Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things I Am Going To Miss

Despite my first final looming at 1:50pm tomorrow, I can't help but think of all the things I am going to miss about Sydney.

When I first arrived, I didn't know anyone, had an empty apartment, quiet days and nights, and an insignificant knowledge of the city. While this may seem like a horrible situation for some, it was possibly my favorite time of my trip. Due to my jetlag, I was up early and off exploring the city, the beaches and the people. I remember wandering down to Darling Harbour and walking in the rain through the Rocks to Circular Quay and up to the QVB. Or, another day I walked from the university to Bondi Beach exploring the different suburbs in between. Learning an exciting new city on foot was the best decision I made whilst being here. For me, being able to be on your own, travel and be comfortable doing it is an important ability to possess. Now, granted I have been to Sydney before but I had never been on my own in Sydney- constantly being surrounded by family and friends, never being taken out of a comfort zone, does not allow one to truly learn and experience a city.

Besides the exploring aspect of my trip, I will truly miss the social aspect. Obviously, it was exciting to meet new people and experience different nightclubs, music and party cultures. Australia is definitely in a league of its own when it comes to partying- it resembles the Euro nightlife with a bit more sophistication. More than just going out, I enjoyed reacquainting myself with family. Us American Wallach/Melvilles are not as close with family as we should be given where we live compared to the rest of the family. It is hard to see some cousins close with others solely because they have grown up together. While being here, it felt good to be in the family loop and not feel like an outsider or visitor like I typically do when we visit Sydney. Being able to share time with Miriam, Emma, Laila and Jordy has been just as fun for me as meeting the new friends that I have gained here. More than that, I enjoyed visiting Aunty Kathy and chatting with her for an hour here and there about nothing in particular. Just being able to have frequent conversations with family is nothing that I have experienced before. I feel like I know Brian and Susie on a whole other level now as well. I mean, Dad is not going to be happy when Brian sends him the bill with all the charges I acrued in the past 5 months but it was totally worth it!

Work. I will miss everything about my 5 month internship with Cirqulate Publicity. The clothes, the magazines and most importantly, the girls! To this day, I get excited walking up to King Street to catch the bus to Beaconsfield to go to work. The fact that each day brings something different to the showroom is refreshing compared to the monotonous work that is school. Not only have I deepened my love for fashion and PR, but I have (I believe) created lifelong friends that I will always keep in touch with. This 5 month position has taught me more about myself and my future than any experience I have had before. The fashion industry is not the superficial, materialistic world that I once thought it was- there is a lot of hard work, writing and research that goes in to each aspect of it. Besides having an interest in law, this job has taught me that journalism (especially fashion journalism) might be a good career path for me and something that I consider for my future.

School. Now, while I do not agree with most aspects of school, I truly love learning. Sydney Uni has taught me so much in one semester that I feel I have missed out on with my 3 years at Davis. For example, my environmental politics course has made me want to pursue a degree in environmental policy and maybe even environmental law. I would have never been able to take such a course at Davis due to my lack of experience in scientific courses such as chemisty and biology. More than this, experiencing a new culture of learning and teaching has taught me to appreciate my education more than I ever have. Being able to go abroad and study has taught me how important education is on a global level. Obviously I had known that knowledge is the most valuable possession one can have but, seeing it's value in another country solidified that fact. Knowledge and education is universal and with it, one can truly go anywhere in life. More than all this, the students and the schooling system at Sydney Uni has shown me that education in the US is far inferior to what this country has.

These are just a few specific things that I can think of at the moment that I will greatly miss after leaving. I believe this trip has really made me mature- I believe I have become less anxious, more accepting and more responsible for myself. I know I wanted to believe that I was an adult before I left and I was, to some extent, but I am even more so now. I have adopted the Australian laid-back lifesytle and believe in just going with the flow more than ever!

I think it is about time for me to wrap up my cliched feelings about my time here and the experiences I have had. As I think of more aspects of Sydney that I will miss, I will post them. Also, this is just a good outlet to get away from all the studying that has yet to be done!

