, and find an Apple Genius and I tell him I want a new phone. He asks me what’s wrong with my old one, and as I explain it to him, he interrupts me to tell me I can get a new one way cheaper if I turn in the old one. We make an appointment to come back 45 minutes later, and rush back to the hostel for my phone. When we come back, we sit down with two older Geniuses, one of them is a trainee. Sharon and I have named the phone Briana, as it seems fitting to name someone who’s about to be buried. So I go up to these guys and say “Hi, Briana died during a tragic accident while swimming with whale sharks, and I need a new one.” They don’t really know what to say at first, but eventually, they make her a coffin (the box for the new phone) and tissue flowers, and we talk about movies about diving with sharks and whatnot. These guys are absolutely amazing and so entertaining. As we walk out of the Apple store, Sharon and I agree this has been so much fun, and so unexpected. I walk out with a new phone, whom the Geniuses name Rihanna, for $300 – that’s way better than the original $900, right?
We go to McDonald’s for dinner, since it’s right next to the Apple Store – yes, I am disgusting, I don’t even care at this point. Then, we head to SideBar, which is a nightclub right under our hostel, and it’s just awkward. The place slowly fills up and groups of 21-year old English guys approach us one by one, and I tell them I’m 29 and from India, which some of them seem to believe. We’re in bed around 2, not from partying too hard, but from exhaustion.
We wake up the next morning, and the sun is shining outside. We are in separate rooms, so we meet up in the lobby and decide to go back to the Opera House and this time I will actually bring a camera. We get lost on our way and end up at the Botanical Gardens, which doesn’t bum us out too much. I get threatened by bird moms, and we learn about different grass species. This becomes a running joke, with us identifying grass and going “this is buffalo grass!” like the true experts we are. Eventually, we do find the Opera House, when a girl wearing bunny ears approaches us and shows us to a venue up a flight of stairs. We hear loud music coming from there and are about to check it out when she tells us that Cadbury is having an Easter event. So, for two hours we sit on the grass right by the Opera House, listening to Hot Potato Band, watch magicians and acrobats, and eat free Cadbury Easter eggs. Heaven.
The cricket finale is on today – Australia vs. New Zealand – which sounds like a big deal. We’re all about doing very Australian things and meeting locals, so we head over to Three Wise Monkeys Bar. On the way, just by Queen Victoria’s building, a little guy with a big guitar is perfoming Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. His name is Ky Baldwin and he is 13 years old and he is amazing. We give him some money and watch him perform cover after cover, until he puts down the guitar, and his sweet, sour-faced little sister puts on an instrumental on the computer. It’s Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and he starts dancing like Michael Jackson and encourages people to join in. At first, no one does, but then a Lance (code for hot guy) jumps in and go crazy. They dance so alike, the crows goes even crazier! That concludes Ky’s set, and everyone leaves with a big smile on their faces. We even run up to him to shake his hand. And we’re late for the cricket game.
Obsessed with this
There is no one at the bar, despite us being two hours late for the start of the game. Bored by it, we finish our beer and head back to the hostel for a nap. 3 hours later, we wake up and go to Cheers, and the game is still on!! We have dinner at Cheers as well, and it is so good. Go get the chargrilled pork loin, if you swing by. It’s Heaven.
Our 3rd day, Monday, is when I get the travel orientation that was included in my Kilroy package. The Swedish travel agent gives me a SIM card and applies for my tax file number. She points me over to a working agency that I can use when I’m ready to find a job, and Sharon and I head to Westpac bank to set up accounts. It takes 15 minutes, and you’re good to go. Then, we meet up with Fransisco, a guest from The Pink Palace that I don’t remember to have ever met, and he takes us to The Rocks for drinks. As we get drunker, we realise that we’re hungry, and try to squeeze in at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. That can’t be done, so we go to the Mexican place right next to it and eat the least Mexican food I have ever had. Still good, though. As it is Monday, Scubar is the place to be, and it is PACKED. After a few drinks, I start troll dancing, my new favorite activity. As I am dancing up against this guy without his knowledge, suddenly we’re doing the moon landing together. We turn around, and that’s how I meet Craig from England. A new friendship has been made, even though I tell him I’m from Kenya. We dance up against these Israeli girls that find out, and I think I’m about to get punched in the face. I explain what troll dancing is and demonstrate on someone standing around a table, and the girls start laughing and join in. We stay out till 3 AM, drinking and dancing.
The next day, Sharon, San Fran (Fransisco’s new nickname) and I go for amazing breakfast in Newtown. It’s raining, so we nap most of the day and then go to the Opera House for sunset. I also meet Chris Hemsowrth.
We buy some souvenirs and have meat pie for dinner – another aussie thing checked off the list! On the way back to the hostel, we go to Angel Place, an alley with lots of birdcages hanging over it, and we are disappointed to find that they’re not lit up.
We invite Craig for goon in my 6 bed dorm, which has been empty all day. Side note: my Colombian roommate, Felipe, finally checked out earlier. He has been sitting on my bed all the time, touching me, trying to give me massages and things like that, and he doesn’t understand what “no” means. It got to a point where I kept saying “No, you are weird and I don’t like that” every time he asked for a hug after he just got out of the shower, naked, or when he tried to wake me up from my naps so we could cuddle, or touch my face when my alarm rang in the morning. Well, back to my oddly empty dorm, where Craig has now joined us. We sit there with music playing from an iPhone, play our favorite card game, Wham Bam Slam!, when security knocks on the door. It’s two guys, a Lance and a Kevin (I don’t bother to look at him, because I am so occupied with Lance), and they tell us we’re being super loud and ask us to keep it down. I ask whether they are talking about the music or us, and they reply “what music?” and start laughing. They are obviously just there to see if we’re drinking in the room, but I hide the goon under the bed really quickly, and they don’t find anything.
