Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 1: Sydney

After 24+ trip across the globe in THE WORLD'S MOST AWESUM PLANE we arrive tired, stinky yet excited to Sydney, Australia.

We met our delegation manager, Lu. We found our baggage (all but one, not bad for a group of 37) and spend 2.5 hours in customs. Note: Do not ever try to sneak beef jerky into Australia.

Onward! We arrive at the ...

the ...

I don't know what it was. It was a big gorge with a circular bridge and lots of information about frogs. Strange but stimulating. We didn't care too much - we were FINALLY in Australia!

Then we headed to the ANZ Stadium. They kept mentioning AFL (Australian Football League) and saying "Aussie Rules!" when describing the sport. I thought it was some Australian custom to support your country by proclaiming its awesumness mid-sentence. I was two seconds away from saying "USA! In yo' face!" when one of the kids asked if "Aussie Rules" and "AFL" meant the same thing. Apparently, they are synonymous. Awkwardness adverted.

Outside ANZ Stadium was Stripper Heaven. Check out all the poles!!! (Kidding, this was some type of thank you memorial to the volunteers of the 2000 Sydney Games.)

We stopped to take a picture on the Olympic Podium used during the 2000 games. After examining the picture, we discovered my hand was in this strange position. Someone said, "You look like a gay retard!" but after a stern look from me, they changed it to, "Um, a dinosaur? Maybe a kangaroo?" Hence, it became a joke to see if I would inadvertently make that hand in my pictures. Exhibit A:

Then it was off to the Sydney Tower, which is a tall, creatively named tower in Sydney. We took a skywalk. This basically meant we strapped ourselves to a pole and walked on a Lucite railing around the outside of the building, 260 meters in the air. I can't tell you what the conversion from meters to feet is, because unlike the other people on the trip, my phone is not that smart. However, I was jazzed by the awesum suits we were given to wear. The beginning was somewhat terrifying, not to mention the thought of having to call a parent and explain the death of their student due to a 260 meter drop off a tower in a Power Ranger-esque jumpsuit was racing around in my head. I decided to risk it. Paid off. The view + our super-hero poses? Awesum.

We had dinner at a fancy restaurant and were offered chicken or fish with chips (fries). This would become a common theme and the students would begin to grumble about the chicken or fish option. Luckily, it did not lead to mutiny. We went to our hotel in downtown Sydney and crashed.

Highlight of the Day: Watching the students make fast friendships.
Disappointment: 42 Wallaby Way is not an actual address in Sydney.



emilysuze said...

I love the many, many stripper poles and all of the other pictures from your first day.

And those Aussies are so laid back that I wouldn't think they would mind letting a middle schooler with a penchant for beef jerky through customs...

-= Marlette =- said...

*GASP!* P. Sherman doesn't exist?!??!