Perhaps give and take means discovery. And maybe, just maybe - 18 years of the Wang way still is my favourite way.
Swinging by a new place after anticipating it for half a year really is the cherry on top of a school break. Years of travelling haven't changed a thing - planes still get my stomach flopping and seething like a fish on a hook (the girl in economy with first-class motion sickness - yes that's me), and I'm hardly calm in my seat as our cab departs for the new apartment to call home. But as far as adrenaline is concerned, consider me addicted to the entire process of travelling.
As spanking new wardrobes are brought back and brighter discoveries are made, I'm happy to say that the travelling tradition hasn't changed one bit with my usual crew. Clearly, the clash of our 4 completely different personalities has created a contrast I'd never want to see die. Granted, I hate the thought of spending precious time on a mountain instead of shopping at David Jones, but somebody's got to carry out the dragging-Tessa-along regime. Perhaps give and take means discovery. And maybe, just maybe - 18 years of the Wang way still is my favourite way.
Day 1, 11:50am: Yes, the overdrive in your heart still exists as the taxi pulls up at the apartment. Lug all 10 shoes - that you packed and swore to wear - up to your spanking new place and shake hands with the house owner (the whole trust me I won't spoil your washing machine affirmative shake y'know?) . Secretly plan new photo-taking areas as she shows you around the house. Eventually pick the kitchen island because duh, pineapples and the globe totally match your outfit.
5:16pm: Head over to Bondi Beach and tell your family you need some time alone. Just kidding, family. You're actually struggling to get your heart to pump enough blood to last you till you reach the lifeguard house. Home of the lads from Bondi Rescue, you make a mental note for the thousandth time. Control self from collecting the sand they've possibly touched in a plastic bag. Take pictures of the house from every angle because you've now won yourself a one-of-a-kind shot of the jet ski that Maxi saved a man with in episode 10 of season 5.
8pm: Spend too much time at the beach till everything is closed. Head to Coles and gasp over the extensive Chobani range that your local supermarket sells at thrice the price. Visualise yourself leading the healthy Australian lifestyle and stock up on $2 packs of rocket and baby spinach. Have it with a big fat quiche in the end. Exceed your calorie count for the day. Whatever. It's quiche lorraine.
Day 2, 1:30pm: Oversleep and suffer even more from the sudden Daylight Saving Time changes (in other words, you're 2 + 1 hours behind schedule. Do the math.) Make a trip down to the Opera House and excitedly take the default tourist shot, except facing the wrong direction with no sun. Teehee.
3pm: Walk around The Rocks and join in on the festival because you saw the words 'CHOCOLATE festival'. Soak in all the cheerful happenings and interact with the crowd. Hear someone screaming about her Cannoli and briefly recall someone making it on My Kitchen Rules. Invest your previous calories in it. Best. Investment. Ever. Wall Street should consider building some Cannoli stocks, sì?
3:18pm: Sheepishly order a Knafeh when you actually queued up to get a closer look at the adorable cashier. Ask yourself a minute later what you just did with $8. Go with the flow and say yes to every condiment. You still don't know what a Knafeh is, but you start making connections with Muah Chee and tell everyone on Instagram.
On a side note, Knafeh is Middle-Eastern dessert made of cheese and with semolina, due to the store's roots from Jerusalem, in this case.
4:42pm: Sydney's weather constantly plays the most unpredictable jokes. Pat yourself on the back for having packed the lightest clothing, despite mom teasing you about wearing a nightgown-like outfit earlier. Eventually and perpetually laugh at her in jeans under the 28 degree heat.
H&M Top and crossbody bag, Zara Skirt and Superga kicks
Day 3, 11am: Finally see yourself out of the house in the morning. Green juicing back home just gets more exciting here - it just so seems that drinking a kale blend is as normal as drinking water. Spend minutes of your life away picking which brand to trust your immunity system with. Pick Nudie. Tastes like green bolognese sauce. Stay flu-less the entire trip.
H&M Shirt and crossbody bag, Shorts from Taiwan and Superga Kicks.
1:26am: Walk through Chinatown and into Market Street. Finally. It's time to shop. Gird your loins, arrange a meeting time and abandon your family.
8:09pm: Go home early, stock the stomach up with Coles tortellini and start to unwrap new shopping finds. End the night snuggling up on the couch with the family and random television broadcasts. Learn that someone on some show got eliminated (you're welcome.) And then successfully attempt to take a family selfie with the instacam.
Day 4, 10:58am: Start the day with a mix of the new and familiar. Prints that smell of fresh ink, Nudie's juices and everyday must haves - from Vaseline to a friendship bangle shared with 4 other precious ones back in Singapore.
Topshop cap, Sensibar bangle, Shades by Le Specs and new favourites - 3ce's Lip Lacquer and L'occitane's lotion in Citrus Verbena
1:21am: Wish you had brought your runners as you watch just about every person on the bridge speed past you. Sydney is like a living gym. Stroll through the Sydney Harbour bridge (apparently the widest in the world), take some pictures and get stopped by security for taking them. Take more pictures secretly.
Topshop cap, button up top by Topman
2:16pm: Tell yourself life is complete as you bite into another freshly battered tiger prawn at the Sydney Fish Market. The Lobster Mornay isn't as good but thank God for the existence of prawns. Spend all your spare change on more tartar sauce and stop counting calories.
Day 5, 2:02am: New car, more places to hit. On the way to Wollongong, stop over for quick lunch break. Opt for a soft serve but then find out that you need a hot dog too. Spot some whales, watch the paragliders and counter-attack the chilly temperature with hops and dances. Suffer from indigestion soon after. It leaves the moment you start shopping at Wollongong's shopping sites, anyway.
Grandpa shirt from Seoul's Namdaemun Market
Lots of love and four more days,