Archive | January, 2011

Ryan Gallagher: A Tribute

28 Jan

To a 1 Ms. Rory Gilmore Ryan Gallagher, who is currently enjoying a life of warm leisure in California:

How dare you leave us to freeze in South Korea, knowing how much we would miss you?!  Because we do miss you. And we are freezing.

But in true socialite fashion, Ryan left Korea with a bang. . . and about 12 going away parties.

First we had the “Ryan’s last Saturday in Korea” party, where the gang had dinner and drinks at Platinum Beer brewery in Apgujeong. Note: they had a beer called morphine that was 8.4% alcohol, but I opted to pass mine around the table since: 1) I was still in a cast and 2) it was only 8 pm.


"Seeing a teacher outside of school is like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs." -Mean Girls


After Platinum Beer we caught a bus and a subway train to Bundang, where we hit up our favorite bars and even the dance club. Despite the temperature clocking in at a solid 5 degrees, I put on a dress, and spent 12 hours out that night – including our trip to the club.  Which was just really sad. This is a testament to my undying love for Ryan. And my constant need to prove just how handi-capable I am.

Later that week was the dalk galbi/norebang extravaganza.  2 days later, we celebrated “Ryan’s last Friday/night” in Korea.   It was also Emily Teacher’s birthday, so she had us all over to her (slightly bigger) apartment for flip cup and beer pong – 2 games we don’t often play in Korea.

And although my loyal readers should just assume this: I was on the winning flip cup team every time. That is not a coincidence. (Mom and Dad, feel free to reTweet that good news to grandma)


THIS is what a winning team looks like. PS: BETSY'S BACK IN KOREA!


Even more important than total flip cup domination?  Ryan signed my cast!  Her fabulous message remained solo until this Wednesday when I let my students sign it.


Surprisingly prolific on plaster



We then scampered off to change clothes, before regrouping in the frigid night air, to make out way out to the bars.


My favorite, and a very candid, pic from the night.


All in all, a fitting, jam-packed send-off for Ms. Ryan.  One that gave us ample time to say our goodbyes and wish her luck and make furious plans for the future. (SOUTH AMERICA!!!!!!)

And in case I was too busy having fun during all those parties, allow me to say a few things: Ryan is everything a traveler should be: curious, brave, level-headed, energetic, yet totally flexible when plans change. Ryan is very much a do-er; she didn’t come to Korea to save some money while restlessly counting down the days until her return. She traveled to China, Australia, and Thailand, and did just about every major tourist/interesting/cool thing to do in Korea, too. She was busy. Oh, and she taught kindergarten. Her students loved her, and they miss her very much. And one time she even got a Christmas card from her dog in America. (I must have, ahem, missed my card in the mail there EVEY). Basically, Ryan just goes for things and jumps in headfirst – one of the traits I tend to admire most in people. And she knows every.single.lyric. to Coolio’s anthem-of-a-generation “Gangsta’s Paradise.”  You’re my hero.

So,  thanks doll  –  during these 4 1/2 months you’ve made me feel as fun and adventurous as you. We miss you.

And we’re really f-ing cold.


South America 2012




She (nore)Bangs, She (nore)Bangs

22 Jan

To honor the sad and imminent departure of Matthew and Ryan Teacher, our village gang went out for Korean food and some karaoke last night. In Korea, karaoke is called *norebang , and is done in a private room. And I finally got to experience it.

*(It’s pronounced nor-ee bong, but if you think I would pass up an opportunity to make a Ricky Martin reference then you are livin’ la vida loca.)

First we had dinner and drinks at our village’s Dalk Galbi place. As you sit on the floor around the table, your delicious chicken, vegetables, and rice cakes cook in front of you. After about 20 minutes of sheer anticipation and usually a lot of drinking and picture-taking it’s time to eat. It is spicy and delicious and definitely one of my favorite Korean meals.


Dalk Galbi: Worth the wait, the walk in the snow, and the 10,000 won.

