After our Krabi adventure was up, we took a cheap overnight bus (only slightly shady) to Bangkok, where we were to catch a flight to Sydney the following day. Sydney was a good ten hours from Bangkok, something I didn’t initially realize. It felt like we were on the plane for ages! When we arrived, we made our way to our hostel in King’s Cross. It was… gross. Yeah, it was gross. It was the end of our trip, so we were workin’ with pennies here, and just booked a hostel that was an unhappy mixture of cost efficiency and city-center. When we checked in, we were told the hostel didn’t provide towels nor blankets. So we slept with just a top sheet, and keep in mind that Sydney is in winter mode right now so it was uncomfortably chilly! (Later, my Australian friend let us know that the area we were staying in, King’s Cross, was the red-light district. Yup, we definitely could tell!) Whatever. Let’s not even talk about how there was one shared toilet for the entire floor. I digress. We were determined to make the most of our adventure and so we just rolled our eyes and dropped our things, eager to explore!
I have Australian friends who studied abroad with me in Italy who warned me that Sydney would be really expensive. It was… but it wasn’t any worse than London or even parts of Paris. We made sure to seek bargain eats and it was grand in the end. Speaking of bargain eats… at one point, we saw a burger deal for $10 ($7.50 USD… see? Not so expensive!), featuring an Aussie burger. It tasted a little off, but we shrugged it off as the burger having a different sauce or something. Turns out, they were called Aussie burgers because they were made with kangaroo meat. I didn’t know whether to laugh or throw up my stomach contents as soon as possible, but it wasn’t bad… and it really tasted no different than what I’ve eaten in years past that my Texan father and brothers have brought home from their annual hunting trips (#Murica).
We took a walking tour one morning and were quickly introduced to all of the major sights. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- free walking tours are the best way to get your bearings for a city! So many times I’ve been introduced to new little sights or facts about really famous landmarks I’d have never known otherwise. We also took a night tour of the Rocks, which is a super historical part of Sydney that’s opposite the Sydney opera house in the Sydney harbor! I find Australia’s history so fascinating because a major part of its history stems from when the British sent convicts over there as if that was even ever remotely a good idea.
I loved Sydney, and I wish we had been given more time (and funds!) to explore more of it! Everyone is so friendly, and we had fun comparing cultural differences with people in our hostel. We only had one unpleasant experience, and here’s another story for y’all: we found $360 in the street one evening, and were basically immediately bullied into calling the cops to turn it in by this super nerdy Asian kid (who had seen the money at the exact same time as us), who was our age but literally thought he was the thought police and monitored us as he proceeded to call the cops over this money. It ended up being a way bigger deal than it had to be, but whatever. Over him. The moment was a little more soured when Nicola, one of the girls I studied abroad with and then met up with while we were in Sydney, told us that the cops are corrupt and probably laughed and pocketed the money when we weren’t looking. I digress. Besides that incident, Sydney was so pretty! I also want to see what it’s like in the summer, because right now they’re in winter mode, which is bizarre and eerie. Australia was just named the #1 most longed for destination spot, and now I see why! It was a great way to end our six weeks of traveling, and I can’t wait to see what comes next in this expat adventure!