I love and miss everyone at home! 13 days until I see all your gorg faces!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, Australian Spring/Summer is being brought in today with the Melbourne Cup (horse race) and 37 degree weather (approximately 104 degrees for you all you septic tanks!). Besides the weather heating up, life here has been a bit quiet as StuVac (Study Vacation) has begun and finals begin in less than a week.

I've really been enjoying my last few weeks here in Sydney. I've been expanding my social circling and hanging with a few different groups of people to maximize my social experience here! I have been cutting back on my nights in the city and enjoying the social life that SUV has to offer.

Uncle Irving and Ronni were nice enough to take me out to Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta last weekend for the Olive Festival. Between the free samples, entertainment and food, the event was fun despite the rain. Uncle Irving had a great time telling me all the about the history of the farm, the wool industry, and much more Australian colonial history than anyone could ever need! After the farm, we went to Harris Farm (little India) and enjoyed some Indian food and shopping. We wraped the day up with a trip to little Italy for some gelato- we were such the world travellers that day!

I've been to Susie and Brian's for Shabbat a few times as well as having play dates with Jordy and Laila the past few weekends. I think I have a fan in Jordy as he has requested me to be his play date instead of his school friends- what can I say? The kid has good taste!

Besides the family and school time, my life has been a bit quiet here. I didn't realize that people actually studied during StuVac but, apparently they do! I cannot believe that 3 finals and 2 and a half weeks stand between me and the end of school! I am definitely ready for school to be finished but will be sad to leave Sydney behind. The only thing I have planned after exams are finished is spending my last days on Bondi Beach soaking up the sun before I head home to winter. But, not to worry, I will be careful in the water as there has been a large Great White Shark off the coast doing damage to other Great Whites (see picture...).

Work has been going really well too! Today I came home with a vest, pants and a cozzy- who else can say that? The winter ranges have been coming in as well and we have been having showings for all the mags the past couple of weeks so it has been a bit hectic!

Tomorrow night I am going over to Peter and Marlene's for dinner which should be good! They are by far my favorite couple to hang around and are just so down to earth!

Well, that's really all I have to share at the moment. I cannot wait to see everyone at home! I am definitely missing everyone and cannot wait to catch up! Love and miss you all!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Brisbane, Fraser and a Happy New Year!

Hello Hello!

Due to a long absence of blogging, I have much to catch you up on!

Rosh Hoshanah was a few weeks ago and my first spent out of the country! Despite my lack of proximity to home, I was a good Jew and went to shul with Uncle Irving, Ronni, Miriam, Susie, Brian and of course, Ben Lee's mother. I knew I was right at home when I walked in and I was already the tallest one in the shul-some things just never change hey? Well, I had a great dinner with Uncle Irving and his family and friends on the Friday night and even bonded a bit with Miri. After shul on Saturday, the family congregated at Susie and Brian's for their traditional luncheon (I called it Linner because we didn't start eating until close to 4!). After the long weekend of praying and eating, I came home to work on a research essay...not my kind of fun!

After celebrating the Jewish New Year and having a week filled of school work and papers, I was looking forward to a much anticipated trip to Fraser Island. Before we were able to start our Fraser Island adventure, Christine and I were marooned in Brisbane for a day. Well, let me just tell you that one only needs about an hour in Brisbane- there is absolutely nothing to do! We walked around the city for about an hour and found ourselves bored. Now, we are both traveled individuals and enjoy exploring new cities however, Brisbane has nothing to explore. There is a river, some skyscrapers, a koala sanctuary and a man-made beach. I just saved all of you some time and money that should not be spent in Brisbane. Your Welcome!

