Day 2 started feeling refreshed after a pleasant sleep with no air conditioning and six snoring men (hostel living at its finest). Regardless, my excitement could not be contained. I was going to the beach.
I began to feel more comfortable in the city, taking buses, not tipping at restaurants (no one does, they get paid over $20 an hour!), pretending like I was going the right way even if I wasn’t, remembering that some coins are worth $2 and shouldn’t be thrown in fountains, winking at the lovely Aussie ladies, them laughing at my awkward sunburn. Yes, a real local.
“Hello sir, may I purchase one of your bus fares for Bus 330 to Bondi Beach!!!!!! ”
Bondi Beach is stunning. It belongs somewhere in the Mediterranean.
This day I decided to apply SPF 30, the norm in Australia. This is perhaps the biggest culture shock for me. After years of going to VA beach with SPF 4 Ultra Dark Island Tanning Oil with Coconut and Buttermilk Extract, I found that rays in Oz are much more direct and piercing.
My one goal for my entire trip to Sydney was complete. I am a huge fan of catching the sun’s rays, especially in foreign lands. Another plus, the hit reality tv show Bondi Rescue was being filmed that day. Think Baywatch but far less exciting, the crew spent much of their day eating sandwiches.
Later in the day I was able to meet up with a friend of a friend who studied abroad in Sydney a few years ago (shot outs Joey Terp!). She was able to give me a pleasant driving tour of the city. Then we went back to the hostel to get ready for the night.
Pre-gaming in the common area was a blast. After a few very revealing games of “I have never” (“never have I ever” in the states) with strangers, I found out far too much information on who had done what and where. Hours later, it was time to hit the streets.
We partied that night at some of the “backpacker friendly” spots. The drinks were cheaper and the dress code was looser. My favorite (favourite) aspect of Australia so far is that people love to dance. No bumping and grinding like back in the US, just large masses of people doing their own two step. Dancing solo is already one of my top pastimes, so, I quickly adjusted to this style of living.
The dancing was intense and sweaty. The drinks, Toohey’s Pints, because Fosters is not Australian for beer, were bountiful and cheap (AUS $4 is about as cheap as it get for drinks). The night was a good intro in to Australian nightlife.