We decide it’ll be fun if Sharon climbs up one of the bunks and pour goon into our mouths. So Craig and I take turns kneeling by the bunk beds, and Sharon pours the wine and it hits our mouths, our eyes, our clothes. We are covered in wine, and laughing about it for a good half hour, when 5 Germans burst in. Fuck.
On Wednesday, Sharon and I go to Paddy’s market. It’s so massive, we get lost several times. We buy Karen and Koko, a kangaroo and a koala handpuppet. They are both male.
We decided to bring them with us to Bondi beach. We see the life guards that are featured in the TV show Bondi Rescue, and one of them is being filmed. Sharon tells me about the show while we stare at the camera crew. We eventually just roll over and fall asleep. When we wake up, it’s 3 PM – it always is when we check the time – and we go to buy some water before getting back to the hostel. We don’t realise that we’re walking in the middle of the road with 3 cars behind us, as we think we’re on a pedestrians-only boardwalk. Embarrassing.
Later during the day, we visit Craig at YHA Hostel and meet all his roommates – it’s a big male dorm – and his travelbuddy, Andy. We drink some goon with them, and I fall into a goon coma, so we head back pretty early to get some sleep.
It’s Thirsty Thursday and we do nothing all day. I move into Sharon’s dorm finally, though. We have dinner at Cheers with San Fran – once again pork loin – and invent Flip Coaster, where you try to flip the coaster from the top of one pint glass to the other glass.
We go The Royal George to meet his friends, and then go to Ivy, which San Fran describes as a super club. We stand in line for everything, including toilets, so Sharon, San Fran, Tom and I decide to back to The Royal George for more drinks, and finally we have a late night.
It’s Good Friday, which we’ve renamed Goon Friday. The bottle shops are closed, so we have previously restocked on goon, and today, we go to Woolworths (“Woolies”) and shop for dinner. We make pasta with chicken, cream and garlic, because we’re so healthy. We sit in the common area with our food, sipping on goon and talk to our roommate Jess. We got our bank cards in the mail earlier, so we open the letters and activate the cards after dinner. Because of a sleeping girl in the dorm, we sit in the hallway and play cards, and meet some English guys, who give advice on traveling up the East Coast. At 1 AM, we go to bed, exhausted from all the relaxing we’ve done today.
We’ve officially been in Sydney for one week. And we’re going to stay longer! Our hostel is fully booked, so we head to Base Hostel, one kilometer away, carrying all our stuff, in the rain. It fucking sucks. We go to Woollies and buy some chicken and sauce to throw on our leftover pasta, and it tastes horrible. We decide this is one of those bad days, so we head to Cheers, which by now has become our favorite bar. We go to Scubar, where we meet Craig, Andy and Tom. At 2 AM, Tom drives us back to Base, which we’re so grateful for, as we can’t be bothered walking 1 KM anymore. We’ve come so far in one week, huh?
On Easter Sunday, we grab some sandwiches from Subway and sit at the Botanical Gardens and look at the opera house. All the birds are staring at us hungrily, waiting for us to feed them. A plane writes †=♥ and a little kid walks over to us and tries to grab my purse. Cute.
We are so tired for no reason at all, that the walk back to the hostel is so long and weird. We have no idea what we’re saying or where we’re going, but we do it anyway, mechanically. We throw ourselves into bed and have a nap, before going to dinner at Cheers. Yes, a nap and dinner at Cheers, just like we always do now.
At Cheers, we meet Craig and Andy for what was supposed to be a travel meeting, but ends up being us watching footy, and me almost falling asleep on the couch. The beer has gotten to me.
The next day, it’s Sharon’s BIRTHDAAAY! We eat a shitty homemade breakfast and go to the Greyhound Office by the old hostel to buy a pass to Cairns. On the way back, we look for mimosas, which we finally find at Three Wise Monkeys. We have two each, and then we get hungry. We walk around for a while, not really finding anything to eat, so we settle for the McDonald’s right in front of us. For dinner, Sharon has her favorite meal, chargrilled pork loin at Cheers, and the staff today is more talkative and friendly than the Irish guys who are usually behind the bar. We talk to them, get harassed by old, drunk Irish men, and convince the bartender to make Christineth shots – an old favorite from The Pink Palace. It gets us all nostalgic, and we tell the bartender, Ceci, all about it. She must be sick of us by the end of it, but gives us her Facebook for when we get back to Sydney anyway.
We head Scubar, as Mondays are usually crazy. We see a crab race, have some gin lemonades, and then a whole cricket team approaches us, ages 20-28. A bit overwhelming, to say the least. They keep trying to get us to go to a casino, so I fake interest and write the address down and tell them we’ll go after we’ve met up with our friends. Instead, we decide to head back to Cheers, which is now closed. Bummed, we go back to the hostel and pass out.
Our very last day in Sydney, we just wait around for the bus, which leaves at 6 PM. We sit in the comfy sofas at reception and use our last bit of WiFi – which you have to pay for here – and we go buy snacks for the trip. At 5, we put on our backpacks and do the horrible walk to the Greyhound Office, and get on the bus and try to get some sleep. Byron Bay, here we come!