We seem to have encountered the “lull” of study abroad. Ryan just completed another paper, quickly moving on to the next and one of his last. I am adding the introduction and conclusion sections to my systematic review before turning it in. And Adam, Hannah, and Caroline are in a “fun hangover” from our mid-semester break.
Despite everyone being occupied with assignments, internships, and memories of beach resorts Bali and the scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, we enjoyed a very active weekend. In particular, Ryan and I took advantage of the New South Wales “Sunday Funday,” which allows residents to occupy any public transit the entire day for only $2.50.
The plan was to visit the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters on a sunny day. Transport NSW had a different idea, however, as they decided to work on the train tracks between us and the Blue Mountains (coincidence? We think not). Anyways, once we discovered this unfortunate news, Ryan and I decided we would explore news parts of Sydney. So I did a little research and found Meatstock. Yeah, you read that right, it’s a music festival centered on amazing BBQ, including Rangers Texas BBQ (I’m a die-hard Texas Rangers fan) and special guests like Big Moe Cason. Think it sounds too good to be true? It was – tickets sold out a week ago.
Alright, so now what? Sydney has hit us twice, time to keep rolling with the punches. Well, we decided to attend a church service downtown. The church was new, but only to us – the congregation had been worshiping in that building since 1860, with the members not too far off as Ryan and I were at least 40 years younger than every other person in attendance. I can’t exactly explain why, but I loved this service, definitely my favorite of the semester thus far.
So finally, something was going right for us. Then, after the service someone noticed our American accents and introduced himself to us: He was Paul from Ottawa, Canada, relative of the Molson Canadian family. In addition to having awesome relatives, Paul had some awesome restaurant recommendations. Following his advice, we walked to Smoking Gun, a bagel shop near St George’s. Fun fact about Smoking Gun, according to Paul: The owners flew bagel-makers in from Montreal to teach them because Montreal has the best bagels in the world, not New York. He was very adamant about us knowing New York does not have the best bagels – he also mentioned the Ottawa Senators were about to knock the New York Rangers out of the playoffs, I’m sure the two things weren’t related at all. But yes, the bagels were amazing. Mine had chocolate flakes, peanut butter, and honeycomb (not honey, but actual honeycomb) – it was amazing.
Then we took three separate ferries to visit Cockatoo Island and walk through the tunnels of a former prison, to walk through Goat Paddock and Horse paddock with an amazing view of the harbor, and to head back to the Rocks. Once back at the rocks, we got reeled in as extras in a street-performer’s show. The guy rode his bike in a circle, while standing on the handlebars and juggling knives and chainsaws and fire. Oh and we were lying inside this circle, tense muscles and closed eyes. We survived without too many scrapes and cuts, though.
To relax after that near-death experience, we grabbed a drink at the Glenmore Hotel Rooftop, with an amazing view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House. Still craving barbeque from Meatstock, we wandered throughout Newtown looking for barbeque. After three failed restaurant attempts (1 ran out of brisket, 2 cash only), we found Macelleria and devoured the most amazing burgers and meat skewers in Sydney – and the restaurant had Sweet Baby Ray’s! If you don’t know what that is, go grab yourself a bottle of their BBQ sauce. You’re welcome in advance.
It goes without saying, but our day both didn’t go as planned and was better than we could’ve planned. Sometimes you don’t get what you hope or pray for. Sometimes better things are given to you. Everyone knows the cliché, “When one door shuts, another door opens.” Well, imagine life like a hallway. After that door closes, if you stand and stare at it, nothing’s gonna happen. But if you walk down the hallway, you’ll find another awesome, probably better door. That’s what happened with Ryan and me today. So while I’m still on my high horse, I’ll give a little advice. Pony up, walk down that hallway, and find a better doorway.
P.S. - If you want to see pictures of my trip (e.g. the bagel I had Sunday), I have an instagram account documenting my adventures in Sydney @INoahGuyAbroad
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<p>Well hello there. Welcome to “From Noah to Man” – I’m Noah. This blog is about my incredible journey to Sydney, Australia. Not only is this blog being sent [from] me, [Noah], [to] y’all [man]kind; but also this blog highlights my development of character as I seek to grow [from] who I am now [Noah], [to] who I want to be when I return to TCU, a [man] with an identity.</p>