Day 10: Bondi!

UTS Housing had planned a walk to Glebe and the Fish Markets today, but we slept in a little too late to go along with them, and wanted to enjoy the day in the sun. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse weather and they are planning on going to the beach, but we decided today would be a better opportunity to see Bondi Beach. We met a friend from Germany who is living with his girlfriend at the beach, so we met up with other friends and headed out to meet them.

We walked to Central Station (very close and convenient), picked up a train to Bondi Junction where we then got on a bus to Bondi Beach. It took about 1:30 to get all the way to the beach, but it isn’t actually that far. Either way, I enjoyed the train and bus ride, taking in the new scenery. Once we finally saw the water, my heart jumped again. I love looking out at the ocean, seeing only water for miles. Once we got off the bus we headed straight for an overlook of the whole beach. Bondi was actually much smaller than I imagined, but beautiful nonetheless. It may be winter in Sydney, but it was nicer than most summer days in San Francisco. Surfers lined up on the shallow break, looking like little animals floating in the water. The beach had a good number of people on it, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (turns out it was record-breaking temperatures today). I can’t even begin to think about how crowded Bondi will get in the summer, especially considering its small size. I’ve heard the beach is packed with people, on the beach, in the shops, and of course in the water. I’m looking forward to experiencing it in a few months, but happy to enjoy it with less people around.

The town of Bondi Beach reminds me a lot of a California beach town. The ocean-facing street was lined with surf shops, cafes and restaurants, and of course the token smoke shop. A few of my friends rented surfboards for a couple hours to take on the waves of Bondi. I’m sure I’ll get out and surf here, but today I’m just going to take in my surroundings. The water was cold enough to need a wetsuit while surfing, but I thought it was really pleasant (warm compared to Stinson Beach). The white sand was cold but soft on my feet, and I had fun using it to writing messages. Sabrina, Karolina, and I ventured to the tide pools on the side of the beach, enjoying the water warmed by the sun and taking more pictures.

When we were done with the beach we headed up the street to have coffee and a little French cafe. It was a great hippie atmosphere, just like the rest of the town. I know I would have no problem living here! Once it got dark we caught the bus to be on our way back to our flat. Definitely a great day, and now we have to get ready for the “Back 2 School” party on the roof of Gumal to finish up our O-Week events.

P.S. – After tonight, I am need a break from talking politics with people when I go out. The past 2 nights I have had looong conversations about US politics, ranging from George Bush to economics, to Obama of course. Before coming here, as I mentioned before, I was told to not talk politics. I think it works for me because I am liberal and have similar views to people from other parts of the world, but damn do these people like to talk about the US! While I don’t consider myself as arrogant as other Americans, people from other countries know MUCH more about my country than I do about theirs. I’m learning that a large part of the experience of studying abroad is not just learning about other countries and cultures, but seeing how others view my culture. It has all been very interesting, but I’ll be fine with not talking about the US Government for a while.