Monday, February 16, 2009

Bondi Beach in the Rain with Frenchmen

It was finally sunny today when I woke up, so I decided to venture to the famous Bondi Beach. My internship will be located near there and I wanted to be sure I would be able to find my way. I have to take a bus, a train, and then another bus; it will take me a little over an hour. While on the second bus, I started chatting with two guys that looked to be travelling together. They were from France, and had just arrived last week as well, but they were not travelling together; they had met at their hostel. One of them spoke very good English, and was looking to move to Australia and get a job; the other was a backpacker whose English wasn't quite as good. They, too, were headed to Bondi Beach, so when we disembarked, we decided to try to find our way together. We took a guess, and ended up choosing the wrong direction and ended up at Tamarama Beach, which is the beach just south of Bondi.
It was equally as beautiful, but there were no people on the beach, and it was quite a bit smaller than Bondi Beach. By this point (of course) it had started raining, and we asked some people how to get to Bondi. They pointed us in the right direction, and we ended up on a gorgeous path. The conversation with the Frenchmen was very intersesting, and I had to struggle to understand their accents (You'd be proud of me Julia, I'm getting much better!) As soon as we reached the top of the point, and Bondi was just around the corner, my camera died.

I will definitely be back though, so I wasn't too disappointed. After soaking in the views and looking for surfers, it started downpouring. We ran to find somewhere to get under cover, and found a surf club. Normally you have to have a membership in order to go there, but internationals can go for free. We sat for a while to wait out the storm, and then I parted ways with them in order to catch the bus back home in time for dinner. They kissed me on both cheeks, in the typical French manner, and as I walked away, I thought, "This is what study abroad is supposed to be like." I had just spontaneously spent the afternoon with two complete strangers, French-speaking no less, seen some beautiful views, gotten lost and had a fantastic time.
On the way home, I got "off-course" a bit (I decided that will be my new term for lost, as I have never been completely lost because there are always people around to ask directions of), but ultimately found the right bus to take from the city to Willoughby. Everytime I would see something familiar, I silently cheered for myself that I had found my way, and that I am starting to recognize places in my new city. When I stepped off the bus at my stop, I realized that my host dad, Matthew, had been on the same bus, and walked home with him.
For dinner tonight, we had "scraps," their term for leftovers, and now I will probably spend the rest of the night getting organized and reading. Being out in the sun/rain/wind all day has tuckered me out. I think I want to try to head to the Taronga Zoo tomorrow. Maybe one of the boys will decide to join me... If not, that's okay too... they would probably get impatient always having to stop so that I can take countless pictures!
I am adding pictures to my previous posts if you want to check them out!


Mrs O said...

It sounds like a gorgeous day, rain and all! I'm so glad you are getting this all down, in pictures and words.
Have you ever heard of the old Twilight Zone episode regarding a train heading to Willoughby?!
I love all your pictures Amy--you are really talented!!

Julia said...

Oui! The adventure has begun!