And naturally, Team America was on-hand to remind everyone that we went to Sydney and it ruled. Oh and because 1/3 of our Team is about to leave, and that makes us really, really sad.

Enough to make me feel patriotic

A short icy walk later, and we were ready to norebang. We promptly ordered enough beer and soju to get the singing started, and soon enough, our tiny room was the place to be.


The screen that not only shows the song lyrics, but also plays song-inappropriate and seemingly random music videos at all times. But they are pretty forgiving when it comes time to rate the performance.

And my first experience was definitely a positive one. I’ve never been much for karaoke, because even an attention-whore like myself has limits, but the small, private room made it much less intimidating.

"You guys, I'm like super stoked to be here. This first song's for you."

And while I didn’t sing much, I offered a lot of colorful commentary and crippled support from the couches. And I play a mean tambourine:

Overall, a perfect way to send Matthew, our village norebang aficonado, off to his new job, where he’ll be teaching adults at a university in Bundang.

And Ryan, while there is so much to say, like how impressed I am that you know all the words to Gangster’s Paradise, I’ll save that for your tribute post – coming Saturday, or whenever I stop crying about you being gone.

Cast-away. Alternate title: Plast-ered

21 Jan

So exactly one week ago, I found myself back in the hospital for a check-up.  As per the doctor’s original plans, my splint was removed (revealing my still gnarly, bruised, and swollen foot and ankle*).

I then watched in amused horror as the nurse applied a very green plaster cast to my leg. Because this made it official: I have a cast. And not to be a diva or anything, but he didn’t even ask what color I wanted (cough PINK cough). But I sort of dig it; for one thing, it makes my ankle feel much better, and a little less like I’m going to hurt myself again, since all the bones are being held in place and not jangling around like I’m sure they were in that ghetto splint.

Long gone are my crutch days, thank-you-sweet-jesus-my armpits-are-rejoicing, but das boot remains. This means, every day I cover up my green cast with a fluffy, totally age-inappropriate “sleep sock” and a “boot” so that I can walk around . . . while getting hypothermia.

Cast: Teal. Sleep sock: Pink and white. Boot: Black. Outfit: Ruined. Pride: Shattered.

The good news, for both Eddie and I, is that the cast has increased my mobility by about 50%; Eddie no longer drives me around, and I do most of my own, albeit limited, errands now. I take a bus to and from work, and while everything still takes FOREVER, at least I’m doing it on my own.

What continues to bother me like none other, however, is that almost all of the sidewalks continue to be covered in sheets-upon-snowy sheets of ICE. I’ve decided to start the revolution by carrying a huge bag of salt with me so I can gently fling it from side to side while walking – reminiscent of a town crier, except I’m all “Here ye, here ye, you’re the smartest, cleanest, and most efficient people on the planet, yet you continue to surf to work on ice?! Not. Up. In. Here.”

As I’m writing this, I have reached my T minus 6 days until the great Plast-Off, Cast-Off 2011 Extravaganza. Next Thursday I will be free of this constant wardrobe-killer (note: still can’t wear skinny jeans. Note: that means I own like 2 pairs of pants, and you know I don’t do much laundry.)

But I am grateful to be off the crutches, and grateful that my friends are patient enough to hold my arm and walk with me, even though I add about 20 minutes extra to any simple task.

Also noteworthy and totally gross: the cast is starting to smell. Like  . . . it’s gone bad. And I don’t know how to fix this. I can’t wash it. I thought about giving it the ‘ole Mexican shower and dousing it in perfume – until I remembered that I didn’t bring any perfume to Korea because I have a history of bottles exploding on planes and making all my clothes smell. I am the type of person that puts on deodorant obsessively – like 5 times a day, at least – so this is effectively, killing me. I live in constant fear of someone realizing my cast smells, and also constant shame – because my cast smells.

