The Great and Powerful Oz

20 May

After 2 months I can see the benefit of living in Australia: They love my accent.
Plus, I purchased new sneakers online (you’re welcome future travel mates), had them sent to my address down under, and didn’t have to scroll all the way to “U”. #timesaver

are these hot dogs or legs?

Me on my couch that is actually my bed.
Don’t worry, my ankles are still attached.

I’ve been nesting here for the past several weeks; setting up a bank account, getting a job, and renting an old studio apartment which harbours odours from generations of geriatric residents all of whom I’m certain are still living/dying/for-sure-coughing in this building :/ When I walk through the stairwell a smell leaps up, greeting me like a pooch who’s been alone all day. It’s not terrible as I have my own room with a window (although as you can see, the skylight is obstructed by a brick wall translating to minimal actual sunlight and my plants dying every other week). On the ‘bright’ side I enjoy purchasing new shrubbery and am only moderately worried about being reported for herbuse.

100 meters from my flower-killing-quarters

100 meters from my flower-killing-quarters

The apartment itself is in a premier location: I can walk to the park, walk to work, walk to the Royal Botanical Gardens, walk to The Opera House, walk to the Harbour, walk to yoga, and walk to bargain sushi (low standards). My rent is Sydney cheap ($210 each week) and I share 4 bathrooms with 21 other people and only 7 times as many cockroaches. Our chateau has no wifi which does’t affect me because I don’t have a computer: The Hilton is my local Internet cafe, they provide free computer usage to people who look like they can afford to stay (t)here.

Trying to fit in

This is me looking like I can afford to stay at The Hilton

I met these babes (above) at the Byron Bay International Blues Music Festival where I re-learned that I’m (still) not one of the cool kids, bought a feather clip to rectify the situation (it helped), saw Dave Matthews Band, John Butlers Trio (which means nothing to my friends abroad), Morcheeba, and some black guys who were very, very good at strumming the saxophone. Jack Johnson was also there, Devandra Burnhart, India.Arie, John Mayer, Joss Stone, and wayy too many beatniks. The excitement was standing up and so was I; too many people. I won’t be going back next year and not just because I’m a decibel imbecile.

even a magiciaian

This is me looking like I cannot afford to stay at The Hilton

Alternatively, I attended a wayy less popular and wayy funnier gala last week:
The Sydney Comedy Festival! I was more excited that it was in town than a raw foody who’s just discovered dates. It was all very More-ish. I saw a dozen shows and, I’m happy to report, was surrounded by grownups the entire time (a cleverly named improv show, Bard to the Bone, withstanding). In fairness, I’ll name drop: Jeff Dunham, Kevin Bridges, Jim Jefferies, Dave Hughes, A Retarded Spectacle (that might be its actual name, Cousin Richard, hosted by a guy with Down syndrome and attended by special needs guffaws. I loved it.), 1 woman, 1 magician, 1 American, and 3 people who are not worth mentioning.

The best act was the American Jew, Mike Goldstein, which is a weird segue into my next section: The Sydney Jewish Museum. Since the days of Sweden museum hopping I dontstopwontstop. People in Sydney (Jewish population, 0.2%) are shocked when they find out I went there “What do you mean we have a Jewish Museum?? Where is it?!” I haven’t run into a single person (outside of the actual museum, derp) who knows that this place exists. And I learned some things,
1. At least one Holocaust survivor lives in Sydney. I met her and she has a f*cked up story that’s the opposite of funny. I was sobbing on the baristas shoulder.
2. During WWII Australia accepted the second largest number of Jewish refugees per capita than another country in the world! Yes, the per capita disclaimer means that the actual number they accepted is suss (as in suspect) but still, impressive.

I’ve then gone on to handfuls of other museums, operas (okay one, Madama Butterfly. That’s Madama not Madame.), movies (Noah. The Christians are upset about the rock people which the producers made up but you know what else is made up….?), markets (local oysters), beaches (Bondi, Coogee, Manly), shows (Showbag, inexplicable paraphernalia evoking childlike behaviour from Aussies.), zoos (giraffes, pelicans, and sweet popcorn), plus a few World Heritage Sights. Not to mention I’ve ridden the ferry as a form of public transportation making sure to take in as much of this stunning Citdney as I can.

