Christmas Down Under

Australia, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on December 27, 2007 4:51 AM

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! This year was the first Christmas I have spent away from my friends and family, and I missed you all very much. I actually celebrated Christmas a day before everyone back home which felt very bizarre! It never did feel like Christmas time in Australia, despite our attempts to get into the holiday spirit. We got a Christmas tree, decorated our house, listened to Christmas carols, but we still can’t believe Christmas has came and gone!

On Christmas Eve morning I went surfing with my Aussie friend Danny at Maroubra Beach. He has an extra board that he let me borrow but it was the first hard board I have tried, and I felt much less stable. The waves at Maroubra were much bigger than those I learned on at surf camp. Several times Danny yelled for me to “Jump off the board!!” as a huge wave was coming and he thought I might hurt myself. I got a little scared at that point, so we called it a day and will try again when the conditions are better for beginners.

Christmas Eve night I
went to a very nice dinner with Lauren, Laura, and Jenny. We ate at the 25th Floor restaurant with views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We all splurged on dinner and I had oysters, salad, steak, dessert, and wine. We followed the British tradition by opening our Christmas Crackers, wearing our crowns, and reading each other jokes. Lauren & Laura were staying in a hotel for the night so Jenny spent the night with me so we could keep each other company on our first Christmas away from home.

We slept late and when I woke up I opened the gifts Lauren and Laura had left for me. I got a box of Tim Tams, and a book called “The Sydney Coffee Guide…The Guide to Find the Perfect Grind.” Lauren knows I love coffee but I have resisted in order to save money and she thinks I should treat myself to one place in the book a week. I think that is a great idea and such a thoughtful gift!

Jenny and I spent Christmas Day with some of my housemates. We had a BBQ on our patio, which was very different that the traditional turkey dinner everyone has back home. We had sausages, chicken, steak, and duck pate provided by a French guy. My Scottish housemates Samone and Kira wore ferry wings and wands, which I am still unsure if this is really Scottish tradition. After lunch we all hung at the beach most of the day. It was a bit overcast but still unseasonable warm for the Christmas Day’s I am use to!

The day after Christmas is called “Boxing Day” in Australia and is a National holiday. My housemates all went to the horse races in Randwick; but Lauren, Laura, Jenny, and I chilled at the beach all day.

Work is really slow this week so I actually have lots of free time the next few days. Today I went downtown to the Australian Museum where I learned about Australia’s natural history and Indigenous cultures. My favorite exhibit was the “Wildlife Photographer of the year 2007”. This exhibit showcased the winning photographs of amazing and beautiful wildlife all over the world. “Skeletons: framework for survival” is an exhibit of the skeleton of large elephants, whales, and kangaroos. The exhibit shows how various animal skeletons have evolved for specific environments.

There is an exhibit dedicated to the indigenous people of Australia, Aboriginal people. The Rainbow Serpent is a giant snake-like creature depicted in indigenous creation stories. The Rainbow Serpent slithered across Australia, creating the mountains and rivers. These paintings show interpretations of the Serpent from different regions in Australia.

After the museum I fell asleep reading a book in Hyde Park. I love lazy days like today! Tomorrow I am up early for a hiking tour of the Blue Mountains.

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1 Comment

  1. Aine says:

    I think I went to that same museum! Reading of the struggles of the aborigionals was crazy. I liked that museum! Happy ’08 and miss ya!

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