Christine and I happily boarded a small bus the following day that would drive us to Hervey Bay. After a 4 hour bus drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay, we boarded the Kingfisher Bay catameran and took the 45 minute journey to Fraser Island. When we arrived, it was just me and Christine, or so we thought. There was a middle-aged gentleman on the bus with us that had boarded the same boat as us as well. We didn't think much about it as there were many other tourists on the ship- mainly Germans. Well, when we arrived on the island, we realized that the 3 of us were the only ones for the Cool Dingo Tour. This put Christine and I off our trip just a little bit as we had been advertised a tour consisting of 18-35 year olds and this man was definitely not in that age group. After sharing a meal with him and some great and unbelievable stories (we only believed him because he had the scars to prove it), we decided that he was ok after all and adopted him for the rest of the trip. His name is Charles (Chuck, I call him Chuckles) and he is from a small farming town in Oregon. Despite having traveled to Mexico once or twice, this was his first traveling experience and he soaked everything up. Now, when I say he is from a small farming town in Oregon, I mean SMALL- he is the definition of a hick and was not afraid to admit it! Though Chuck had a few flaws, he meant well and was a joy to be around (the other members on our trip thought differently and I think its safe to say that they do not have a good image of America because of him).

Back to the trip! So, our first day on Fraser Island consisted of a hike to Basin Lake followed by another hike to Central Station and then a river hike through the rainforest. After all these hikes and lunch, we found ourselves sun bathing on the shore of Lake McKenzie! Needless to say, Fraser is like all the other beaches along Australia's coast- clear blue water and pearl white sands. Well, the lakes of Fraser are no different- Basin Lake and Lake McKenzie are the most gorgeous lakes I have ever seen! The colors of the water, the sand and the greens surrounding them make each body of water picturesque!

Day 2 of our Cool Dingo tour saw us traveling along Fraser's highway-the beach! We saw the Maheno Shipwreck, Coloured Sands, climbed Indian head (where we saw 3 whales, 2 mantarays, and schools of fish all from the top!) and ended sunbathing at Eli Creek. Again, our day consisted of blue waters and white sands- its a tough life I live!

Day 3 (and our last on tour) was more of a lazy day as we swam in Lake Wabby (after a grueling 45 minute hike in soft sand), lunched at the Eurong Beach Resorts and finished off with another swim at Lake Birrabeen.

The tour was one of the best I have been on- we made a few friends, had a great tour guide, and enjoyed everything Fraser has to offer. After our 3 full days of touring Fraser, Chirstine and I decided to have a lazy day at the resort pool and be somewhat productive with our school work. We left the island early the following morning and found ourselves stranded in Brisbane once more!

The day in Brisbane consisted of school work but at night, we found ourselves with an international crew! We met aScottish, a German, an English, a Canadian and 2 Americans (me and Christine). Needless to say, we had a great time conversing in English with different accents!

We flew out of Brisbane the following afternoon and landed in a wet and cold Sydney. Despite the bad weather, we were both happy to be back at home after our week long adventure. Now, its school work, school work, school work. I only have 3 more weeks of instruction followed by one study vacation (stuvac as M and D informed me) and 2 weeks of exams. Even though I have been here for 3 months now, I feel like the time has just flown by! I would be lying however, if I said I didn't miss home!

I love and miss you all!

Mom, I hope this is entertaining enough for you as my past few blogs have not been up to your standard!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Last of the Visitors...

Hello Hello!

Well, Joe left yesterday and after realizing I have no more visitors and it is just me and Oz for the next three months, I got a bit homesick! That's right, homesick! Who would have thunk it huh?

Joe's trip to Australia was great- it gave me an excuse to get out of Sydney and see a bit of the Gold Coast. We jetted off to Surfer's Paradise early Saturday morning,5 September. We flew into a gloomy Gold Coast Airport and were quite anxious as to what the weekend would bring with the weather, the company and, for Joe's sake, the surf!After our 45 minute bus ride from the Gold Coast into the heart of Surfer's Paradise, the sun broke away from the clouds and gave us a gorgeous day. Unfortunately, the winds were a bit strong and the surf was not up to par so we just spent a lazy day at the beach, in the jacuzzi and wandering the wacky and tacky Surfer's boardwalk.