And while I began telling my students I had a robotic, go-go-gadget steel leg as a joke, I’m starting to have phantom limb syndrome, and I’m not entirely convinced that the doctor didn’t put something in there like a dead animal or moldy cheese.

Oh and I have to cover it up in the shower. So, in addition to showering over the toilet and all, I now must:

-cover the entire cast in a grocery store bag

-keep said bag in place using an intricate network of headbands, hairties and stolen Scotch tape from work

-acknowledge the fact that any pride I once had washed down my closed toilet seat and into the shower drain

Shameful fact: One night after a shower, I was removing the headbands/hairties/tape/plastic bag from my cast . . . and I realized that there had been a plastic fork in the bag the entire shower. Because I bought a salad from the store earlier. And I didn’t even realize it.

Fact: There could be a fork, or an entire salad, in that bag.


But I promise, I’m trying to stay positive. I get a huge daily boost out of screaming “Handi-CAPABLE person coming through!” in the faculty room. And last weekend, I even went out. It was 8 degrees, but I put on a dress and my fancy sleep sock  and I went out, not only to a bar, but to a dance club. Because I’m a masochist trooper. No really, I am – my friends kept telling me that whenever my resolve faltered. However, all that walking did kind of hurt. And today, I slipped on some water some jerk-off student spilled, sending me on my ass and my cast in a very uncomfortable angle. And like a professional, I proceeded to cry, because it freakin’ hurt. A lot. And because I’m just fed up with this constant interruption of my day-to-day life, sleep, body temperature, and overall smell. And because dance clubs aren’t as fun in a cast.

This entire ordeal has been a lesson in patience, humility, positive thinking, learning to accept help, and why I should have sued the city and their icy streets in the first place – even though that would have been like, totally American of me.

The good news is that you are all invited to Plast-Off, Cast-Off 2011, and feel free to bring your friends and some booze. First the nurse will remove the cast. Then while Dr. KorEnglish explains some physical therapy exercises to me, I’ll be furiously trying to: 1) mask any stench the cast may have left behind, 2) shave my leg, and 3) find the nearest place to get a pedicure – because things are getting primal down there.

In celebration of the big day, I’ll be allowing my kids to cover their noses forgo a sticker or two and instead, sign my cast next Tuesday and Wednesday. You know, since there’s no chance anyone will see it on those days except my coworkers.

I pray that this last week is quick and accident-free – let the countdown begin.

*The bird on my foot looks like it just flew through Afghanistan, shit is that deformed

Just Because

17 Jan

While many ask “why?” I’ve always been the type of gal to ask, “Why not?!”  Today’s mini-post is no exception.

These are just 2 pics that I am completely obsessed with, yet have no plausible way to tie them into another post.

I found this first little gem while stealing pictures from Ryan’s camera; it was taken during our very first day in Australia, when we first saw the Opera House. Ryan caught some candid shots of Lauren and me dancing – but to be fair the live band at the Opera bar was playing a rendition of Britney Spears’ iconic “Hit Me Baby, One More Time.”  It’s Sydney Britney, bitch!


Fact: I still know all of Britney's original choreography.

And this picture is just to make your day a little brighter and your winter a little warmer. If it doesn’t make you smile, you are probably a big downer dead inside.



In my completely unbiased opinion, this is the single cutest baby on the planet.


I. Die. for this picture.

Happy Monday, y’all – just keep keepin’ on.  And if all else fails, think of Tator Tot! (and send him your good vibes, because he’s in the hospital with RSV right now – but don’t worry, he’s a tough little Tot, just like his Mama)

Epic Australia Post Day 7: The End

17 Jan

“What kind of idiots get sunburned on their last day? Answer: Team America.”

Saturday was our last day in Sydney. And we were sad. We also knew that a lot of snow was awaiting us in South Korea.

Luckily, the hostel needed us to check out at 10 am, but agreed to hold our bags (for free) until around 4pm when we needed to get to the airport.

