On a gloomy Saturday morning I awoke feeling fabulous – I’d just had one of the best sleeps of my life on an unfamiliar bunk bed and I was about to have a day at Bondi Beach. I had pictured myself having some crazy-healthy smoothie in the sunshine, eating at a fabulous healthy cafe and swimming on the beach (something I had been craving for weeks). But alas, the weather had other plans, and it was overcast again.
With our phones and tablets only half-charged, Quentin (Con) and I made our way to Bondi via double-decker train and then bus. Most of my conversations with Con were about things he had to try here in Australia and helping him to understand words I was using that he didn’t understand. Mostly we were just giggling at our own attempts to pronounce words native to one another (my French is atrocious!) and talked about the differences between France and Australia so far.
When we arrived at Bondi Beach, I insisted we find ourselves a good café so I could buy us both an iced latte (something new for Con) and we headed to sit on the sand. Bondi was what I expected; trendy people, hippies, amazing graffiti, the fitness-obsessed (one-handed chin-ups in the middle of a park, anyone?) and a lot of tourists. The buildings along the main stretch along the beach were beautiful, pastel-toned and brick facades and then of course, was that swimming pool built right next to the water. I recognised everything from tv shows (Bondi Vet, Bondi Rescue) and blogger’s Instagram feeds (Sarah Wilson, MegnVeg, The Healthy Tradie) and it was also a typical Australian beach.
Con and I chatted a lot and shared songs from both of our countries, talking about visiting one another at home in the next year. I played some by The Jungle Giants and Paul Kelly for him, while I can’t remember what it was he played for me, but it reminded me of punk mixed with Irish folk sung in English with French accents (if that makes any sense). We decided to go to the cliffs on the North side of the bay and walked through water and rock pools to make the journey across, which was lots of fun. We saw a few creatures in the rock pools, including a decent sized crab, found a pile of pastel blue boats (which made for a great Instagram shot 😉 ) and stood in the wind at the top of the cliff face overlooking the ocean.
Somewhere along the walk was a round cement slab that said “I am better than no man and no man is better than I”. This reminded me of something I learnt from Dr John Demartini the other week that I find I remind myself of every day and it helps me to stop caring so much about the opinions of other people. It was nice to see it carved into the cement inconspicuously and it made me smile.
From here, we ventured off for some lunch and by the time we walked past Beach Burrito I was too hungry to try to find somewhere new (there are a couple of Beach Burrito’s here in Brisbane, but meh). We had an incredible feast that made my lips BURN and Con was ecstatic with how delicious the food was. It was definitely the right decision.
With full bellies we made our way along the walk the takes you from Bondi to Coogee. We didn’t walk all the way, because we took our time wandering along and even strayed from the path a bit to walk along a cliff that had a huge drop down, but we were safe, thankfully. Once we got to Tamarama we realised the time and headed back to the hostel.
I had planned an evening of packing and possibly a nice meal out when I met Jessica (an American). I was sorting out my early check-out with Charly, when he mentioned that Jess was only in Australia for fourteen days, and he saw this as a complete tragedy.
“Fourteen days?! How can you call it a holiday if you’re only here for fourteen days?!”
As the conversation went on, it was established that yes, Jess was only here for fourteen days and she hadn’t yet experienced much of Australia. This is when the conversation turned to Tim Tams, and I promptly finished my packing so I could take her to buy Tim Tams and experience the magnificence that is the TIM TAM STRAW. I recommended she try the double coat, while Charly opted for white chocolate and I bought a packet of dark chocolate. I made us some cups of tea and demonstrated the Tim Tam straw to the few people that were around then shared them with everyone. After Jess had a few Tim Tam straws, which she said were “wonderful”, her and I had dinner at a place I cannot be bothered mentioning because one of the staff members was incredibly rude.
That night most of the hostel went out again to an Irish Pub. I lost a bet – I thought Tom Cruise was an Australian – and put on a whole bunch of poppy requests (Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna) and boogied my little butt off, not wanting to go home. Most of my night was spent dancing with a group of babes listening to fun songs by babes and warding off the men who were trying their luck with us. It was fabulous fun and just felt good to dance the night away and sing until my throat was raspy.
By the time we got home that night Jess and I were still too chatty to sleep straight away so we stayed downstairs and kept chatting.
In the end, I only had one hour to sleep before I had to leave for the airport, but I really didn’t mind. After G20 delays (thank god I booked for the morning instead of the night) I stepped off the plane to a wall of humid heat and I knew that I was home. That hot feeling that was making everyone else groan made me happy because I really do love being warm.
When I eventually got home and got settled, I ordered sushi from the always busy (even when everyone is out of town to avoid the G20) and super cheap Kotobuki and rode my bike down to pick it up, bumping into my neighbours while I was down there. An afternoon of movies with my housemate and his man, followed by an early night and it was all over.
I hope you enjoyed these blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I know they aren’t what I usually write about, but I just had such a fantastic experience and wanted a way to tell all of the wonderful people who donated in order for me to go to know every detail and how much I appreciate their support (you guys seriously are the best!).