Sand & Surf (+Waves & Wind)

Anne Hsia Queensland University of Technology, Australia


August 21, 2017

AHHHH just came back from Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast and it is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! You know how the postcards of San Francisco are photoshopped to make the colours really bright, where the Golden Gate Bridge is bright red, the sky is blue, and it’s sunny, even though in reality it only looks like that three days a year (for like thirty minutes)? Well, the postcards from the Gold Coast do not need to be photoshopped; the sand is soft and clean, the water is clear, and the ocean is teal and blue, and the sky of course is the sky. Look! (and imagine that it stretches out on both sides as far as you can see).

Keiko and I hung out at the beach Thursday afternoon and swam, threw a frisbee, took pictures, collected shells, and soaked in the beautiful beach. God is so, so good; it was much warmer than a normal winter afternoon, and we were able to stay out for a really long time. After the sunset we did a photoshoot in our swimsuits. The background is so amazing!

We went to bed really early that night because we woke up to see the sunrise the next morning. Growing up on the West Coast, I’ve never seen the sun rise over the ocean, so we woke up at 5.30am to see it. The sky lit up well before the sun rose, but when it finally did the light was blinding. It reminded me the lyrics, “The blazing sun shall pierce the night.” It indeed pierced the night. It was so bright, and quite amazing how quickly it warmed up the earth.

After breakfast, we learned to surf! Thank God the waves were relatively calm/there were small waves, which was perfect for noobs like me and Keiko. It was really fun, and I was able to stand up quite a few times. The ninety minutes went by really fast, and it was so nice just sitting on the board bobbing up and down, watching the waves come in and waiting for the “right” one. Hopefully I get to surf again soon!

After dim sum, Jackie took us up the Q1, the tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere at 322 meters. We went up to the 77th floor and got a 360 view of the Gold Coast; there are more canals in Australia then in Venice, and the ocean is GINORMOUS and SO BLUE. Isaiah 40:12 says, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span,…” If the ocean is so big, how great must its Creator be?

We then got dessert at Cowch (to be honest, Aunty Jenny is more crazy about desserts than I am). I live right next to one, and every time I pass by, I look at the menu but keep walking because I cannot afford the price or the calories alone. But we shared, and it is as delicious as it looks. On a food note, I had Australian prawns! They smell like the ocean and taste like… something WAY better than any American shrimp I’ve had (which really are shrimp. We had the medium-sized prawns and they’re so much bigger).

I went to Griffith University to watch Jackie perform in her dentistry revue, which "a light theatrical entertainment consisting of a series of short sketches, songs, and dances, typically dealing satirically with topical issues,” in this case, dentistry school (Google). It was cool seeing Jackie dance and act, as she’s usually quiet and gentle. I also got a glimpse into bits of the Australia medical school system. Jackie graduates in November after five years in uni and she can immediately become a dentist. No med school apps or residency (she just did a semester of that) necessary, so less time wasted.

Today I woke up at 7:16am and decided to go to the beach instead of sleeping in. I’ve always wanted to live by the beach; so many dreams are coming true here in Australia. There was high winds all of that night and in the morning so it definitely cooled down, but it was still sunny at the beach and warm under the sun. After breakfast, Jackie, Keiko, and I went to the Carrara Market and ended up spending all morning and afternoon there. We stumbled upon a bead shop (way more extensive than Michael’s) and stalls selling ribbons, buttons, and lace (and zippers!). It reminded me so much of my grandma: her sewing abilities, button collection, and tailoring skills. She would’ve really enjoyed that section of the market. There were also these wooden statues around the market for photo ops. See above! Also, a 40320-piece puzzle, anyone? Jackie said she once worked continuously on a 1000-piece puzzle and it took her two days. So if anyone has three months (and $995) to spare, let me know and I’ll get the puzzle for you! 

Before we left for the train station, I walked back to the beach. It looks different every time you go, yet it will always be there. Can’t wait to go back next week. In the meantime, enjoy the view (and hurry up and book a flight. You know who you are)!


Australia Semester