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At last! After a 16-hour flight and an incurable fear of thrombosis...

July 29, 2015

So I’ve arrived in Sydney, which is such a weird thing on its own. This city is beautiful with its curious architecture and merciless sun, and I think it fits me well. But who knows how many places I could say that about? It’s only been 10 days, so I’m trying to resist the love at first sight that I’ve fallen into, but I’m excited and blissful when I wander here. And whenever I calm down, it hits me that I’m living in AUSTRALIA (??!!?!) and the endorphins return dutifully.

 

So many people here are genuinely friendly; I’m surprised by Aussies’ kindness hourly at the scarcest. The trees on campus are giant, green even in winter, and (I’m 85 percent sure) inhabited by fairies. Every bird’s chirp probably also belongs to a creature from a Dr. Seuss book. Top-notch sushi and/or Thai food can be found more easily than an American Starbucks, and for cheaps! The beaches are lovely, and their warmer-than-air-temperature waves swallow your feet even when you’re sure that you’re standing too far away.

 

Since landing, I’ve hiked through the Blue Mountains, ridden the steepest train in the world, strapped myself into a jet boat for a tour through Sydney Harbour, pet and selfied with koalas and kangaroos, met strangers – both American and Australian – who seem like years-long friends, and somehow have felt comfy and at home in this other hemisphere, thousands of miles and a dozen time zones away from good old Texas and almost everyone I know.

 

Of course there have also been times when I haven’t felt at home – I’ve spent some hours by myself here – but it always feels at least slightly good to shop and ride buses and take walks and drink coffee solo.

 

I could go on about the pros and cons of this brief but drastic uprooting, but it’s 2015 and Buzzfeed is alive and well, proving that we all love a good list…

Things in Sydney that are wonderful:

The water pressure in my apartment

People who offer to give you directions even when you don’t ask for them!!! Even when you’re privately brow furrowing at a map seeming like you could perhaps be the tiniest bit lost!!!

Fruit

The exchange rate ($$$)

The distance from my current temporary home at the UNSW Villages to Coogee Beach (two miles, y’all)

My group of roomies, which includes: two cool and fun ladies who laugh even more than I do, plus three cool and fun Aussie boys who lend us bus tickets and (unknowingly) butter and Tim Tams

 

To prove (to myself, mostly) that I’m looking at Oz through glasses with normal, clear lenses – not rose-colored ones – I’ve also listed some drawbacks.

 

Things in Sydney that are not particularly wonderful:

My weak, sometimes nonexistent Wi-Fi connection

Lack of sriracha

 

(Sry in advance that there aren't more photos.)

Sydney_Harbour_Claire Kelley.jpg

Here's a lame photo that doesn't do the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset any justice.

Sydney_Kanga_Claire Kelley.JPG

Mellow Kanga really made me feel safe and warm when I arrived.

Sydney_Koala_Claire Kelley.jpg

Ugh RT if you've ever tried to make out with your boo when he's too busy eating eucalyptus. :(

Sydney_Cocktail_Claire Kelley.jpg

I know. This cocktail doesn't look dreamy. But I watched the bartender cut up and juice two whole apples and a thumb of ginger and then put that juice into my drink. Sydney is, literally, so fre$h.

Sydney_Energies_Claire Kelley.jpg

This exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is called Energies. And it includes a room where visitors can smell and listen to and look at the sun.

Sydney_Coastal Walk_Claire Kelley.jpg

The coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi offers views that will distract you from the workout your butt's getting.

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