We jumped on a bus down to the Rocks, where we found a great little breakfast place that allowed us to eat outside in the garden. It also happened to be the warmest day of our trip, and we were intent on soaking it in before returning to winter.

After lunch we poked around a few stores (note: Uggs are the same price in Australia as they are in the US. . .which sucks) before heading down to Sydney Harbor for one more round of photo ops:


Warm, windy, and begging us to stay another week.


We still hadn’t explored Darling Harbour much (by foot at least), so we decided to head that way via ferry due to the nice weather.

30 minutes later (and a boat-rocking induced coma for Ryan) and we landed at Darling Harbour. It’s even more commercial than Sydney Harbor and is definitely geared more toward families during the day. Here they have the huge wildlife world (for people who don’t go to Taronga Zoo), a huge aquarium, the maritime museum, an Imax theater that boasts a screen that is 7-STORIES high, and restaurants and bars crammed into every corner. (It’s also where they had the house for MTV’S Real World:Sydney, but it’s been changed into a restaurant and we couldn’t figure out which one it used to be, much to your immense disappointment I know.)


Darling Harbour: Not just a clever name.

We grabbed some ice cream and promptly got sunburnt for the next 30-45 minutes as we made our way lazily around the Harbour.  There wasn’t much that I actually wanted to do there during the day, despite the fact that it’s a really busy area so it’s good for eating and people watching, but it’s a place I would have liked to have gone out in. Just one more thing to add to my list for my next trip to Sydney. I’m sure the clubs and bars are a bit pricey, but the location would be worth it.


We then hightailed it to a bus, grabbed our bags at the hostel, and left for the airport. Thankfully the Sydney airport offers free wifi, since I had about 5 hours to kill until getting on the plane.  It also gave me plenty of time to change into my winter clothes, enjoy my last western meal, reflect on what a perfect vacation this was, and start to mentally prepare for the work and weather and the cast that awaited me in the next 15 hours.


My face when Ryan and Lauren said we had to leave for the airport.

What followed was all the bad parts of traveling: exchanging money and getting screwed over, sitting at the back of  a 60-row plane for 9 hours, and Red Scare: Part Deux in which my passport was again confiscated for 30 minutes in China. I also found out that they do not use the heaters at the Chinese airport, as I could see my breath during my 3-hour layover. And because I arrived in China at 5 am, none of the restaurants were open in the airport, so I sat, starving and cold, and wept softly watched Glee on my laptop.


1 taxi ride, 2 planes, 3 airports, and 1 shuttle later and we were back in snowy Dongbaek, approximately 23 hours after leaving Sydney.  As I struggled to lug my 50 pound suitcase up the icy rocks that lead into our village, a 90-pound Korean woman took one look at me, grabbed the suitcase and sprinted to the top of the incline while her children giggled nearby.

Back to real life.

Thank you for bearing with me during the Australia posts; I really wrote them in the hopes of capturing all the memories I made and the fun we had that week, so I realize they were far more detail-oriented than most. But I would go on record as strongly recommending a trip to Sydney for anyone reading this.

And before I forget, I need to write about how great it was to be back in a place where I read and spoke the dominant language. I kept trying to add this into other posts, like during our trip to the grocery store, or while trying to figure out directions at the bus stop, but it always dragged the rest of the writing down.  Being in Korea for 4 1/2 months now, I’ve just gotten used to certain things, and accepted a whole new set of limitations. And really, like anything else, you just get used to it.

It wasn’t until we were in Sydney that I realized how amazing it is to communicate the simplest things. I’m fairly certain this is what people call “reverse culture shock.” I didn’t really experience this during my time in South America, because my entire travels were 4 months total, and I could in fact read and speak the dominant language.

Some examples of my reverse culture shock in Sydney:

-Being able to order food at a restaurant without pointing to a picture on the menu, and while also knowing exactly what I was going to get

-Going to a grocery store and seeing familiar items; everything from fruit to candy (fact: I hadn’t seen gummy candy, Reese’s or Red Bull in 4 months, and no I did not survive solely on junk food; I just stared at it distrustfully, like I didn’t quite know why it was there)

-Being able to communicate with a bus driver, taxi driver, or store owner when lost and in need of directions

-Being able to fit into all the clothes (after the initial size mishap, that is) Fact: everything in Korea is just smaller.

