02 November 2017

Australia: I bought a ticket to the world

Today marks the start of our three week trip to Australia and New Zealand. We've been planning this trip for months, so it was exciting and exhilarating for it to finally be happening. And exciting it was -- right off the bat! Due to a delayed gate at LAX, we almost missed our connection because we were unable to deplane! Lots of speedwalking late at night made for a suddenly very stressful situation. Thankfully we made it with 6 minutes to spare.

As expected, I hardly slept on the 10-hour flight. I remember watching Hairspray at some point, and trying to fill in the rest of the time with music (I made sure to have a lot!). After landing, the first thing I noticed about SYD were the SmartGates. Instead of going through passport control through an agent, they use facial recognition and passport scans to process your entry. So futuristic!

While waiting for our rideshare, we chatted with two really nice ladies from New Zealand. It was a beautiful afternoon in Sydney, but I was still feeling the lack of sleep, so I couldn't wait to get settled into my seat on the shuttle. Spandau Ballet's "True" played softly through the shuttle's speakers while we drove through streets lined with blooming purple trees.
We got to our hostel at 9AM with a lot of time to kill before check-in. Too tired and unable to leave our luggage, we decided to get breakfast at the cafĂ© attached and chill with the free wi-fi. My mom and I shared ricotta cheese pancakes with strawberries and their "Big Breakfast." So many different kinds of meats! 
It was my first time staying at a hostel, and the reputation really lives up to the experience. The rooms were so bare bones - it was just a bed! I slept on a pull-out mattress on the floor and took a long nap. 
There was still plenty of time to the day so we took the train to Circular Quay. Central Station was so pretty! I really wish Seattle had a train system. 

Tours were closed for the Sydney Opera House so we bought one for tomorrow.

For dinner we went to Mamak (a Malaysian restaurant) at my friend Andrea's recommendation. There were so many shops in Chinatown and everything looked so good! There were lots of people there, too - the sidewalks were packed.
Chicken curry!
Fried chicken.
Mee goreng.

I also got to try an iced milo and their iced tea. The iced tea was perfect! I'd definitely love to go back to Mamak if I'm ever in Sydney again.

It seemed it was our cue to end the day, because as soon as we were walking back to the station, it started to rain. Good night!

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