Oz, Glorious Oz!
Trip Start Dec 14, 2004
27Trip End May 25, 2005
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We arrived at our hostel and soon ventured out to find the cheap sushi that we've been hearing about for so long. It is all over the city, and we are quite happy about this and certainly taking full advantage of it. :)
Yesterday, our first full day here, was actually a major holiday for this country- Australia Day! It was a beautiful summer day, the streets were packed with people and music and food everywhere we went, and the people in this country are mighty proud to be Australians. It resembled festivities one might seen in the US on the fourth of July, except this wasn't independence day. It's just a holiday for Australians to revel in how much they adore their country. A fun and spritied first day here, indeed. Later in the day we made our way out to a different area of town where an old friend of Jodie's (Nelly, from Edinburgh!) lives... he and his flatmates were having a BBQ and invited us to come, so we ended Australia day with a classic cookout and met some very nice people.
Today we decided to take a little adventure out to the zoo. On our way to the wharf we stopped for a closer look at the Opera House and sat on the steps to watch some of the Australian Open on the big screen. They even had a batting cage-type thing where you could clock your serve... that was kinda fun. (I got up to 92k!) The only way you can get to the zoo is by ferry, so that was a bonus to take a ride through the Sydney harbor. We had a fun time seeing some new animals, like kangaroos, koalas, dingos and even a tasmanian devil. It's really the most fun to listen to all the kids around you and what they have to say about the animals... one little boy told his dad he wanted a tasmanian devil for his next birthday. All of the koalas we saw were either sleeping or eating- turns out that they sleep for about 20 hours a day because the leaves they eat are low in energy and fermented- basically koalas spend most of their lives being drunk. (just some useless information for you.)
We've made quite a transition over the last few days- we went from being in a country of 4 million people to being in a city of 4 million people, and it's a difference that we can really feel. We are making arrangements to meet our friend Avi in Byron Bay within the next few days, so we will probably start heading north up the east coast on saturday. Also, we've been getting some emails regarding our last entry and I feel the need to apologize. It was very unteacher-like of me to not explain the word "Havdallah" to our non-Jewish audience. Thank you for pointing this out... from this point on we will be more clear about any Jewish references we make. The word Havdallah comes from the Hebrew verb "L'havdil," which means "to separate." The prayers and rituals of a Havdallah service mark the end of the Jewish Sabbath (which is friday evening to saturday evening), and we do it in order to separate the Sabbath from the beginning of a new week, as soon as there are three stars in the sky. Hopefully that helped, and all of you rabbis out there approved this brief explanation :)
I think that just about wraps it up for now... we're happy to be here and we will continue to keep you updated. Thanks for your emails as well, we love hearing from you.
For all of you who have spent some time down here in the land down under (we heard that song in a store this morning!) and want to bombard us with suggestions, or requests for airmailed TimTams, go ahead! We have about three weeks here at this point, though that is flexible, and we're going to try to see/do as much as we can!
lots of love from down under,
the sushi monsters