Farewell, Sydney

May 1, 2006 at 7:17 am (Uncategorized)

My last real week in Sydney was a bit insane. Last weekend (a long one) was spent partially preparing for finals and partially wondering where the last three months went. 

As Tuesday was Anzac Day (a day to commemorate Australian and New Zealand veterans) we decided to see what it was all about. It is the only day in Australia that it is legal to gamble on a game called Two-Up. It is played by tossing two coins (traditionally pennies, but Australia doesn't have them anymore) into the air after betting on which side both will land on, heads or tails. If they each land on a different one they are tossed again.

Caroline, Kristine and I went to the Australian Hotel in the Rocks after dinner. It was recommended by a guy I worked (past tense!) with at SHFA who goes there every year for the Two-Up. It was insane. Everyone was wasted and standing around waving 50 or 100 dollar bills to gamble with. The actual game was run by two guys dressed as sailors and a massive crowd was gathered around their stage when we showed up. Once it quieted down (and we had enjoyed a couple of Beez Neez) we went over to catch some of the action. Caroline had some guy give her five bucks and instruct her on what to do. In the end, she won ten. Overall, a satisfying experience.

Finals went well . . . I think. I did a good job on my six-page anthropology paper, so I hope that the same will go for the essays that the test required. Art history went well too and I never have to go to PELA ever again, so I'm happy.

Wednesday night I went out to drinks and dinner with people from work. First, drinks at the Observer with Lynda (archivist), James (keeper of my sanity), and the rest of the foreshore house crew. Becky (fellow intern), Mel (supervisor), Catherine (Events manager?), Janet (I have no idea what she does), and Justin (new guy, also the one who recommended the Australian for Anzac) eventually showed up. I got a crash-course in cricket from Justin and didn't buy a single beer myself. The crowd thinned out leaving Becky, Mel, Catherine and myself to walk up to the Australian for dinner. I ate kangaroo pizza (soooooo good) and had kangaroo stuck in my teeth for hours afterward. They also presented us with little parting gifts from around the Rocks. They were so relaxed and it was nice to get to know them a little better as we all shared beer, wine, pizza, and stories.

I just couldn't stay away from them though. Friday night they had a get-together for drinks in the Merchant's House courtyard. This one was even bigger and livelier than Wednesday. It capped the experience off nicely, and I managed to keep it together when I said my goodbyes.

Saturday night was Caroline, Jamie, Kelsey, Ashley and Nina's last night. We all went to dinner at a restaurant in Circular Quay (nachooooosssss) and then to Ship Inn across the street for drinks. Most of the girls turned in early, so Denise, Ashley and I went to the Orient. We toasted Ashley's last night (and last Australian bar) with shots of tequila (ick) and made sure we danced like it was our job. At the end of the night when we were leaving the bar Denise got stopped on the street.

"Hey, are you from South America?" this guy asked.

"No, but my Mom is." Denise is too nice, so she got roped into a conversation. Meanwhile, the guys friend starts telling me that he's from Kuwait and that this clearly makes us cousins because of Bush and the oil companies. Riiiiight. At this point, a car whizzed by a little too close to the curb and the man talking to Denise insisted that I step closer to the group. "If anything happened to you I would kill myself," he said. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, mmhmmm. Before we finally managed to run away and find a cab we found out that Denise's new friend was named Mohammed Ali (he showed her his license) and that he thought Germany was in America. Boy do we get the winners. 

Saying goodbye sucks.

Nina left yesterday. Thankfully, she did not cry in front of me. Now, the room is quiet and the TV remains off (it deserves a break after 3 months of continuous abuse). I love it.

This morning, Denise and I did the unthinkable and got out of bed at 5am. We were on the train by 5:50 and made it to the gates of the botanical gardens by 6am. Unfortunately, the gardens don't open until 7am so we missed out on the actual sunrise at 6:30. We were in by 6:50 and practically ran down to Mrs. Macquarie's chair. It was gorgeous. We had a perfectly clear morning and I ended up filling the memory card in my camera by 8am. The flying foxes were out in full force, and when I say full force I mean there were hundreds of them.

We had to be in Chatswood at 9am to participate in a survey on emails as a form of communication. It was kind of fun, especially since we had been up for 4 hours at that point and were practically speaking in tongues. We walked away with 40 dollars apiece for less that an hours worth of questions and 'email donations'. Yes, we had to pick emails that we had written to forward to Dr. Judith Bishop for the study. We also had to read one of them aloud, as we would if we were talking to the person we wrote it too which was a little difficult. The doctor kindly explained to me what the research would do to help her company, but that was hours ago and I was delirious, so if I ever remember I'll add it in here. 

When we got back to glenferrie it was time to pack. Packing sucks almost as much as goodbyes. Tomorrow morning we are off to the Jolly Swagman for two nights. My ticket to the ballet is for Wednesday night and then Thursday morning Denise and I go to Melbourne (brace yourself, Peter). Denise has to go home on the 7th, but I'll be there until the 9th. Then it's off to Perth for three days! I cannot wait. I will be back in Sydney the night of the 12th so that I can get on a plane and go home the 13th. 

Good luck with classes everyone. Keep updating, I've been enjoying all of your stories. Talk to all of you once I get home!

P.S. Peter- break out the dutchie.  


  1. MOM said,

    What a week of a send off. I am so glad you have had such a great experience. So much to always remember. . .the pictures are awesome!

  2. Peter Axtman said,

    Two mentions in one post? I might die of happiness.

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