Australia, Explore

One with Nature… Kind Of: New Zealand (Part 1)


Kia ora! (Hello)

I learned that I cannot be away from my nail clippers for more than five days at a time because my nails will grow longer than 0.25 cm and that’s just not okay.

Do I sound crazy yet?

I went with my roommate Janus to New Zealand South Island. It was the first time I went on a long vacation without my family. My mother usually does the planning with my sister’s input, and my dad and I just tag along. I didn’t realize how much effort planning a vacation took. Thank you, Mommy Dearest, for all the energy you put into our family vacations.

We booked a hop-on/hop-off tour with Stray. Hop-on/hop-off means that you can stay longer at any destination and just catch the next available tour bus whenever you want to leave. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use that function because we had only one week before we were needed back in real life.

Even before we started our trip, there were several issues we hadn’t resolved: Continue reading “One with Nature… Kind Of: New Zealand (Part 1)”

Australia, Explore

Mis Axilas Duele (My Armpits Hurt)

Subtitle: Adventures of the Crippled One

During Surf Camp about three weeks ago, I rolled over my toes into the ocean when I tried standing up on the board. I didn’t think it would matter very much, so I continued to walk on it for two weeks. Finally went to the doctor’s last Friday, and the prognosis was that I had overstretched tendons and should keep off my foot for a while. What do I do right after the doctor says that? GO ON ADVENTURES.

Friday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day at Luna Park

I emailed my mom about my injury and how I needed to use crutches, she sent me this email:


Ma, do you have to make fun of me at my moment of pain? Oy. It’s difficult talking to my mom via email because she speaks Chinese-English and I speak English. Sometimes I have to guess what she means because she’s missing nouns or verbs. Same thing interning at The Iconic. Since it’s so diverse from China to Indonesia to France to Portugal, I get lost in people’s emails because they’re speaking their version of English. At first I was like “You said what now?” but I’m picking it up quickly. Continue reading “Mis Axilas Duele (My Armpits Hurt)”

Australia, Explore

If I Stopped Karate Kicking in My Sleep…


from left to right: Juliet’s feet & Janus’ feet

Hello amigos y amigas,

Remember that Galaxy Bruise from my last post? The one I got as a gift from Surf Camp? It’s gone now, mainly because Janus kept telling me to massage it. I don’t think I mentioned that I also hurt my right foot trying to stand up on the surfboard. Apparently I mistook my toes as the bottom of my foot and either strained or sprained them… I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. All I know is that it hurts.

Instead of taking life slow and letting my toes heal, what do I do? Keep on walking, running, crashing into things, and falling off other things. I really don’t think my foot will heal anytime soon. On Monday, I went into work with a bandage on my foot and relaxed a lot; at night, I walked into a man and fell off a chair. Also, I karate kick the wall when I turn in my sleep, and it just so happens that I kick with my right foot. On Tuesday, a smaller limp; I changed my sleeping position so I kick the wall with my left foot, but I wasn’t used to rolling off the bed with my left foot first, so I fell on top my right foot. Oy. Continue reading “If I Stopped Karate Kicking in My Sleep…”

Australia, Explore

Danger: Surfing Causes Galaxy Bruise


I’ve been in Sydney for about a month now, and am thoroughly enjoying myself here. From Mondays to Fridays when I walk through the Central Station tunnel to work, I can always expect to hear this one old Asian man playing the er hu, which is a traditional Asian cello with two strings. I just can’t help but smile when I see and hear him play.

Surf Camp – Friday, January 31st to Sunday, February 2nd

First of all, I’m not a water person. That’s my sister. She can swim like a fish and enjoys the feeling of water. I know how to swim, but not the person to say yes to being dropped in the middle of the ocean. So it makes sense that a few days leading up to surf camp, I was excited and nervous at the same time. Turns out, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined.


Camp was located at Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park in Gerroa, which is about a two-hour drive south of Sydney. The beach is actually nine miles, and nobody seems to be able to tell me why it’s called seven mile beach. We lived next to a trailer park, and it was my first time seeing one. For the most part, the living situation was exactly what I thought it was going to be: bunk beds, communal bathrooms, outdoor hangout space, and hammocks. It was exactly what high school music camp was like, and I wasn’t a fan of music camp. Living in the mountains with no Internet, kitchen, or a comfortable bed is just not the way to go for me. For a weekend? I could bare with it. Continue reading “Danger: Surfing Causes Galaxy Bruise”

Australia, Explore

Straya Day Part 2!

