Friday, 25 April 2014

Birthday Outing

It was A's birthday on Good Friday which wasn't very convenient as the places that I wanted to visit were all closed. Nonetheless the following Tuesday, we went to the things that I had planned to celebrate his birthday. 

First was a stop at Le Pain Quotidien at The Rocks for an incredibly late lunch. I ordered the Avocado with cannellini beans tartine and was a little disappointed. I love beans, but I love avocado a lot more and wished that there were actual chunks of it instead of a measly amount smeared on the bread. 

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After a few games at City Amusement in Market City, we headed to dinner at Encasa. We were actually meant to eat here back in December when we first met up, however at that time, the place was completely full and we were turned away. I thought it would be nice and sentimental to visit this place. In hindsight, we should have eaten less for lunch as we were both still quite full at dinner. Ah well, peanut butter. 

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Patatas Brava

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Sangria

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Chorizo a la Plancha

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Albondigas

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I remember when these were all the rage on Livejournal textures communities. Ah the days. Though I guess not much as changed since there are tons of phone apps to place bokeh filters on your images. 

The last stop for the night was a night session tour at the Sydney Observatory. A. had wanted to visit as did I, and after reading RYDN's post a while ago, I was further prompted to visit. It was a very nice tour and I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the telescopes. It was a very nice way to end the night.

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Sick

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My reading week is over and I am still so behind in uni work. On top of that, I am sick. It is quite ironic, A. was sick (he actually got me sick) early in the week and on Wednesday, I made him soup to get better. Then I got sick. For the past two days, I have been in bed, watching Nikita and drinking a lot of honey water.

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Solo Travelling

I had always intended on talking about solo travelling after I wrapped up all my travel posts from 2012-2013, however I just couldn't bring myself to write about the last few days in Hong Kong and frankly, I don't think that they will happen in the near future. However, I stumbled upon this on my Twitter feed and it got me thinking.

I solo travelled for just over 2 months in total when I was in North America, Europe and Hong Kong. It was quite an experience and it was also my very first time travelling. A lot of people asked me why I did it, why did I travel by myself? Frankly, it was because I initially had to. I didn't have anyone who would have travelled with me. Or I guess it could better be rephrased by, I didn't know anyone who I wanted to travel with. After my experiences in the US with my overnight trips to New Orleans and New York City/ Washington D.C, I realised the importance of having a compatible travelling buddy. Solo travelling is great and I thoroughly believe that everyone needs to do it at some stage because it is liberating. You are able to have 100% say in what you do, where you go and how long to be somewhere. It's freeing to realise that you can walk for hours on end and stop whenever you get tired, or randomly explore a street because it catches your fancy. As selfish as it may sound, you don't need to think of anyone else's needs.

However, like most things in life, there are downsides. The key one is loneliness. Usually, I was quite good, however there were moments where I just felt so alone. Seeing everyone walk in pairs at Navy Pier in Chicago was one of those moments. Also realising that no one was really there to take photos for you; this necessitated my need to master the selfie (although my attempts are so inferior to all those girls on Instagram). The second hardest aspect of solo travelling is the fact that everything is all on you. There is no opportunity to blame someone else. To realise that a bad decision was made and it was purely because of you is quite confronting and uncomfortable.
The one time that travelling solo is a downer is when things go wrong.
Thankfully, I didn't have any major situations as I planned very thoroughly. However, there were moments where I became overwhelmed with emotions and there wasn't anyone there to comfort or help me get out of the situation. In hindsight it was quite minor (although it could potentially have been major since it involved transportation to other cities). This happened in New York City and, more notable, at Venice
You know which tourists get hassled the most? The ones who look uncertain and lost. If you're looking calm and confident, you'll generally be left alone. Common sense will take you a long way.
At the end of this year, I am planning on returning to Europe by myself. My boyfriend is a little against the whole idea because of my "safety". Truthfully, I have met a few interesting characters on the road, however I have never felt scared for my own well being. It is all about being aware rather than being paranoid. Perhaps it is also just my face, I have been told that my neutral facial expression is quite intimidating.
Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Update

The past few weeks have been quite stressful. Between applications for graduate jobs, studying for university, working 20 hours a week and trying to spend time with A., I have been quite stressed and overwhelmed to say the least. And so incredibly exhausted.


Sushi train by myself after a very long and unhappy day.


More sushi. Though this time it was with A.

Fridays are study dates where A. and I go to Lane Cove Library to study. And stress. This was a terrible cup of coffee; I am quite particular about my coffee and I am less forgiving when it takes 10 minutes for an incredibly bitter coffee without coffee art. Seriously.


Missing Atlanta, exchange and the carefree life there.


I just received an email from one of the organisations I applied for. The email stated that they received over 3600 applications for only 50 graduate positions, and within the 50, only 6 for my stream. Life is great. It is quite a terrible and sad thing to realise that everyone at university is simply your competitor. It really is a horrid way to live.

Just keep swimming.