Sydney is An Adventure

Eien Sykes Bidwell University of Wollongong, Australia


March 13, 2015

Wow. I can't believe I've been here three weeks. I haven't even been to the beach yet! I only just made a trip into Sydney the other day, though. I didn't know until last week, but Sydney hosts a Queer Mardi Gras every year. It’s apparently a really long parade with lots of glitter and rainbows? See, what happened was: I joined a group heading for the train station about noon. We rode the train about an hour and a half to the city; the whole way with a clear view of the beach out the window. Then we got into the city around 2, but the parade wasn't until 7:30. So we wandered through the city for a while, got lunch at this burger place, checked out the mall, found this cool alleyway with tons of birdcages hanging from the sky, and finally made our way to the harbor. We saw that cool bridge that everyone but me knows about, we got pictures of and with the Opera House, we wandered into the botanical gardens. It was a lot of walking. But the gardens were awesome! All these weird trees, flowers everywhere, little streams and ponds full of ducks, and lots of cockatoos. It was like being surrounded by clones of The Bird; except these were the nice clones that didn't scream and would eat right from people's hands. I find it weird that there's hundreds of different birds here, and lots of really big spiders, but not really any ground-dwelling wildlife. But that's not the point here. The point is that Sydney is really cool.

After hanging in the gardens for an hour or so, we headed out passed the art museum and back into the center of the city for the parade. It was probably 5:30 when we found the parade route? And another 45 minutes before we found a spot to stand? The parade didn’t start until 7:30 and we were already pretty tired from walking around all day; it all just compounded into a weight that doubled when we heard someone make an ignorant comment. It seems like at a Queer pride event people would be aware of things like gender and sexuality, and how they exist on a spectrum, but apparently not so much? The front of the parade was led by the “Dykes on Motorbikes,” who went from the end of the parade route to the beginning, and then back again to start. It was about the time of their return run that I just kind of broke down crying from anxiety. With all the things we did during the day, I just kind of ran out of energy and shut down. I was really appreciative of the people I went with because they agreed to take the hour and a half train ride back with me. Most of them slept on the train, and there wasn’t much to look at since it was dark, so I kind of just played on my phone and tried to will my emotions into check. It was a nice walk back to the residence halls. We all agreed to get to sleep, and I ended up missing the hike that was hosted the next morning, but I think it was a good trip overall. I got to see the city, I got to figure out the train system, and I got to know this group of people that I went with. I took a lot of pictures that day, but I think my favorite was the back of the Opera House. We seem to always see the side because it shows off the cool sail-things, but not really the back. Or the cool little train that runs around behind it. So hopefully I’ll come up with something a little more exciting to do. Break is only a month away, so I have to get some planning done, but I think I’m going to make my way around the coasts to visit the major cities of Australia. We’ll see where I end up going later. See you next time!