SYDNEY - COOGEE BEACH 15/12/06
The last few weeks in Sydney have flow by!! We checked into what would be our home over xmas and the new year, The Wizard of Oz Backpackers in Coogee. For the first few days it did nothing but rain and was fairly cold (i didnt sign up for this?!?!) The time was manly spent getting to know all the people in the hostel and how hostel life works....leave nothing laying around it will go!!! (says she who had to nick a knife to complete the cutlery set she hired . There were 6 girls to begin with in our room, me, lin, alicia, laura, hannah and sally. Everyone at the hostel was great and soon enough we became like one big happy family.......until 10pm at night...after that no alcohol or noise was allowed!!!!!! A few nice days of weather evntually came and naturally these were spent at the beach.
Xmas was fast approaching and so there was shopping to be done and plans to be made!! We opened Aussie bank accounts and started the hunt for jobs and somewhere more permanent to live. The xmas day plan had become for all the girls in our room.....now 7 in total including Natalie - to club together and get BBQ food (yes this was to be our xmas lunch!!), salad and pasta and drinks...basically enough to see us through the day, as it turned out we had enough to see us through the week!!!!.......All we needed to do now was to keep our fingers crossed that the weather would stay nice!!!!Xmas eve was a big night out, we stayed local (in Coogee) and went to The Palace and CBH. Everyone one from the hostel was out and everyone in good spirits, an excellent night was had by all.
XMAS MORNING - SYDNEY - COOGEE BEACH
Xmas morning and all 7 girls woke up and wished each other a merry xmas. I think we were all feeling slightly weird, all away from home and spending xmas with people that actually were strangers...we all had a chat and had to laugh about how this was unlike any xmas before but we would remember it forever and we should make the most of it. We headed out into the hostel garden where a free breakfast of eggs and bacon was on offer. After this we all headed back to our room to open the few presents we each had. Some poeple had some stuff sent from home, other bits were little silly things we had brought each other just to have something to open.Outside the weather looked great, couldnt have asked for better and so the plan to have a BBQ on the beach was on!! There ended up being a really big crowd of us maybe 12 or 13, we ate, drunk, listened to music and generally chilled out the whole day while catching some rays!!!
The week between xmas and new year went by so fast. We managed to find a flat in Newtown, about 15 mins on the bus from the city, $70 each a week, we had 2 bedrooms (one for us and another for a couple who were already living there), our own kitchen, dining room, bathroom and little back yard, also directly opposite a really nice park....we were well impressed!!! The only downside was that we couldnt move in until the 15.01.07. In the meantine we were due to leave The Wizard of Oz hostel on 02.01 but do you think we could find anywhere else to go.....being just after new year we had no such luck as everywhere was booked up. Scuba steve (a guy from the Wizard, real name chris) was also moving out and going to stay with his friend (Alex) who had a flat in RoseBay.....Alex had mentioned to us girls that if we ever got stuck and needed somewhere to stay we were always wecome (but you know how people say that and never REALLY mean it, or think you will take them up on their offer!!).....it was becoming a strong possibility that we actually might have to take him up. We made lots and lots of phone calls, spoke to pretty much every hostel in our hostel guide and eventually managed to find a hostel in Kings Cross (apparently not the nicest of areas) but we could only get in from 05.01 - 15.01...it left us a few days with nowhere to go......Alex!!!!Alex was fine and said he was more than happy for us to stay with him in Rosebay for a few days until we could move into the hostel......life saver!!
New years eve was coming round very quickly and rather than pay $75-$150 to go to a club we decided to go down to the habour and watch the fire works. There were plenty of bars/pubs open that wernt charging anything to get in so were were able to get a few drinks in before the fire works started. The fire works were totally amazing and like nothing ive ever seen before, we hung around for a bit after the fireworks and soaked up the atmosphere of 1000's of people all in good spirits looking forward to the new year ahead. Loads of people from the hostel had all decided that after everyone had been out and seen in the new year we would all meet up at Coogee Beach to watch the first sunrise of 2007. It was surprisingly cold but well worth the wait, the sunrise was amazing and a good end to a good night. Everyone headed back to the hostel around 8 in the morning, we all made tea to warm up and all eventually fell into bed at a very ridiculous hour!!!
SYDNEY - KINGS CROSS 09.01.07
The last week or so was pretty hectic. We moved out of the Wizard of Oz on 02.01.07 and moved into Alex's flat in Rosebay. I registered with some more agnecies but still was having no luck getting a job!! A load of us, mainly from the Wizard of Oz, had arranged a night out on the Saturday and so between us (and obviously alex) we decided to stay a few days longer than planned. We phoned the hostel at Kings Cross and told them we would be coming a few days later than planned.
