If I could get away with living life in my room, I probably would do just that... my introverted nature keeps me from enjoying my surroundings sometimes. Luckily, I have two roommates who made it their goal to make sure I do not lock myself into my room for the remainder of the trip. This week, even though I really just wanted to stay home and do homework (or sleep), they insisted I get out and actually enjoy Sydney.
Wednesday, we celebrated Cinco De Mayo! There are very few Mexican restaurants in Sydney (about 3 in the entire city... now remember that Sydney is the size of NYC and you should be surprised). We found one in Newtown... the hip- trendy- really awesome suburb of Sydney that had $5 burritos on Cinco De Mayo! So of course, almost all 37 students in our program had to go get one! Now in Sydney, any meal less than $10 is incredible. Even subway $5 footlongs are $7 here! So, for us to find a good Mexican restaurant was amazing and the fact that they had huge burritos for less than a Subway footlong is just like icing on the cake!
Thursday morning, I met 3 friends for lunch at a cute little Italian shop. It is the kind of place where you look at the selection of desserts and realize that if you got one of everything that looks good, you will probably spend your entire life savings... so we decided to get the much advertised ricotta cheesecake (it even has a facebook fan page!) I must say, I was a little disappointed in the cheesecake consistency, but the flavour and the crust were both fabulous.
We went on a 5 hour hike in the Blue Mountains for class on Friday. It was a nice change of pace from learning about aboriginal history in the classroom. We went with an aboriginal guide to a few sacred sites and painted our faces with homemade Ochre (rocks mixed with water to make a pasty paint). It was so much fun and totally worth the 1 ½ hour ride to and from Sydney.
After such an intense day, I really just wanted to go to sleep.... but of course, my roommate Amy would not let me stay home. She says we can sleep when we are dead (what she doesn't realize is that without sleep, I'm as good as dead!) After the fact, I was very glad she convinced me to go out. We ended up going to karaoke, which is what I usually do in my living room every night, so it was refreshing to do it for the first time in 3 months.
I finally fulfilled my goal to see a show at the Opera House on Saturday. There was a special Rodgers and Hammerstein show on and when I found out about it, I could not resist it. It was a conglomeration of highlights from 6 musicals played by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I almost had to watch the show by myself. I was supposed to meet my friend in front of one of the ferry entrances, but the place we decided to meet was numbered wrong, so we both walked around the area for about half an hour wondering what to do. Eventually... right before the show started, we found each other. At the end of the performance, the conductor recognized a special guest in the audience. I was surprised to hear that one of the original cast members (Fredrick Von Trap) in The Sound of Music was in the audience (with me!!!!) It was certainly the highlight of the night.
I must say that I am very glad my roommates have been persistently encouraging me to take every opportunity to experience Sydney- just from this week I have so many memories that I would not have if I had stayed in my room every night.