For a few days, it felt incredibly strange being back in the land down under…. where women glow and men plunder. I found the 24 degree celsius temperatures too hot, I found the wide open spaces strange and I found the sound of every bogan repulsive. But in a way, I’ve come to realise over the past week, that that’s all part of Australia’s rough and ready charm.
I seriously won’t forget my year away in Germany. But after seeing Sydney’s majestic harbour and spending a day with a friend in Luna Park on Sydney’s Milsons Point, it was clear to me where my heart lay all along; here in this gem of an antipodean paradise.
So here’s some photos for those who are dying to see what it’s like looking over that expanse of water between my city’s harbour shores. Hope you enjoy. :]
No, it’s not having a baby move inside a mother’s belly, it’s not the numbness surrounding my fresh septum piercing and it’s definitely not about what happens to every man when he (and his best friend) wake up in the morning.
I’m referring to being back home in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, after a year living in one of Europe’s oldest cities, and Germany’s third oldest. I miss it already. Everything here feels as if it’s part of a Salvador Dali dreamscape. My vision is warped and all I’m seeing is pretty colours, hardly seeing the Sydney, or home, I once knew. I’m not sure if it’s the jetlag after a 28 hour trip or it’s the strange Australian food… but all I can say is, if I’m not feeling back to normal within three weeks, i’ll still be asking myself “what the bloody hell am I doing here?”.
Augsburg, I miss you baby. And to all those people who are wondering where a blog about a year on exchange goes from here, it doesn’t stop. Those cute little Animails cartoons shall be frequently posted and I shall simply move my home base from Germany to Australia, so expect a lot of lovely pictures of Sydney! She is a beautiful city, I have to say… it’s just a little hard seeing all her beauty when I haven’t slept well in the past 96 hours.
This was not a reference to a bomb explosion… relax, people! :]
This was in fact a reference to two things… although both ironically similar to a bomb, well, explosively speaking at least;
Both of which I encountered in a single New Years Eve celebration in Berlin.
You may often [or not] hear the expression “it was like war”. Well, let me tell you something; if you’re not one of those lucky 1,000,000 people who make it onto the two kilometre ‘Party Mile’ before they close the entrances, you’ll feel like you’re on a European warfront. Apart from the booming of the midnight fireworks (as well as unofficial, and unscheduled firework demonstrations throughout the night), there was a cacophony of bangs surrounding us for the duration of the evening. Firecrackers, as well as the loud smashing of glass bottles (not to mention the “duck or you’ll be sprayed with shatters of glass” dance) led us to hitching ride in a taxi back to my host dad’s apartment a little after one in the morning.
Oh the joys of exchange. ;]
I’m telling you now… I certainly won’t forget my most recent, and [unfortunately] last, trip to Berlin.
Cheese fondue before heading into the city for New Years.
Roncalli Circus, and seeing german actor Christoph Waltz in the flesh
Seeing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in the Berlin Philharmonic
Having Elton’s Your Song sung to me by a drunk german
Spending an hour in Zara
Watching the musical Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) in German.
Viewing a visually erotic cabaret called Wunderkammer performed by a Brisbane acrobatic troupe in Berlin’s beloved Chamaeleon Theater
Here’s a few pictures… I had a major fascination with the Berliner Dom on this trip….fascination, not a fetish.
In the noble words of former Britpop band Supergrass (and no I’m not referring to keeping our teeth clean, although dental hygiene is important), “see our friends, see the sights, feel alright. And that’s exactly what I intend to do… make the most of my youth, in fact the most of my life. :]
You never know when one may just kick the bucket…
So quite recently I took to seeing those upbeat lyrics in action and rounded up a few friends and explored Augsburg’s amazing alleys, main streets, christmas lights, and cinemas… (yes, that’s a plural). Photos can be seen below. ;]
So get outdoors kiddies, and I don’t mean kick around a football… try something new…
because we are young, and before arthritis and wrinkles kick in (I hear it happens sooner than you think), we seriously need to live the true meaning of being a fun-loving teenager.
Legit. I didn’t realise how big christmas was in Germany until Christmas dinner… well, the second one at least. Last night I visited my former host family in Zusmarshausen and we nibbled on a delicious goose with traditional Bavarian cuisine such as blaukraut (red cabbage), knödel (potato dumplings) and even a christmas salad as entrée. It was a delicious [second] feast…. it was surely worth a couple of photos. ;]
An amazing Christmas was to be had! I hope everyone feels the same way. :]
It’s not every day that a family sits around the table and gorges over a hot stone….
So is the tradition in my lovely current host family… we devoured the most delectable treats grill-able, ranging from salmon, prawns, beef, calf and lamb, to capsicum, mushrooms and beans.
Not to forget the other bowls of food which required no grilling whatsoever… ;]
Here are just a few shots of our evening (it did start off rather traditionally by attending church at St. Ulrich’s).
Even more joyful Christmas love to come.
P.S. My Christmas adventures (much like those fine moments in my every day exchange life have inspired recent sketches for the ANIMAILS collection).
This past weekend was a tough one for me…
it was officially the last time I would be with all the other exchange students before my return home in January. Saying that, it was a rather emotional outing to Regensburg for our Christmas weekend, and I tried my hardest to keep in the tears when we had to say our “goodbyes”, or as I preferred it, “see you soon’s”.
Thankfully I will see some of them again soon… namely the english speakers and those living in my town. :] I’ll definitely try to visit the others all around the world!
Here are some of the photos I took over the weekend. The main sights included the Regensburg Cathedral and the Turn Castle, where we wandered through the stalls of the lovely Christmas Markets.
Christmas is getting closer! :]
But I really don’t want my time here to end. :’[
That horrible time of overdue assessment tasks, the bombardment of exams ranging from oral to written, the practical assignments… it’s now all over. (Well, has been for the past 12 months), but I’ve still got some of the photos from my HSC Visual Arts Body of Work on my laptop.
So I thought I may as well upload them and share them with the world. :]
As can be seen in some photos, I’ve used soap shavings and moulded them into the Chanel logo, trying to get a point across about the brutality and seemingly perfect outer skin of the fashion industry, which is in fact rather superficial and heartless, stemming from harsh factory settings on the production level.
The original test proved an inappropriate location, as the gorgeous graffiti work overpowered my message… I later moved the location to the nearby Casula Powerhouse, and added to other couture fashion labels to the mix; Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent.
I then recycled the soap shavings and placed them into three sky-blue hand-sewn sachet’s, similar to these. It then became an interactive installation, where people could view the photos and smell the soap, intensifying my point of the fashion industry’s positive standpoint on outer beauty.