-Walking into a movie theater and knowing I will be able to watch all of the movies they play

And there are countless other instances, which really do seem trivial and mundane, but it’s hard to describe how liberating it is to be able to communicate everything you want to say, after having felt limited for so long.

And for the record, I am slowly but surely learning Korean. Between my friends and coworkers I’m learning basic, useful phrases, and taking on the challenge of reading, which is unlike anything I’ve ever learned. In order to make this all more official, I’m using the laminating machine at work to secretly make flashcards for myself. Because everyone knows it’s impossible to learn on un-laminated paper. And because that laminater is so damn alluring.

But, as usual, I digress.

Farewell Epic Australia posts . . . here’s hoping that Boracay lives up to the high vacation standards I now have.

And of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without one last. . .cheers!

Epic Australia Post: Day 5 and 6

16 Jan

“I Think the Bed Is Haunted” and “Make Your Mark – NYE 2010”

Thursday was definitely our down day of the trip. We ate lunch in another local Glebe place, and spent the rest of the day shopping and walking around George Street.

Important note: Sizes in Australia are 4 numbers higher than US sizes. For example, a US 4 is an Australian 8, a US 6 is an Australian 10 and so on.  Well, apparently Ryan knew this the entire time. I did not.  I therefore spent 4 hours basically battling my pride and vanity in various dressing rooms around Sydney. For no apparent reason, I just assumed I had gained a lot of weight, and after literally 4 hours of trying on clothes that didn’t fit and just generally drowning in self-loathing, I reached a breaking point. After complaining and lamenting all of this to Ryan, she casually pointed out the sizing difference. I did not physically or verbally abuse her. I just sat in stunned relief. Then I hit her.

While we had grand plans to go out Thursday night, we fell asleep fully clothed, with the lights on at about 11 pm, which we’ll blame on sun stroke.

Please note that during these 2 nights, I had a different girl sleeping in the bunk above me each night. Each night the girl would go to sleep, and each afternoon morning I would awake to find that she had left and the bed would be stripped bare. Now obviously this is not unusual in a hostel – people come and go every day – but it was only the bunk over mine where this kept happening. So naturally we concluded that it was haunted, and that we were only meeting ghosts. Obviously. We were convinced that if we asked the guy at the front desk about this phenomenon, he would say something ominous like “No one has rented that bunk for 50 yeeeeaaaaarrrrrsss.” So we didn’t ask.

Friday was New Year’s Eve. We knew all along that we wanted to watch the fireworks from Sydney Harbor, and we had been warned that people got there very early and basically camped out all day for a good seat. This is important because they close off the Harbor once it reaches capacity, so you can’t just waltz in there at 11 pm and expect to see the show.

We headed down there after brunch, and walked into what looked like an outdoor music festival; families spread all over in lawn chairs and on blankets, stockpiled with food, books, games, drinks, music, and pillows. Once we were safely in the Harbor area, we decided to see a movie to kill some time, and avoid frying out in the sun.

We watched the King’s Speech, which was legitimately brilliant and heartwarming and left us all in good spirits, ready to brave the crowd. Please note that when 2 million people (that is the real number) descend on an area, everything is crowded and walking is more like tip-toeing around blankets, only to be stalled for 5 minute periods. Which was fine. We had been warned, and we weren’t in any kind of hurry.

There were only 3 of us, so we found a spot with a perfect view of the Bridge, which put the Opera House to our right (both landmarks do concurrent firework shows). We sat there for the next 4 hours, reading books, talking, and of course, people watching. At 9 pm they have a smaller fireworks show for the “families” even though no one really leaves afterward. They also have boats riding around the Harbor, all decorated in lights which is really pretty.

