I haven't written in a few days, mainly because during the day I've been on my feet walking, walking, walking around this gorgeous city. And at night when I return to my friend's apartment, I'm dead tired. I spent most of Saturday sleeping, actually. I couldn't stay awake. It was as if my initial elation from landing and finally being in Australia caught up with me and I was drunk... with exhaustion. Nevermind that, though. I still have many days to be here, and this is a holiday, not a race.
I'm staying with friends in Dee Why, up North along the Gold Coast. Dee Why is a suburb of Sydney. It's like Palo Alto is to San Francisco, but in distance only. Dee Why has a charming, laid-back beach culture and Palo Alto has become a monster of wealth, thanks to the tech industry. Dee Why has a lovely, smooth-sanded beach that lights up with people during the day and chirps with Lorikeets at night. This breathtakingly beautiful bird is a Lorikeet. They are noisy, but you forgive them because they're so ridiculously good looking.
I've only been here for a few days, but I'm already feeling like I haven't done enough. This is silly, I know, but I'm coming from a world where I did nothing short of two million things every day, in addition to field questions and calm stress from dozens of wonderful people who I miss. I'm glad they'll still be there when I return; I'm looking forward to seeing them out of that context, with all my thoughts back in my head in a more organized and sane manner.
To help quell my "fears" of not doing enough, this is what I've accomplished thus far:
- Explored downtown Sydney
- Photographed Sydney from above at The Eye
- Visited the Museum of Modern Art
- Seen Carmen at the incomparable Sydney Opera House
- Taken a night ferry to Manly
- Traveled up the coast to Palm Beach to swim in the ocean and eat fish and chips
- Confirmed that Sydney is an expert in coffee culture
- Began to feel human again
Today I'm doing the Bondi to Coogee walk, a 6K walk along the coast that I'm told has spectacular cliff and beach views along the way. I'm hoping to just wander along, getting exercise, but also just watching people. Sydney is incredibly international. On any given day, I hear at least 5-10 different languages being spoken, sometimes all at once. I find it fascinating to see all of these worlds collide. When I visited The Eye, I entered on a floor with the best food court I've ever seen. I ended up having soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung. And these were the real deal. The huge population of Chinese people who've immigrated to Australia don't mess around.
I leave for Melbourne tomorrow. I'm excited for the change of scenery and to be on my own. It's been amazing having friends to help guide me around the city, but tomorrow MY adventure begins, on my own. I'm not scared, I'm just excited. This is good.