Having not had a "proper" xmas dinner we decided that before we left alex's we would make full use of his kitchen, and oven (hostels dont have ovens....dont think they trust the backpackers!!) and make a roast dinner for whoever wanted it...turns out about 10 people, so we brought all the stuff and got a cooking!!! It was taking a bit longer than usual as alex's oven was fairly small and there was too much food to all go in at the same time, we had to strategically place the dishes in places where they really didnt fit!! Anyway everything was going well, the potatoes were nearly done, the parsnips (which everyone was nearly wetting themselves over...especially laura) were nearly done and it was all coming together nicely.......until the glass dish exploded!!!!! This meant that there was glass in everything....the potatoes, the parsnips...even the stuffing...could we salvage it?...we thought we could!!!.... We swept out the glass and it didnt look as bad as we thought it was going to be. We eventually dished up thinking that we had managed to save the dinner!!! It was lovely and everyone was well impressed until one by one everyone was finding glass in their roast lamb, roast potatoes and parsnips......it was actually quite funny, even more so that everyone still cleared their plates!!!!
Saturday (06.01.07) a load of Wizzard of Ozzers met up and spent the day on the famous Bondi Beach. This beach is massive and seems to go on forever. Its very busy and the waves are huge!! We enjoyed the atmosphere, watched people get taken out by waves (so much fun!!) and caught up on yet more sunbathing That night we planned to go out in the city to the Three Wise Monkeys. We got to the door where the bouncer informed me that i couldnt come in because i wasnt wearing the "right type" of flip flops!!!? He told me that i could run down the road to where the $10 shoe shop was and buy some. There was a good reason the shoes were all $10...they were vile!!! After having a good laugh with the girls i just brought the best of a bad bunch and even managed to knock the price down to $6.....off i trot with my brand new shoes into the Three Wise Monkeys to meet everyone else, this is where is saw that Sally was wearing an equally vile pair of shoes and we all had a right good laugh!!!! A good night was had by all and a Hungry Jacks (Burger King) and a cab ride later we were back in Rosebay.
Sunday (07.07.07) and moving day to Kings Cross, we got up and started packing our things up......tidying a few things away i noticed something not quite right in the Kitchen, something that didnt really belong...maggots!!!!! They were everywhere and after finding them, i started to see them everywhere, we told chris and alex who started clearing them up and we made a pretty sharp exit!!! We made it to the Funk House in Kings Cross (the red light district of sydney where anything goes!!) and tried to check in...it appeared that they had made a major balls up and completly cancelled our booking!!!!....Luckily (apparently) there were still beds available but we were all in different rooms for the first 2 nights and had to move rooms both times. On the third day we managed to get into our own room as as a "sorry" they put us in a nicer room with a tv and a fridge at no extra cost!!!
The Few days we were at the Funk House were pretty non-eventful. Lindsey was already working and Alicia had started her job 2 days ago. She was working in "marketing"...meaning standing on the street trying to get people to sign up and donate to a charity.....so my days were spent mostly looking for a job snd taking advantage of the tv in our room!!! You can imagine my delight when alicia text me on day 3 saying she was going to give her job til the end of the day and then she was jacking it in...i was even more delighted when she walked through the door an hour later and said the end of the day was too far off!!!!
Plenty of friends were made at the Funk House and a big group of us did the Coogee to Bondi walk, which takes in the coast line and the cliffs (why we didnt do this while we were actually staying in coogee is beyond me!!) The walk takes about 2 hours, is very leisurely and well worth doing. While staying in Kings Cross we learnt the meaning of an "Abbo bar crawl", this entails getting as much food and drink as possible without paying for any of it!!! "The Gaff" offeres free sunday roast as long as you buy a drink, "The Empire" offeres free drinks for 1 hour most nights and O'Mallys did one free beer with any $6 meal....of course i made use of all of them...every penny counts and all that The time eventually came for us to move out of the hostel and we were very excited to be moving into our little flat in Newtown. Checking out of the Funk House, the receptionist informed us that we had actually booked and paid for another night and why were checking out early??!!!.......another royal mess!!!! No refund could be given only a credit note which was of no use really as we had the flat however...brain wave....Australia day was coming up so we would go out in the city and if we stayed in the hostel we would be within crawling distance of the hostel.
We did eventually make it to the flat, more than anything else i was excited about being able to hang my clothes up, not having to que for the shower, not having to fight over the kettle and being able to watch what i wanted on tv, finally a bit of space and privacy.....apart from Brie and Fabio who were already living there......i'll get to that bit later......We settled in pretty much straight away, 1st things 1st we all unpacked our back packs and for the first time in 3 months we were finally able to hang our clothes up in a wardrobe!!!Bliss!!!! Priority number 2 was to go to the local supermarket for the essentials (mainly tea bags and milk). The supermarket was within walking distance through Enmore Park. $40 each later and too many bags to carry, in true student style we wheeled the shopping trolly all the way back through the park and into the back yard to be used on some random night out at some point no doubt!!!