At 11:50 pm everyone basically stands up and moves forward. I resisted until literally the 20th small Indian child (we sort of planted ourselves in the middle of a large Indian family reunion) stepped on me, and then I just gave in and stood up.

And it was bananas. We mainly watched the Bridge fireworks, but we also had the Opera House show to our right, and the skyscrapers setting off fireworks to our left. Instead of even trying to play it cool, I just stood there and let out unexpected “OMG!s” and “WHOA!!!s” along with everyone else. And I may have cried a little.

Because it was beautiful. And I was on this amazing vacation with these amazing new friends – a situation basically inconceivable to me just 6 months prior. And because I was saying good-bye to a banner year; one that included my college graduation, the birth of my nephew, and my life-altering move to South Korea.

It was a perfect bookend to our week and to this year. The next day, I read in the paper that the show’s theme was “Make Your Mark.” Done and done, Sydney.

Naturally, once the show was over, we followed the herd out onto the streets. And while it was chaotic and crowded, it was also strangely organized and calm. We kept commenting how this would never happen in America; I mean you can’t even walk down the Vegas Strip without running into at least 25 drunk maniacs, let alone on New Year’s. It was the kind of thing that only effortlessly cool Australians can do.

Instead of braving the lines for a bus or taxi, we walked – along with at least 500,000 of our closest friends – down George Street for at least a couple miles. They had the roads blocked off, so it was just a huge flow of people, migrating away from the Harbor. We walked. And walked.  And eventually we caught a bus home.

I usually think NYE is one of the most hyped-up, disappointing events ever, second only to high school prom. But this one was great, and I was actually relieved that we didn’t try to get into some club or bar, which were filled to capacity with wasted 19 year-olds who couldn’t have cared less about fireworks, and where we would have easily dropped at least $100 for a night out.

This year, there were no overpriced drinks to force down, no smokey bar to yell across, and no pressure to find someone to kiss at midnight – and it was seriously the best NYE I’ve ever had.

Oh and just because it’s convenient, here are my rad New Year’s resolutions:

-Continue being awesome. And by awesome I mean living a life that I have created for myself, that I really want, and that I am both happy and proud to say is mine.

-Continue to be brave, but not reckless.  And always strive to be open-minded to all the different people I meet and the places I visit, even when things get weird. Because they always do.

-Be a kick ass friend; ie, make phone calls and send emails to ensure that all of my geographically spread out besties know how much they mean to me, and that I am still there for them, via technology at  least.

-Get at least 3 new passport stamps. (the first one will be next month in the Philippines)

-Make sure I show my family as much non-judgmental support, endless understanding, and unconditional love as they show me on a daily basis. (and yes, that is ooey gooey, especially for me, but I just can’t stress enough how cool my family is. You should be jealous.)

-Meet, spoil, and love on my nephew as much as possible, once I get home next fall.

-Figure out what country 2012 will bring. . .

But I digress. There is still one more epic Australia post to come. Stay tuned.

Epic Australia Post: Days 3 and 4

15 Jan

“Team America Goes to Bondi Beach” and “Mummy I can see his privates!”

Tuesday afternoon we pulled ourselves out of bed, and hopped back on the double-decker bus, but this time headed to *Bondi Beach. Bondi was about 25 minutes away from Sydney, and we got to see a few different parts of the city on our way out there, most notably King’s Cross which is a very cool area. And it reminded us that Sydney is huge, and every part of it is different, and that there was no conceivable way we were going to be able to explore everything. . . so I guess we’ll just have to plan a return move trip sometime. (darnnit)

*It’s pronounced Bond-eye, and you WILL be made fun of if you pronounce it Bond-ee, not that I know from experience or anything.

Oh and on the way there, I got hit in the head by a kamakaze plant while whizzing down the street on the double-decker. This lead to me ducking at every tree in sight for the duration of the ride, much to Ryan and Lauren’s amusement.