That night, after an all you can eat sushi buffet dinner, I came down with a nasty bug and had fevers all night. With that said, we woke up at 4:15 in the morning and spent all of Sunday repeating our Saturday's activities! Only, this time we went to the beach, I fell asleep a bit too long on my back and got a nice sunburn that turned into quite a tan by the time we got back to Sydney (sorry Mom)! I figured I was up to go out on the Sunday night as we could not come all this way to Surfer's to not go out once! After an nice Italian dinner we found that Surfer's isn't that party city we thought it was because it was dead on a Sunday night!! So, with that said, we went to all the way up there and didn't even go out once!! The bright side of that is that it made for quite a cheap trip!

After making it back to Sydney early Monday morning, I went off to class for a couple of hours and Joe wandered the city. That Tuesday consisted of me going to the doctor's office, writing a paper, and going to class. Joe on the other hand had a much better day than me- he went to Manly with a friend of ours from home on the ferry and had a day filled with surfing. After that, he went to the infamous Scruffy's b(an Irish pub) with some friends and I found myself working on a paper all night. Fun Stuff!!!

Wednesday was much better! I went off to work and had my long day of classes, Joe went to the Museum of Contemporary Art and then we went out with some of my girlfriends in Paddington that night.

Thursday we spent the day at Darling Harbour and Friday was spent wandering around the city. I felt a bit badly as Joe was my second visitor and I was not coming up with very good activities. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the Blue Mountains but Joe says that is just his incentive to get back out here at some point in his life- he wants to hold koalas!

All in all, I think Joe had a great trip and I was happy to show him my new (though temporary) life here in Sydney. Joe was also able to meet all the Golds (every generation) and have some good home cooked meals while he was here.

So, now that the visitors are gone, I had a lot of time to think and get a bit nostalgic- not always a good thing! So, with that said, I miss everyone at home much more than I had originally thought. Hopefully though, I think this little phase will pass as I have much to keep me busy- school, work and Fraser Island in 2 weeks! Also, Rosh Hashanah starts this weekend which means a few days of good old family fun which will be a good change of pace.

Well I miss everyone oodles and will post some more before I leave for Fraser on the 26 September, I'm sure!

Love to all! xoxox

Monday, August 24, 2009

$6 Lunch Specials, City Walkabouts and Footy

Hello, Hello!

Well, Lawdie left me today to head home to The States and I must say, I loved having my partner in crime with me in my new favorite city. Lawdie was here for 10 days and I don't think I have done more in such a short period of time than I did with her!
Despite arriving at 6:45am on Friday morning, Lawds was a trooper and allowed me to show her around Circular Quay, the Opera House, The Botanic Gardens, and George Street. Despite a full day of walking, traveling and only a short nap, Lawds and I hit the town and had a great first night together down at Darling Harbour at the Cargo Bar. Now, despite not paying for a single drink and dancing the night away, the one thing we learned was that the 20-something year old, too cool for school, investment bankers are not quite our type and called it a night at a mere 3am! Did I mention Lawdie had arrived at 645am? Ahh what a trooper!

The following day, the two of us woke at a reasonable hour, went for a quick run around the Uni (killing two birds with one stone- exercise and showing Lawds my new campus), walked through Chinatown, down to Darling Harbour and around to the Opera House. Well, Lawdie fell in love with Chinatown (she is kind of obsessed with Asian food) and we stopped for the best Chinese meal I have ever had at a hole in the wall place Lawdie's tour book had suggested. We walked our meal off walking through the rocks to Circular Quay and decided that it was a perfect day to grab the ferry to Manly. After staying at Manly for just over an hour, we decided to call it a day and head home. That night,we found ourselves at Kings Cross- the seediest, most guido area Sydney has to offer. Our 2 hours in Kings Cross was enough for us and we ended up at the Ivy in the CBD.

Sunday called for the Cooggee to Bondi Coastal Walk and we ended up laying out in the 26 degree weather- and they say its winter here?

