Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
I tried my best to sleep on the plane since I had to work all night but it wasn’t happening. So I arrived in Sydney exhausted, groggy and ready for bed. I purchased a multi-transport pass for $61 and that allowed for unlimited travel on any of the trains, buses and ferries including leaving and coming to the airport. Although now that I look back I did not take the full advantage of the $61, the pass is good for a week, so anyone going to Sydney, I strongly recommend getting it. Moreover, last time being here Sydney was lacking in the apps department for travellers whom have an iPhone and they have greatly improved this time around with transit schedules and such, so really helped out. Far better than my time here in 2007 in which I only had a brick phone Nokia.
I caught the train to the city and then a bus from the city to Cass’s place where I would be staying for my two days in town. She has an awesome place on a hill that has a great view of the city nightlife as well as the quietness of any suburb. She gave me a tour of the place; I met her roommates and then after an evening of chatting decided to finally pass out. I was a bit nervous, as I had not done any studying that night to prepare for my afternoon GRE test the next day, but oh well…
I didn’t sleep well that night and woke up with a kink in my neck resulting in a pretty painful morning. I left the house with Ally for the city as she was on her way to work and figured might as well travel with someone who knows the area. I’m glad I did because my intentions were to go to the library at Circular Quay to study until my exam and then head to it at 1pm. She advised me there was the state library (which I didn’t even know about), which was closer and offered more amenities than the local library. So I headed there, found a seat in the café and began studying furiously for the next 4 hours.
I skimmed the material for the last minute cram session before realising I hadn’t looked over anything regarding shapes! It sounds stupid now that I look back, but to completely forget a whole section, at this point I told myself “screw it”. I grabbed some KFC before heading to the testing centre.
To spare the long boring details regarding the test and to avoid getting sued by the GRE people, I’ll just say it wasn’t what I had expected. After the exam was finished it gave me a raw number regarding what my scores were without my verbal reasoning essays (as those would be graded by humans). I’ll spare the details now and wait until I get back my official results before announcing anything, but at this time all I’ll say is the ends justifies the means, clearly.
After the exam, I walked around a bit before heading back to the library to do some email checking, podcast downloading and connecting with Lani to meet up for dinner. She told me she was in Kings Cross, which I shuddered after hearing because that place is absolutely disgusting (and it’s apparently improved over the years!). We ate at a local hole in the wall Thai place, which was pretty spicy but also amazing. Afterwards, we went our separate ways and I headed back to Cass’s place before relaxing for a bit and heading to bed.
I woke up Thursday morning to the sound of rain, which I wasn’t to pleased with as I was not expecting it to rain until Thursday evening. I packed my stuff and headed to library to drop off for a few hours since they had hourly lockers, so that I could walk around the city as well as head to the harbour to take pictures of the bridge and opera house. Sadly, the rain was constant throughout most of the morning, so I bought a $15 umbrella to attempt to keep me somewhat dry.
I first headed to the rocks and took some pictures of the bridge as well as the opera house across the way before making my way over to the opera house. Luckily at this point the rain had stopped so I was able to get a few pictures as well as Skype my buddy Diaz from back home to show him the sights and sounds of Sydney Harbour. A pretty low-key day before I grabbed my stuff, headed to the airport and caught the 3pm flight back to the Gold Coast.
Overall, the trip was pretty good. A bit unfortunate that there were many friends of mine I didn’t get to catch up with but since airfare is relatively cheap to Sydney ($150 on a good day), I am planning to go back in August on my days off but with the mindset of relaxing and not worrying about a test. There are already plans in the works to go see an opera or symphony at the opera house! More to come.
Cheers and 再见!