May 2024

Sayonara Sydney!

Today’s blog post comes WAY overdue from surf camp in Crescent Head, Australia. Our apologies to the extreme delay, but between the computer pooping out in Sydney and almost every minute of our time at surf camp filled with people, food, activity and booze, we’ve found it hard to grab a few spare moments to get some thoughts and stories written down. As I’m writing this, I’m hanging out in the common room of our surf camp accommodations, listening to a local band jam while Scott plays volleyball outside…and all this after a long and exhausting day of surfing!
I believe I need to backtrack to Saturday to get caught up on our adventures. We woke up really early in the morning in anticipation of taking the 3 hour train out to the Blue Mountains – we’ve heard they are stellar and come highly recommended from many friends. Upon waking up at the crack of dawn, Scott discovered our laptop had mysteriously imploded: the back end of it was all melded together and the computer wouldn’t recognize the hard drive. Big shit. All of our trip photos are stored on the computer – we routinely clean the camera off after we download them. We had JUST backed most of them onto a cd and sent them home, but my trust in down under post is not strong, as no one has received the postcards I’ve sent over a month ago. To boot, we had lost all of our New Years Eve photos and videos, which was SUPER disappointing.
This threw us into a bit of a wave of depression, so Scott decided to make an appointment with the Apple store “Genius Bar” to see if they could fix it. Our hopes were low – Scott’s knowledge likely surpasses that of the Apple Geniuses, and his prediction was bad – it seems the hard drive just randomly pooched itself into oblivion. Upon arrival at Apple, this was confirmed. Silver lining: Scott has a very unique model where they will replace hard drives for free (usually a $150 cost) AND they’d throw in a new keyboard (his was looking pretty beat up). They’d also try to recover our hard drive, but warned us it would be unlikely.
To pass the few hours it would take for them to fix everything, we decided to take a quick jaunt to Bondi Beach. On our way there it started pouring rain (when moments before it had been gloriously sunny)…but by the time we got to the beach it was sunny again. Random. We spent about an hour at the beach, then went back to Apple to pick up the computer. Scott wanted to stay there and spend a few hours just sitting there downloading all the crap he requires as a software programmer, which was BORING for me. After we got home that night, Scott realized they hadn’t added the correct operating system he requires as a developer. Poop. So, he had to go back Sunday morning and wait while they fixed it and sat for hours re-downloading other software items he required. I opted out of this excitement and got prepared for our departure on Monday. I also had plans to meet up with a few Australian blokes I had met in Europe in 2003.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

So, off Scott and I went, parting ways for the first time in 5 weeks. It felt really weird to be without each other after SOOO much time together!
I met my Australian buds, Nathan and Joel and their two girlfriends, Sylvia and Tuk near Circular Quay in the late afternoon. I thought we’d just have a drink or two and then I’d meet Scott back home for dinner, to clean the house and pack for our move up the coast. Boy, was I wrong. Australians are exactly like Canadians, just with an accent: they love their beer, they love their country, and were keen to show me a true “Australian” time. The theme of the night became “Welcome to Australia!” – exclaimed by the boys every time a new beer popped up in front of me when I hadn’t even finished the last.
Feeling bad that Scott was stuck at the Apple store only a few blocks away, I decided to try to email him to have him come enjoy the Aussie festivities too – unfortunately, he’d already taken the long commute home and wasn’t interested in coming back. His loss. The night turned into one of the greatest I’ve had on this trip.
Hanging out with Nathan and Joel made me remember all the reasons why I wanted to come to Australia after meeting them in Europe. They are hilarious and loud and fun and were intent on showing me a good time. After several beers on a patio at Circular Quay, chatting about everything from Europe memories, working in Australia, and just life and fun in general, they decided we should go for sushi. I had really wanted to go for Sushi while in Sydney due to the strong Asian influence, but hadn’t really come across much. Well, knowing locals is where it’s at – they took me to an incredible restaurant in the heart of China Town. Now, the thing that was amazing about this place was that you ordered from a touch screen menu at the end of the table. Leave it to the Japanese to come up with this amazing technological advance, right? You want a beer? Just press the button for it and it comes, literally, 30 seconds later. The efficiency of this is unreal. We started ordering sushi, and it started appearing on our table instantaneously. Someone would say, “I feel like dumplings.” Press the button. Done. Or, “oh that roll was REALLY good, let’s get another.” Just press the button. At one point, Joel decided we needed some cocktails (even though I was already saddled with a large beer) and ordered a round of what he called “Tokyo Sunrises.”
Sylvia ordering sushi from the awesome self order screen at the end of our table.

Sylvia ordering sushi from the awesome self order screen at the end of our table.

After all this, they still wouldn’t let me go home, even though it was nearing 10 p.m., and I had a 1.5 hour commute ahead of me, a house to clean, belongings to pack, and an alarm to wake up to at 5:30 a.m the next day. They insisted on singing karaoke. So, off we traipsed, many sheets to the wind…to a karaoke bar a few blocks away, still in China Town, called the Covent Garden. This place was a GEM. It literally felt like a senior citizen’s home bus would pick up all the seniors every Sunday night and bring them to this place. It was a Sunday, I suppose. Every patron was singing like they were trying out for American Idol: “the Senior Years,” so I was dreading the horrible rendition of MJ’s “Bad” that would shortly ensue from my ungraceful vocal chords. Fortunately, Joel agreed to sing it with me, so at least I had a partner in crime.
Time passed, and we still didn’t get called up to perform. We spent some time playing the slot machines (yes, it was THIS classy) and upon winning all our money and then some back, the stoned Chinese dude manning the money booth had locked himself out, but told us he would pay us later. HA.
Finally, my turn came to sing, but Joel was MIA walking his girlfriend to the car (she wanted to go home). Nathan was too whimpy to get up there with me, so we let our song pass. After all that…such a disappointment. We left the bar and told (lied to?) Joel we had done a great job singing it…he was super choked he missed the “performance,” which I assured him contained heaps of crotch grabbing.
Finally, it was time for me to go. Nearly midnight and the long journey ahead, I caught the train home. Scott and I were up until 2:30 packing, and then had to get up at 5:30 a.m to catch the train back into town to meet our surf bus. The really big kicker is that the bus drove North, and rode right by the house we were staying at approximately 9 a.m. That was brutal.
Europe reunited! Minus Suf. :(

Europe reunited! Minus Suf. 🙁

Well, I’m going to end the blog here today, because it’s nearly time for dinner and it’s our last night at the surf camp, so it’s bound to be a solid party (I’m counting on this as the last few nights have been amazing and loads of fun)….I’ll have to get around writing the entire surf blog upon our arrival in Byron Bay tomorrow night. It’ll be a good one – we’ve met some wicked people and have just been having a rip-roaring time, living the Australian surf life!!

3 comments to Sayonara Sydney!

  • Joel X

    hey kenna,

    missed a good end to the night. got home at 5am…massive session.

    hope you and scott are enjoying the surf trip.

    cheers joel

  • Dave

    I am so jealous of your surf camp already it must have been so much fun. Byron is going to be wicked fun. Forget your shirts and shoes at your hoste you don’t need em

  • Meredith

    OMG! NO WAY! SUSHI PLACE ORDERED on a touch screen?!?!?!?!!? GENIUS!

    Catching up on your blog. So jealous but so happy you guys are experiencing all this AWESOMENESS! I can’t wait to hear all about it. I want to go to Bali. 😀

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