Sydney.. is the place to be

I have not been blogging for more than four months because I was going through a tough time in life. Yesterday was Sunday, and although I really wanted to stay in bed all day, I forced myself to: clean out my bookshelf, throw some things out from the fridge, take a walk around the neighbourhood, go to the supermarket, knead some dough, let it rest, do laundry, and make dinner.

I thought all these activities would tire me out, but oh how naive, it didn’t ‘cure’ my anxiety or insomnia one bit, and I groaned when I awoke an hour after I ‘successfully’ fell asleep. I need to see the doctor.

Some acquaintances have been telling me oh you need therapy, oh you need to relax, oh you need to stop smoking so you can buy a nice car, oh this and that. Let’s just say this: I didn’t choose to have trouble sleeping, I didn’t sit down, pore over my choices, and then decide HEY LET ME BE THIS SAD AND ANXIOUS! IT’S PROBABLY FUN!

Anyway.

I went to Sydney. I had never been to Australia before this trip because I never had any reason or interest to visit. I was also aware I probably would not enjoy something village-y after Yogyakarta, which I will write about soon, and I really wanted to relax. I flew to Sydney in the wee hours of the Friday morning before Christmas, reached slightly after lunch (still Friday). Immigration was a bit slow. It was officially summer already, but because of how and where Sydney is located, it got pretty cold in the evening. I had a moto jacket for flights but never thought to bring anything else jacket-y or warm.

A lot of Singaporeans like to mention that Australia is racist. I never travelled much but have to say never been discriminated against except one time in Shanghai some guy on a bicycle spat at me and Mimi. It was a racist spit because he half-yelled ‘MALAYSIA!’ before spitting. Should have whipped my passport out!

I (thankfully) did not experience discrimination in Sydney. Maybe because the place I stayed (Bankstown) had a lot of Vietnamese restaurants and other Asian types around😊

I am on mobile so don’t know if the formatting would be weird. Here are some pictures:

Price-wise for food, Sydney can be a bit expensive compared to Singapore. The portion is of course larger than Singapore’s, and I had Greek food the first night I was there. Loved the Haloumi cheese sticks, not so much the chips (fries), but LOVED the calamari souvlaki and lamb wrap. It was a bit too much for me, though.

I also wanted my fair share of touristy things, possibly because I knew people were gonna ask, ‘Did you see this and that?’ When I came back to Singapore I thought about it and realised I didn’t give a rat’s ass. If I didn’t go, I didn’t go! Nobody should care, because I certainly don’t.

So I went to:

1) Take a ferry to Darling Harbour

2) Take a ferry to Watsons Bay

3) Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park

4) Visit Blue Mountains

5) Buy sashimi at Sydney Fish Market

The rest of the things I did were not exactly touristy.

I went to Newtown to look at Gould’s Books (store). One thing I love about Sydney is the signs are hilarious! You would never see such things in Singapore because we are mostly business-like. For example:

I just thought it was funny. I can imagine people in Singapore going ‘Why must say it is for humans? Isn’t that implied?

And this one:

And Kiss and Ride. Google it. I had to turn around and take a photo because all these things amused me.

Also, I saw a lot of graffiti. The Singaporean in me was a bit ‘hmmm’ but I got used to it. And I was fascinated by the power lines and the massive space in Sydney.

Pictures of the ferry rides:

The Sydney Opera House is actually beige/something not white. I always thought it was white.

Went to the wildlife park en route to Blue Mountains. We saw all kinds of birds (pelicans, ibises, cassowary) wallabies, wallaroos, kangaroos, dingoes, koalas, wombats. For 2 dollars a cup you can feed the marsupials. Not the koalas who were mostly asleep.

I will continue later. Now I need to quickly go home and study for an exam I’m taking soon.

Things That Make Me Miss New York

I Netflix a lot for someone who is busy. Currently I watch Shooter. I don't think it has an excellent rating but I like shows with guns.

Other shows I like include: The Blacklist, Suits, Elementary (the first three seasons), The Good Wife, comedy specials such as Trevor Noah's Afraid of the Dark, John Mulaney The Comeback Kid (I also enjoyed New In Town), Sarah Silverman's A Speck of Dust.

I watched BoJack Horseman earlier this week and I saw:

See painting behind the female character (Diane Nyugen). Isn't that… a.. Matisse?

Shown in Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

And then a couple of months ago I watched The Blacklist.

Tom Keen in a laundromat. The same one I went to the Sunday I flew back to Singapore. I spent almost 2 hours doing laundry because I didn't want my mom to have to wash 10 days worth of clothes.

I miss New York! 😦

New York City

Let me just begin this by saying I am not interested in traveling. My disinterest is equal parts lazy and equal parts lack of money. I am not broke, but I am not exactly sitting on a pile of money. I like to spend money. I also don’t particularly enjoy doing 3-airports-in-24-hours things, therefore when I landed in JFK I was ecstatic. Plus I had to shit so bad, but the Singaporean in me forced my rectum to behave because I did not want to re-queue. I also think maybe it was because I would look suspicious and any US airport is not the place to look suspicious.

I had no problems with the immigration (yasss!!!) but I had a serious case of jetlag. I sleep a lot normally so when you put me on a plane for 14 hours straight (and 8 hours before that) I tend to want to sleep more, regardless of how many hours I slept on the plane.

I have been to NYC once for two weeks in 2015, and I stayed in Brooklyn then. It’s not that scary but I remember I had to be alert all the damn time and I was always ducking into delis. This time I stayed near Times Square, so moving around was easier.

The second day I was there I went to Strand (the bookstore) in the evening and spent maybe an hour or two browsing. Ended up buying 11 books, stopped by a cart to get dinner, and took the subway back to the apartment. I bought two Tennessee Williams plays (one I am using as a mouse pad now heh), a few books on writing, a Neil Gaiman, and a James Patterson.

Highlights of the trip: I went for my third play of the year, I went to MoMA, and I was mistaken for a Filipino at least 3 times. It doesn’t bother me now. I also went to 54 Below for ‘Broadway Loves Kelly Clarkson’. I took videos, but YouTube has a bunch of videos, so I will link to those, instead.

One of my favourites (it is one of my favourite KC songs anyway, plus I have a similar jacket hehehe!!!):

We said Hi to the singer who sang ‘Miss Independent’ after the show (I liked this song as a teenager because Miss Christina Aguilera wrote it)

And my favourite:

If you are interested, you can view the rest of the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_tl7Dl6pOJOt8nJ2HjevvRlX4YGAYMn2

Before they dimmed the lights, this is what Feinstein’s looks like:

f54b.jpg

We of course got booth seats (had to share with a couple) because New York. 

We went to MoMA on one of the days. Some pictures:

Lessons I learnt from this trip:

  1. Don’t buy pet food unless you’re OK with dogs (I am not! I am terrified of dogs)
  2. People work hard to get where they are (i.e. they work multiple jobs while going for classes when they want to make it somewhere)
  3. Maybe it’s time to learn about your own history (I know nothing about Singapore or being Malay and I am embarrassed sometimes)
  4. Speak louder and be confident

Good night! 🙂