Australia: Part 3

A month in Australia and I’ve moved into my new place, the location is great, the number of cockroaches who also seemed to have moved in is less great but it’s all part of the experience. I’ve made a bit more of a plan for the next few months which is exciting, Sydney is brilliant but I’m aware there is a whole country to see which I’m looking forward to. In the meantime, I need to earn some money to be able to afford all the travelling I want to do so the job hunt continues, with more urgency everyday. 

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Being unemployed means lots of time for people watching which I’m enjoying, I’ve noticed there is always lots to take in when you’re in a new place but I think that perhaps the longer you spend somewhere, the more you notice it all. When you’re just visiting, you tend to rush through the days, trying to see everything and fit it all in. But when it’s more permanent and you have the luxury of empty days there is more time to observe the routines and the movements of a place. That being said, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve noticed since being out here, a few things about the movements of the city.

  • There is more small talk and fleeting connections. When people in coffee shops or supermarkets are asked how their day is going it’s met with a smile and a conversation instead of that subconscious british hostility we’re so used to.
  • They toast their banana bread which makes a simple but life-changing difference. This is the only place I’ve been where I feel like my love for banana bread is matched.
  • Bus drivers wait for people, if they see you running they won’t close the doors seconds before you reach them, they’ll hold on a minute. Generally everyone can hold on a minute, the sense of urgency that exists amongst us at home seems more rare here.
  • Early starts and early finishes. I saw a sign in a gym window inviting people to join a running group that meets at 4.40am. On Saturdays. The days end much earlier too with people eating out at 6 and heading home rather than experiencing the long summer evenings.
  • Coffees are tiny, it seems like caffeine is there to serve a purpose rather than be enjoyed. They have keep cups the size of espressos and most lattes you can see off in two sips.
  • The more cockroaches you see, the less fazed you are by them. Slightly concerning because I definitely don’t want to get used to sharing my kitchen with the uninvited guests but on day one I was squirming at the sight and now I’m batting them away like flies.

So a month of not working has been great, it’s been incredible to enjoy the city, but I’m ready for a job now, for more routine and structure and something to fill the days. So if someone could hire me now that’d be great. Please.

Instagram: @IndiaGarrett

Twitter: @IndiaGarrett

Copenhagen

I don’t get a reading week at uni, but last week I took one. My family and I went to visit my cousin in Copenhagen as a surprise for her 21st birthday.

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We arrived when the weather was at its finest which meant drinks in the sun rather than avoiding bitter winds. As a city, it reminded me of Amsterdam but perhaps slightly less ‘aesthetic’ with mixed architecture around the canals. The sun though, as it always does, made everything look beautiful. The 3 days were full of good food, family, exploring and danish pastries. Just a warning though, save your money before you go, its not a cheap city.

On our first day we had breakfast in a small courtyard café which focuses on Danish traditions, from the food the crockery. All the furniture in the café is for sale, so it doubles as a showroom which meant I felt bad for spilling the tiniest crumb. We spent the morning there just making plans and catching up.

We wandered around the Pleasure Palace garden’s (what a name) before stopping at another café. You may notice that this trip did focus around eating and drinking, I have no excuse. We moved on to the Christianshavn area and went into the Church of Our Saviour, its a simple but beautiful interior, home to 40 elephant figurines (we only counted 7 though). The tower above is 400 steps but definitely worth the climb, it gives you a great view of the city and helps to justify all those pastries.

The next day started with a boat tour, definitely something worth doing to see the city and learn more about it. We spent the afternoon in a slightly unusual way for a February day and went to La Banchina for a dip in the sea before rushing up to a little wooden sauna overlooking the water. Freezing, but it felt very danish. We had dinner at a lovely little restaurant called Basso which served amazing sharing plates from salmon to parmesan carrots to steak. Bistro Royal and The Studio were some other great restaurants from the trip.

On our last morning we had breakfast at the glass markets, some beautiful buildings in Norreport full of food stalls, coffee shops and of course more pastries. I would have loved more time to wander around and explore but sadly we had a plane to catch.

Copenhagen was beautiful, I could’ve done with a couple more days to explore but I guess I’ll just have to go back…

 

Amsterdam on Film

Last week I went to Amsterdam. It was cold, expensive and wonderful. Here’s a little look at some of the photos we took and what we got up to.

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Apologies for the quality of some of these but I guess that’s part of the joy of a disposable camera. They’ll be plenty of decent pictures on my instagram.

Instagram: @IndiaGarrett

Twitter: @IndiaGarrett

 

 

21

A week ago I turned 21. It’s taken me this long to write this because I haven’t really known what to say (and I’ve been ridiculously busy but we’ll gloss over that).

I had the most wonderful birthday celebrations, I was spoilt rotten and had an amazing party surrounded by people I love and yet there was a strange nostalgia that came with the weekend.

Birthdays are strange generally, a bit like New Years Eve in that they give you a chance to reflect on the past year and all the things you did or didn’t achieve and it can feel odd celebrating a day that feels like any other. I feel like 21 is meant to mark a bit of a transition into adulthood, I am now closer to 30 than I am to 10, obvious I know, but it’s something I feel very aware of. I don’t feel like an adult but I don’t feel like a teenager either, I’m somewhere in between attempting to navigate day to day life.

This week hasn’t felt any different to the ones I experienced when I was 20, to be honest it doesn’t feel much different to the ones I experienced when I was 18 but looking back, I know that a lot has changed. I have grown, I have new opinions, I have new people in my life and I know far more. Change is gradual, growing up is gradual but it’s happening.

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I did think about doing a ’21 things I’ve learned in 21 years’ type thing but then realised that firstly, I don’t know anything groundbreaking and secondly, that it would be too cliche, even for me. I will say this though; all you can do is your best, people come and go in phases and nothing beats a good sunset.

I don’t know what this next year will hold, hopefully some more growth, a degree, lots of laughter. I’m constantly working on getting closer to the person I want to be, even if I’m not too sure who that is yet.

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Thank you to everyone who was involved in my birthday celebrations in any way, you’re wonderful.

Instagram: @IndiaGarrett

Twitter: @IndiaGarrett