It's impossible to live here without mentioning the weather:  20 degrees, sunny and cloudless…again.

It’s impossible to live here without mentioning the weather;
20 degrees, sunny, and cloudless. Again.

In my-life-isn’t-perfect news, I’ve enrolled in French class which I hate because I.can’t.speak.French. ¡Ay, caramba!

In my-life-is-perfect news, it’s a wonderful year to be a Brewers fan! Aawww yea.

Australia’s better than I thought it would be, there’s hardly any albinos.
‘mi 🙂

17 Responses to “The Great and Powerful Oz”

  1. colleenskemp May 20, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    You!!! are amazing. Thank you for living adventurously, spreading you samminess around (the world needs it), and giving me awesome options for places I can visit you. The comedy festival sounds like a blast. <3<3<3

    • Sammi Travis June 2, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Love you so much Leeny, as always thanks for your comment. I have GREAT friends in Australia for when you and Reade come to visit when you’re ready. xxx, ‘mi

  2. Andrew B. Travis May 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    This is exactly what I’ve been dying to know. Thank you for sharing in such a colorful and picturesque dialogue. Ok. Essentially it was a monologue, but it felt like two peeps were chatting to each other. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Can’t wait till next week when we get the next update? I’m wayy optimistically hopeful. Good job, Samantha. Miss u!!!!

    • Sammi Travis June 2, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      some people I know like your comments more than they like reading my blog.
      (okay, I’m one of those people).
      LOVE YOU,

  3. Russell Poole May 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Good on ya, mate. You’re a Brewers fan this season?

    • Sammi Travis May 21, 2014 at 1:08 am #

      Yes, my baseball preferences seem to change but let me be clear, my (american) football team fandom will never waiver: “Who dat?” Dat be The Saints.

      • Russell Poole May 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

        I’m holding you to that! Miss ya, Travis.

  4. James May 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Miami is nice this time of year too… few roaches (but they are big Florida Swamp roaches)… Alaska is nice too…. will be in both, just in case you get that old Ramblin’ feeling 🙂

    • Sammi Travis May 21, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      Alaska has those pesky mossys, as they call them here but I think thats nothing compaired to its beauty, eh? I think youre supposed to just tell me where were meeting right? — I found out I cant extend my visa here by another year so im probably going to try to stick close to oz and new Zealand through september 2015

  5. Jerry Pitts May 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Still having fun I see ! I almost went Ozie Land when I was about your age , I was going their to shoot Jack Rabbits I think thy paid 5 or 10 cents each I was going to make my fortune killing Jack Rabbits but reality kicked in and I stayed home and raised Pigs met my beautiful wife and the rest is history ! Thanks for the updates I love them, we think of you often, wondering what you are doing today ! Love Jerry and Kathy

  6. Rusty May 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Super blog. Irreverent. Stupendous. Spectacular. I’m loving your unique take on my hometown.

    • Sammi Travis May 21, 2014 at 1:10 am #

      I’m loving your hometown!!!
      And Stanley street 🙂

      • Rusty May 21, 2014 at 1:16 am #

        Just dont try to make jokes with the Vietnamese waitress at the Indian Tapas place right?

  7. tauras2 May 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Did Morcheeba perform any of the ‘weight-watchers’ songs? 😉 Good luck in Australia Sammi.

    • Sammi Travis June 2, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      turns out I didn’t actually listen very well to Morcheeba. But I think I lost some weight while dancing…
      Lovely to hear from you.

  8. Marvin May 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi Sammi!
    Great blog. You’re becoming a true Ozzie. Too bad that you’ll be gone when we get there, but if you’re planning N.Z. next, we’ll send you our 2/2015 cruise schedule.
    Love, Uncle M.

    • Sammi Travis June 2, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      Hey Uncle M, I don’t know if this is going to be good news or bad news? I AM going to be here when you’re here and Betsy ALREADY sent me your 2/2015 cruise schedule. You can plan on me showing up at a port on what I hope will be the right day. Obviously we’ll be in touch. xxx! (PS. !!!!!!!! Thanks for commenting!!!!)

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