The following week, while I was at class or work, Lawdie entertained herself with wandering the city, neighboring suburbs and frequenting Chinatown regularly. She also became quite keen of the $6 lunch special at the Thai restaurant down Kings St. I think she went in twice one day even- aw, I knew we were friends for a reason!
After becoming a regular at the local Thai restaurant, we knew we would have to be working off all the great food somehow so, we took to running together each day around the city! We have now run along the Harbour, the Botanic Gardens, Uni, and the park just down the street. Hopefully, I can keep this running thing up as I think I want to compete in a race when I return to the States....

Lawds and I found ourselves at an Irish pub in the city with some Uni friends on Tuesday and that was by far one of our best nights! This pub had a live band playing classic rock and, needless to say, Lawdie and I were in the middle of the dance floor dancing and singing along to each song. We had such a great time and didn't talk to anyone that came our way! It was the best workout we've had since we've been here!

After learning the city in the day and the night, Lawdie's trip came to a close (but not before she grabbed a lunch special to go to keep her satisfied on the plane)! It was great to see Lawds, show her around, and catch up with an old friend! I am definitely going to miss having my partner in crime with me but, all good things must come to an end. I have to admit though, it will be good to get back on track with my eating habits- Lawdie and I are not the best influences on each other when it comes to eating. Gotta love the fat kids!

Another thing Lawdie and I learned during her visit was the difference between rugby (footy) and AFL...us yanks had no idea what the difference was. The one thing we took away from the stunned guys that were explaining the differences to us was that one wears tshirts and one wears tanks! Ha, leave it to the girls to understand the uniform aspect but nothing else. Aw well, at least we know which one is which when they're on the telly now!

Back to school today and I am a bit behind on reading however, I know I will catch up within the next few days and hopefully get a bit ahead as I have another visitor coming in a couple of weeks.

Work begins again tomorrow and I can't wait to see whats in store for me there. I always love going to work- I dunno if its all the perks or being surrounded by designer clothing that gets to me but, whatever it is, I love it!

I am definitely starting to miss the family and wish they were here with me but, alas, this is what going abroad is all about.

Hope this keeps everyone entertained for a bit! Love and miss you all!

Peace, Love and Free Drinks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

beaches, visitors, and free clothes

So after officially being dubbed the worst blogger of all time by my family, its about time I get my blog on!
So much has happened since my last post I'm not quite sure where to begin...
Ill start with school as this is the whole reason I'm here right? Well, classes are fantastic despite having only 1 Australian professor (I have to travel to the other side of the world to be taught by Americans?)Although there is a good amount of reading for all 3 of my courses each week, it hasn't been hard staying on top of it all while still enjoying all the social functions Sydney has to offer.
In my tutorials (discussions to all you septic tanks), I am a bit scared to talk to be quite honest as people have already made it clear how they feel about Americans and our view of the world. I must say, I've had to remind people that I am Australian as well so I'm hoping they don't judge me too harshly! Also, I am quite upset with my parents and the fact they chose to raise us in the States- the education system there is definitely not up to par! All in all however, I'm doing very well in school and couldn't be any happier with how it is all turning out!
Work is fantastic as well. I received my first perks last week that came in the form of 2 blazers! And, my boss put Lawdie and I on the guest list for a private event at a posh club in the city- ah life is good! Just today I put in an order for a few dresses from a designer that decided she couldn't afford to pay my boss but she can pay her in clothes instead! Hey, my boss isn't paying me any money so at least I was able to order the clothes! So, come summer I should be sporting a completely free and fashionable wardrobe! Ugh, my life is so hard!
Dad arrived last Tuesday so it was good to see the ol' papa bear in his old stomping ground! We took a trip down the southern coast, past Wollongong and then went west to the Kangaroo Valley. Well, the one thing I discovered was that calling it the Kangaroo Valley is just false advertising- there's no bloody roos there let me tell you! So, needless to say, I was a bit disappointed with that part of the road trip but the sweeping green mountains and plush bush made up for it I suppose.
The beaches in and around Sydney are to die for! Coming from someone who grew up on the beaches of southern California, let me just say that we have no idea what a real beach is! White sands and clear blue water is not something that you can only find in Hawaii- every beach here is a tropical paradise.
With all the exploring, night life and socialising I've been participating in, I think its safe to say that I have found my new home! I am definitely sold on living here but, unfortunately, I must graduate at UC Davis first. So, yes, I will be coming home for winter and spring quarter but, I think I am changing my ticket so that I can be here for New Years Eve.
I love and miss everyone and will do my best to be more prompt with my blogging- no more 2 week waits.
Peace, love and Bondi Beach

