Wednesday, 27 February 2013


The buzz of O-week with all the little hipster first years swarming the main uni campus is my first sign back to reality. I don't exactly feel happy to be back. My withdrawal symptoms always leaves me feeling like I've lost myself in a different city. Adjusting to somewhere I've lived for nineteen years compared to somewhere I've been in for one month makes me wonder whether I am destined to leave this city. WHY ISN'T MY LIFE A MOVIE WHERE I COULD JUST DITCH EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE BEHIND AND START AFRESH?

You can tell I haven't been adjusting very well...

  • "OH GOD. OH GOD. WE'RE GOING TO CRASH." — Me in cars and trains every time I realise we're on the left side of the road/track whenever I see a car/train coming at me from the opposite direction.
  • "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WALKING UP AN ESCALATOR WHEN IT GOES DOWN?" — Me giving strangers confused looks and almost going down the wrong escalator.
  • "HAH YOU'RE ONLY GETTING A DOLLAR FOR NOT SUCKING UP TO US." — Me wondering how much to tip a waiter then remembering that Australians don't tip so they don't need to say anything at all besides, "Are you ready to order?"
  • "SINCE WHEN WERE COINS MADE OF NIBBLER'S DUNG?" — Me dead lifting Australian coins out of my wallet after a month of using tiny and thin coins.

I went to see the group after an absence of them for six weeks. It was also the first time in a year or so that the dozen of us were all there together. It was a good night in of insulting people on TV and playing Pictionary.

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Surf City

One of the most effective ways to ignite the cussing side of me? Fucking amusement parks. I lost my voice from all the swearing and screaming I've done. I am the worst at dealing with heart dropping rides, but when in Rome America, do as the Romans Americans do.

We headed south from San Francisco on a road trip to Santa Cruz, where California's oldest amusement part, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, is located. It was interesting to see the architecture of houses change during the 1 hour and 40 minutes car ride. Even the trees looked different. There is no other way to describe it, but I couldn't get over how American everything looked.

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I've never been to a seaside amusement park before. It made me think of American teen films. From the design of the rides down to the food they sold, it was just so American. For one of the rides, the lap bars were too wide for me so for 5 minutes of the ride, I felt like I was being thrown off from 10 metres above the ground every time it violently jerked. The whole time I was yelling, "I WANT TO BE FAT," till my voice was hoarse. Obesity in America affects the average sized too.

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I couldn't believe how laid back and casual my uncle was on every single ride. After every extreme ride, he would comment on how it felt like nothing and shrug while Vivian and I would yell and blame each other for forcing ourselves on those rides. Garland was cheering after every ride and my aunty laughed hysterically till it looked like she was getting teary after her first mini roller coaster.

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On the car ride home:
Vivian: Ow, I got my hair caught in the seat belt.
Garland: Oh no, poor Vivern.
Rebecca: At least it didn't get caught in an engine of a ride and get black greasy oil on it.

Garland: I can't wait to go home and have a soda then watch anime.
Vivian: I can't wait to nap.
Rebecca: I can't wait to shower my hair.

[Neville Longbottom's voice] Why is it always me?

I can't believe I'm going home so soon. I don't wish to have photographic memory to have an advantage in exams, I want it to remember these moments, places and people in front of my eyes, frozen in this moment.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Fog City

I cannot express how much I love San Francisco in words. Only in feelings. And some feelings you can't put into words. Or maybe you can, but I'm not good at writing or talking about *~love~* or showing any sort of affection.

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We hit all the tourist attractions and landmarks in the first few days by various means of transport - Cable cars, BARTs, buses, taxis, rail transits and squeezing an illegal amount of people in a five seater car. Their transport system is so clean, convenient and arrive so frequently here, unlike Sydney's Shitty Rail.

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The architecture of the Golden Gate Bridge is so aesthetically pleasing to look at with the contrast of the royal red against clear blue skies. I want to bike along the whole bridge one day rather than walk a few metres in because I didn't want to stray too far from my family. Also the Palace of Fine Arts was under reconstruction two years ago so I finally got to see the inside with statues of people facing in and butts out. Grander things out of the way, I love the houses here. They're like small paper towns built on steep, sloping hills. I would want to live here one day.

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The main reason why I love San Francisco so much is because of my family. My aunty and uncle are way too kind and generous while my cousins are people who I can call friends too. By "friend" I mean be bad influences (we taught our cuzzies/habibs how to speak like western Sydney siders, eshays brah) and slack to each other. E.g. when Garland gave me a book on how to make friends and Vivian offered to buy heart chocolates for Valentine's for me because I'll "probably never get one." THANKS, GUYS.

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They also gave me a place to settle down and call home. I carried out an ordinary lifestyle here on most days - Get up, go downtown, come home to snack on American junk food, go to the gym (I'll revert back to my potato life when I get back though), eat a tub of Ben & Jerry's straight after, shower, watch YouTube videos and TV series and go to sleep with Tiger waking me up through growls or obsessive licking. A laid back routine with no expectations from real life things.

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Pier 39 is another tourist attraction full of unique, colourful shops and performers. There were shops full of barrels of taffy, chocolates that can only be found in San Francisco, the best donuts I've ever had, a shop just for lefties, another shop just for pets, accessories, games and barking sea lions being plank potatoes. There was also a vicious seagull that knocked my sister's ice cream out of her hands and it was the saddest thing I've ever witnessed.

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We went on a ferry for a tour around and had a little bit of a history lesson on Alcatraz, the now abandoned prison. We kept running and jumping around the ferry till I got seasick. It was so nice to watch the sunset from the sea and see twinkling lights on buildings in the skyline in the distance.

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San Francisco Zoo had so many animals that Australian zoos don't have. (But I think Taronga Zoo is more impressive.) I SAW MY VERY FIRST SQUIRREL AND CHASED IT AROUND THE GRASS. If I had nuts, I would've thrown them at it to lure it so I could maybe pat (or get bitten) by it.

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Prairie dogs are the cutest things, ever. Can I sneak one in through customs? Please? Or can I at least hold one the way my uncle chased a chicken around the zoo to carry and hug it?

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Japantown was full of [taiko drum rolls] Japanese stuff. There were Japanese food, bookstores, supermarkets, hairdressers and even a shop full of Hello Kitty things. We spent most of our time there taking embarrassing sticker photos that will probably never see daylight. I'm beginning to get used to how friendly and social the workers are.

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Before my family departed for their flight (I stayed back an extra fortnight because I have no priorities to go back to at Sydney yet), we celebrated my sister's birthday with food from San Jose and a Ben & Jerry's cake. Tiger was the party animal. We played clip the tail on the dog.

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The next fortnight felt much quieter. I got told by a couple of gypsy looking ladies that I have "nice ears" and that one of them dyed their hair jet black and announced, "LOOK I'M ASIAN LIKE YOU." I got woken up by Tiger at least three times a night with a panic attack. I spent a whole bus ride wondering whether this man/woman was a man/woman. I ran straight into a mirror after taking literally one step into this infinite mirror maze. I witnessed the famous Bushman at Fisherman's Wharf scaring unsuspecting passersby. I awkwardly sat in the lounge rooms of distant relatives during Chinese New Year and guiltily accepted red envelopes from them while they kept feeding us with Asian sweets. I forced some down my throat to the point where I started tearing from laughing at how bad they were, but pretended to love it.

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I'm leaving in a few days. I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE. LET ME STAY. Maybe I should arrive at the airport late to hold everyone up and extend my time here, even if it's for a few minutes. Or I should arrive so late that they leave without me. Then I'd be too broke to afford a ticket home. Then I'll have to start going college here with my cousins. I just don't want to go home yet.