This past weekend I managed to do more than sit at home and endlessly paint furniture (though there still was quite a bit of that – post coming soon).

I’m fortunate enough to work in a very socially-oriented industry (read: lots of young people who don’t have an aversion to late nights at bars even on work nights). So on Thursday, we were taken to the local rock-n-roll bowling alley/arcade to avail ourselves of an open bar and awkwardly tossing 10-lb. balls down a highly polished wood surface – an excellent combo. Being American, I found I was expected to have a stellar bowling game, which was a surprise as I didn’t realize this was a stereotype of Americans until this point. I’m afraid I disappointed in a big way – I rolled somewhere around a 75. Definitely not Dude-worthy.

Here’s the Bowling Alley – It’s Basically Lucky Strike but In Sydney

Bowling

After the game was through some of my coworkers and I wandered the arcade since the bar was still open and it was relatively early. That’s when I stumbled upon the way to redeem myself and confirm my American-ness:

Oh Yeah

I have always, always, always loved Big Buck Hunter – it’s an old standby in all of my favorite dive bars. I usually play against someone who actually hunts real animals with real guns, thus I usually lose. But I’m in Australia now. Guns are more or less illegal. Hunting isn’t really a common hobby. I’ve shot a gun plenty of times in my life. Game. On.

I first took on my Australian co-worker, who showed more talent that I had anticipated, but he’s one of those guys who is automatically awesome at anything he tries (he won our round of bowling AND smashed the ping pong tournament at MTV HQ two weeks ago – without really knowing how to play ping pong). But I shot enough extra bonus animals and a couple extra bucks, so I took the round.

I then took on my Canadian co-worker. We have an ongoing rivalry because, like most Canadians, he has a chip on his shoulder about not being American (all in jest), so we like to spar over stereotypes. I told him we could do the moose round to make him feel more at home, but he went for elk. About 10 minutes later, I stood victorious, and thoroughly reinforced all gun-toting American stereotypes.

Big Buck

Since my Canadian compadre was bitter over his loss, I offered a consolation game of his national sport (or close relative) – air hockey. And even with a couple of glasses of bubbly, I smashed him in that game also. USA: 2 Canada: 0

This Photo Looks Like an Ad for the Place…

Air Hockey

Friday I had back-to-back farewell parties. It’s the interesting thing about Australia, it’s a country so open to temporary immigrants, and the citizens are so open to long-term travel, that there’s always someone new to meet, or someone to say goodbye to. The first farewell was for a co-worker at The Argyle, a great bar in the neighborhood known as The Rocks, which is directly across the ferry landing from the Sydney Opera House. Lots of the bars around the Rocks have amazing views of the Opera House. Alas, the Argyle does not, but it does have two levels and a massive cobblestone patio, which will definitely come in handy when the thermostat rises and a cold beer in the sunshine is in order. I stayed for a drink only because I had another engagement around 7 that I needed to get to.

I cabbed over to the Beresford Hotel (the bar mentioned already in this post), to say goodbye to one of the first people I had been introduced to when I announced I was moving. She was heading back to the US after spending the better part of two years here, she was ready to go home. When she told me that she was going back to the States about a month ago, I was curious to know how she knew it was time. I’m wondering how and when I’ll know it’s time, when the time comes. She mentioned a visit home that she’d gone on, and when she returned home she had the dreaded “Holiday Hangover,” which consists of crying in a fetal position in the shower many nights in a row. Even though she has got to be the most socially active person I’ve met, with tons of friends and weekend trips, etc., she just was ready to go back home. So I’ll have to bank on knowing that when the time comes, I’ll know too.

I made a new friend at this party (we tipsily bonded over the difficult end to our last relationships), who unfortunately lives in Melbourne, but I’m just going to use this fact as an excuse to visit Melbourne, along with the fact that my gorgeous cousin Kelly will be moving there in two short weeks! She was also American, so I’ve now added fifth person to my American friend posse.

The following night I met up with my good friend Annie and our Scottish and Irish companions from the dinner excursion last week. We decided to spend the evening in Bondi, since both Annie and I are new residents and feel that most of our socializing revolves around the CBD (Central Business District), and we want to start enjoying our own little suburb. We started with a couple of beers at Hotel Bondi before we tried to get a table at Hurricanes, which was so hopelessly packed we just ended up back at Bondi Pizza, because the food is legit and it was another blustery night, and it just seemed appropriate. We switched it up and got a Grilled Chicken Pancetta Pizza, which was to DIE for. If you ever come visit me and we go here, we must order it.

Also, I just want to take a second to introduce you all to Annie – she hails from Spokane and went to college at University of Washington, so we can reminisce about Seattle together. She is also a bit of a writer, and has an avid following at her blog, if you want to get to know her. She also lives about one block away from my new apartment and is pretty much my closest friend here in Sydney, so when you come to visit you’ll get to meet her too. Yay!

This is the back of Annie’s head – it’s a pretty head no?

Annie!

Everything in between all of these happenings was basically just painting, painting, painting. If I had any idea how time-consuming furniture painting was, I don’t know if I’d have decided to go this route. But, it’s progressed really well and I think in the end it’ll all be worth it. I don’t want to post anything about it until I have a proper before and after, so likely later this week or this weekend you’ll get your first glimpse. I suspect when it comes to the home tour, though, my bedroom will be ready first, so keep an eye out for that too!

In Case You’re Curious About How Messy I Am:

Messy

Til then, xoxoxo.