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Canberra, Wine Tasting, Opera Houses, Harbour Bridges Oh My!

Hello Hello!

I know it has been a while since my last blog but, with the family and friends here it has been hard to keep up!

So Bex arrived on the 17th and it has been a whirlwind ever since! We decided that we'd get out of the city and head to Canberra, the capital of ACT (Australian Capital Territory). Well, although this is supposed to be a city and a capital, it was nothing more than a sleepy town with a few large buildings and great museums! After being somewhat shocked by the lack of activity and slow country lifestyle this city had to offer, Becca and I spent the day wandering the Parliament building, the National Archives Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery. While getting our exercise in for the day with all the walking, we picked up some fun facts as well from our enthusiastic Parliament tour guide like: Why are the Emu and Kangaroo on the Nation's Government seal? (Because their kneecaps are "backs-to-front"- they are only able to walk forward and Australia is a forward moving country.)

After wandering about the Parliament building and grounds, we made are way down to the National Archives to gather some family history. After learning about our great grandfather, Adam McAlister and his heroic war accomplishments, we walked to the National Portrait Gallery where I saw the Vanity Fair exhibit.

We realized that we had done everything there was to do in Canberra in one full day and jumped on a bus to Sydney the first thing Monday morning. Good thing we made it back in one piece because I think it is safe to say our bus driver was still drunk from the night before. Becca and I thought we were gonners a few times on that 4 hour bus ride home and wanted to kiss the ground as soon as we jumped off but the Central Bus Station is not the cleanest place in the world.

We spent the rest of the day with rels and did a nice coastal walk with Brian along the cliffs that afternoon where we got to watch jumping whales just off the shore!
Adam arrived on Wednesday morning with a friend and we immediately went to play with Jordy and Layla. After a quick game of checkers between Adam and Jordy (Jordy loves to play checkers 'cause he thinks he's pretty sly when it comes to cheating but, he's really not!), we took the train into Circular Quay with Shelley and the kids.

Wine tasting was the following morning. After the scenic ride up through the mountains and into the Hunter Valley we arrived at our first two wineries where we all got a little knackered! We had lunch, went to the Smelly Cheese shop, continued onto our 3rd winery and called it a day just in time to see the rainbow over the mountains!

The rest of the week was comprised of family outings and dinner plans. Let me just tell you, none of us were deprived of food! Becca and I had to walk everywhere everyday just to have the possibility of fitting into our pants the next day! (So glad I bought that gym pass!)

Bex and Adam have since left- Becca arrived in LA on Monday and Adam is currently skiing in New Zealand (or at least I hope he is- he has yet to contact me).

I started school on Monday and have loved every day since! I went on a pub crawl Monday night and am not disappointed with the Sydney night life! Work is still going well and I have to try to contain myself because I am constantly wanting to order clothes! Hopefully that itch will be scratched soon as the new lines are coming in and the old ones will be ready for ordering!

I had a bit of an accident yesterday at the gym which is pretty funny! I was running on the treadmill and obviously not paying attention to my feet when I ate it and fell in front of the morning gym rats. I wish someone had videotaped it as Im sure i could win some money on America's Funniest Home Videos for it! I wasn' hurt badly unless a broken finger and some cut knees count for anything?

Dad arrives on Tuesday and Im sure we will be taking some road trips during his stay!

I will try to keep in touch more frequently! Love and miss everyone! lots of hugs and kisses to all.

Pub Crawls, Treadmill Falls, and Veggie Pies!