It was actually a rather chilly day at Bondi, but we spent some time laying on the sand, sleeping and people watching. Then we headed up to the shops and restaurants for some delicious seafood.


Fact: It is better to spend December at the beach than in the snow.

Oh and I also managed to snap a pic for next year’s Christmas card:



Overall, Bondi was a really pretty and chill place. I wish we could have hit it up on a warmer day, but our time was limited. Definitely a good place to relax after a night out.

Tuesday night we had a few drinks at a bar, and then headed over to Sydney Harbor to take pictures of the bridge and Opera House at night. My camera’s night setting is kinda wonky, however, so they are blurry and probably only cool to me, so I’ll refrain from posting them.

Day 4:  Wednesday morning we moved to our second hostel in the Glebe area of Sydney. Glebe is basically a hippie haven, and is full restaurants and hostels.  The people there are amazingly helpful and friendly and I would highly recommend a hostel in this area – it’s just not much for nightlife, so grabbing a taxi after 11 pm is a must.

The hostel was wonderful; clean, relaxed, it had a rooftop lounge area where you could get some sun, or just eat in the shade and enjoy the weather. And we instantly fell in love with the front desk guy, who was adorably spacey and hilarious, which really set the tone for Glebe/the 2nd part of our week in Australia.  We grabbed some breakfast at a great local place, and then went down to the Harbor, where we caught the ferry to the Taronga Zoo. (note: the zoo can only be reached by ferry, but the rides are cheap and enjoyable)


The ferry also provides great photo ops, if you don't mind windswept hair.

The zoo is very popular, so it’s crowded but not Disneyland-crazy. It was warm and we definitely got some sun, but it was actually really fun – and I don’t even like animals that much (unlike Ryan who told us she was a San Diego Zoo Member no less than 5 times).

And while I thoroughly enjoyed the zoo, especially seeing the koalas which really are adorable if not rather unenthused and lazy, I won’t bore you with too many animal pics because those are only cool if you were there. But rest assured, we saw many exotic animals and enjoyed making up conversations for them, much to the appreciation of the other patrons I’m sure.


I have no explanation for taking or posting this picture, except that I really like it.

Our one hilarious moment of the day came at the kangaroo exhibit. One of the male kangaroos was lying on his back rather exposed, and an adorable 8-year-old girl, with an Australian accent, said very loudly, “Mummy, I can see his privates!” This comment pretty much did us in.


Fact: Kangaroos are not ashamed. Please note the offensive male kangaroo to the far right.

And just FYI, Australian accents make every child at the zoo sound exactly like the Crocodile Hunter. Which is also very enjoyable.

Fun fact: We also rode a huge gondola down to the ferry, giving us some really great 360 views of the zoo.

Some Thai food and a few disco naps later, and we were all dolled up and on our way to Ivy Bar, a pretty well-known club/bar on George Street. It is open air, with lights all over the top which adds to its very chic atmosphere. We had a few drinks there (and met a kid who was a dead ringer for Macaulay Culkin “or that kid from Powder”) before heading back down to our favorite pub, the 3 Monkeys. I would also highly recommend Ivy Bar – pretty place, pretty people, and an overall good vibe. We only left because there was no dancing.


Ivy Bar

We spent the rest of our night at the pub and had a great time. Fun fact: Lauren met a legit Bollywood star there . . . and made fun of his dancing, as only a true member of Team America could do.

The only other notable thing happened at Burger King (no seriously). I ordered the Aussie Meal, and sweet jesus the hamburger was like a melting pot of gross:  egg, onion, cheese, pickles, weird sauces. . .and beets. Which gave the entire burger a weird purple color. Oh and it tasted. . . like beets. This prompted a 20-minute monologue about how beets are totally weird and no one really “gets” them and if they were famous they would be the Joaquin Phoenix(s) and Chloe Sevigny(s) of Hollywood. (it’s true, think about it)

Like I said, a very good, but rather uneventful night.