Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So it's been a stressful first two weeks here. Probably due to my tendency toward worry and such, but with re-arranging classes, booking flights and hostels to the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand, and just adjusting, I have been feeling really stressed and overwhelmed. It's hard to take time to just stop and appreciate, which I told myself I would do! Ah. I hope now that I booked these trips and such that I will be more relaxed. Anyway, all that aside, I am so grateful and blessed and excited that I get to do these trips! I will be super poor :p, but I know that I will not regret it-- the travel, the experience, the beauty-- I'm so thankful! I only wish I had my family here to share it with me.

Let's see, I'm not sure what I posted in past posts, so sorry if I repeat myself! Here's the past week:
- I am officially pro at hailing buses, I feel sooo cool when I do it. Not. It's super awkward, like when a bus comes that you DON'T want, I look down and back away and act all awkward like, "Hey Mr. Bus Driver, please don't think that I want this bus and please don't pull over for me and make all the riders get mad--this is me definitely not hailing you." Meanwhile, when I want a bus, I put my hand awkwardly in the air trying not to look like a waving lunatic but to still look like I know what I'm doing. So I try to look all cool and casual flick my wrist with my bus pass in hand, like yeah I know what I'm doing pshhh.. lol
While on the topic of buses, most of us have found that ALREADY, they are the bane of our existence. Most people think "Oh you're going to Australia! You're going to surf and tan and play with kangaroos..." BUT nope. Instead, most of my time is spent studying bus schedules, trying to find coordinating ones, then of course waiting for them (many are late or don't show up), and then being on the bus, which from my hostfamily house is usually at least a half hour per busride and I take two buses to get anywhere...so yeah add all that up and getting anywhere takes foreverrrr. Therefore, buses = frustrating and bane of existence.

Fun Facts time:

1) P Sherman 42 Wallaby Way does NOT exist, much to my chagrin.
2)  I have been to one beach so far, Manly, and I am outside often, however, the weather has been super rainy and cloudy so NO I am not as tan as you'd think.
3) I have not yet seen any wild Australian animals, except for Rainbow Larkeys which are bright red and green and yellow and gorgeous! BUT they live outside my house and in packs and they are the most annoying birds ever. They start screeching and like making really obnoxious noises starting at 5 AM outside my window. You'd think they have pretty singy-songy bird calls, but noo way. They ruin their exotic-ness :p.
4)  I have not even seen any zoo animals either, but this weekend we get to feed kangaroos and pet koalas and feed wallabies! So excited.
5) If I haven't mentioned this before, I did see my first official celebrity at LAX and I walked right past Fergie and Josh Duhamel (who is in the movie "Safe Haven" which I had just watched a few days before). Incidentally, that day they officially announced they were pregnant. How cute :) Oh and true to the common pics of celebrities in LAX, he was wearing a baseball cap and she was wearing sunglasses, of course. So yay, claim to fame.
6) True to the stereotype, most people here are beyond friendly. Like if you're lost, which of course I often am, you can ask anyone for help and they go way out of their way to help you. Despite some accents and weird phrases that are hard to understand :p, it's often quite helpful and easy to get around with locals' help.
7) So yes, most people are friendly, but there are those exceptions...which often seem to be bus drivers. So here is my first bad, sketchy story of public transportation in Sydney (which I have not yet told my mom...sorry mom)--

My roommate and I were coming home late to our house on a super rainy, gross evening. It was around 9:30 PM and we caught our regular second bus to get home. Well it was a more shaky, bumpy, speedy ride than normal, and buses are already crazy and somewhat scary to ride on due to the driver going so fast and such, but this one was worse. The driver must have been in a hurry. For example, our friend got off a few stops before us, and the driver literally closed the doors on her, which pushed her off the bus into the rain. Not cool. So then when we got to our stop we pushed the button and it didn't work, so we missed our stop. The bus circles around so we figured we'd be fine to stay on til then. But a few minutes later the driver literally stopped the bus and said "Okay last stop, get out." We were confused because that was not the last stop. So we asked him if we could stay on til our stop and he said "No get off, I'll be back in five minutes."...?... So we got out and were in a back alley, at night, in the pouring rain, and we had no idea where we were.  Unsure of what to do, we waited for a while and he came back, and I got on and said "Can you please tell me why you did that?" He said, "I had to pee." Now....the bus reeked of cigarette smoke and it had not before... SO. My roommate and I decided that this driver had dropped us off in the rain and stopped his route to go smoke for a bit...just because. When we got off the bus again, my roommate said to him, "I'm sorry, but that was not okay." And the driver said, "Oh really, what ya gonna do about it?" When we got home and told our host dad, he said that this was actually illegal for the driver to not complete his route and to kick people off the bus. So we called and filed a complaint but that is all we know.

So wow this is a long post, well I guess I'll finish it by saying, if you'd like to pray for me you can of course pray for safety, but also pray for my frustrations with things like public transportation :p and even frustrations with myself sometimes.. I just want to enjoy my time here and not overthink and analyze and worry so much. Also, I'm feeling much better from my cold! My ear is still messed up, but my dad says nothing's wrong so yay :) Thanks for the prayers!... and thanks for reading this if you lasted that long! ;)


  1. Oh my!!! 1. I'm sad Dory's address doesn't exist. 2. I'm super excited for you to feed those animals and to go on your trips. I know it will be worth it and booking is the worst part. I'm sorry you have so much traveling. Hailing buses does not sound fun. That's crazy that they don't follow schedule and always stop at bus STOPS. And wow that's a terrible experience, but I'm glad you were not alone and that your host family could help you take action! Anyway, I'll be praying for you. Hang in there-- you are doing great adjusting to life on a new CONTINENT!! I love you!

  2. I am sooo excited for you with your trips to the Reef and New Zealand! I loved this post; you're so funny! I think you were born to be a blogger. ;) Miss you & love you.

  3. Oh Gabi, your recounting of the events is indeed entertaining! And I will pray for you. You obviously have insight into your stress and frustrations, so follow your own advise and surrender these concerns to the Lord and put your plans in His hands to go according to His will. May you experience His peace and abiding presence.