You know what I miss about America the most? Smiles. I love to smile and laugh because… why wouldn’t you? I keep thinking back to the time when I was walking past a Burger King parking lot, and a man was unlocking his car when he locked eyes with me. I gave him my usual smile and kept walking ahead, but he called after me, “Hey! Thank you so much for that. Your smile just made my day.” That’s why I like smiling! But the other day I smiled at a man cleaning the streets and he goes, “Mhm. How’s you going?” or whatever it is Australians say. Excuse me, my smile wasn’t an invitation to possibly hit on me? Other people look at me like they’ve never seen a smile before. Geez louise!

Sunday, January 26th – Straya Day & Scary Canary

Instead of hopping on the Straya Day madness and go to Bondi or Milk Beach for drunk fun, we decided to go check out Manly. We had to take a ferry there, and Sheena and I knocked out on the ferry. There were a large amount of Asians there, and they were all talking so loud I felt as though I was back in Asia.


Continue reading “Straya Day Part 2!”

Australia, Explore

Straya Weekend, Part 1 of 2


(from left to right): my feet; [from bottom, clockwise] me, Yae Jin, Janus, Jana, Kaitie

Good news! I’m getting the hang of the Aussie lifestyle. I accidentally ended up walking on the right side of the sidewalk and my whole body was going, “You darn idiot. WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!”

Even though I’ve been here for almost one month, I’ve only thought of my time in Australia as a ‘vacation’, not ‘temporary settlement’. It’s weird because when I worked in Boston over the summer for three months, I thought of my place as my ‘temporary home’. It might be because the weather is too dang nice here. Except for this weekend…it was windier than normal. It could also be because I haven’t been in the apartment except to do homework, cook, sleep, and shower. Otherwise, it’s all about exploring and getting out there in the world. That’s part of life, isn’t it? Continue reading “Straya Weekend, Part 1 of 2”

Australia, Explore

The dorm Internet is crap, so here’s everything that’s happened at once.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m not a really fluid storyteller. I bounce around a lot because even when I’m talking, I’m thinking about what story I want to tell next and then sometimes I get mixed up and chaos happens. Sometimes I’ll stop one story to start another story, but then I want to go back and finish the first story in the middle of the second story. But I’ll try to keep it together this time.

Sound Bite on Dorm Life & Kitchen Woes

Try to imagine this building: Seven-story white building with a rooftop (which I haven’t been to yet). That is, seven stories above floor 0.

Australia to America Dictionary

  • Ground level = 0 in Australia = 1 in America
  • Basement in America = -1 in Australia

Continue reading “The dorm Internet is crap, so here’s everything that’s happened at once.”

Australia, Explore, Musings

It’s only been 5 days, but it feels like it’s been 2 weeks.


My poor Rainbows. My poor, poor Rainbows. The weather here in Sydney is pretty hot, and so my Rainbows are pretty sticky all the time. Oh, my poor Rainbow.s

But they’re still as comfortable as ever, and that’s why I wear them all the time. I’m going to be sad the day these die and I need to buy new ones.

Some small things that happened to me 5 days of arriving in Sydney:
1) My left contact went down the drain on day 2.
2) Had motion sickness for about 3 days. That was my first experience with it and it is not fun.
3) Accidentally locked myself out of my room for 45 minutes with no pants on. I’m not even going to try to explain myself.

Continue reading “It’s only been 5 days, but it feels like it’s been 2 weeks.”

Australia, Explore

At last… landed in Sydney!

Note: I realize I did not take any photos. I’ll improve on that.

I left LAX on Monday, January 6th at 11:30 AM on a China Eastern aircraft. I have never heard of China Eastern before this past summer and expected their service to be crappy, but I am happy to state that I have been proven wrong. On both my flights, the attendants were friendly and the flight wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

Flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai Pudong- I was sitting in the middle section in the aisle seat, and it turns out that the two middle seats were empty! That was the only good part. I was seated two rows behind the bassinet row with three crying babies. And the man that sat behind me always grabbed my seat whenever he wanted to stand up or sit down. Couldn’t sleep on that flight. Continue reading “At last… landed in Sydney!”