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Hey everybody, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully you enjoyed your holidays as well...because they are already over =P, but I have summer holidays now for 6 weeks.
I'm not going away, I'm just staying in Sydney and meeting friends all over the City and at the beach of course.

On the 6th of December I moved to a new host family. I really like it here because I have siblings: an 18-year-old sister, Maxine, who is going on exchange to Upper Austria in about 20 days, a 16 year old brother, Sebastian, who is in the same school grade as me and a 14 year old brother, Samuel, who is the youngest of the family. Then of course a Mum, Gudrun, who is running the household and is serving (that's what she wants me to write about her) and a father, Ivan, who is working as a real estate agent and a hobby sailor.

The pictures with the water in the background were taken on a sail we went on, on the 26th. First we went out to the harbour to watch a sailing race passing us by and then we went sailing on the coast to palm beach in the very north of Sydney.
We have pets. Baxter is a 7-month-old dog. My relationship with him isn’t THAT good because he ate my favourite sunglasses and it's hard for me to forgive him. The 2nd one is a spider living in my bathroom. I'm not allowed to kill it because it eats the flies. I'm okay with that and I'm enjoying the sound of a dying fly more than the sound of a flying one.

Their house is in the suburb called Cremone. It's next to the harbour so we have a beautiful view from the balcony. If I want to go to the City I just have to catch a ferry, which is a 5 minute walk away. When I want to go to the beach I have to walk/climb a mountain for about 15 minutes to catch a bus. (That's not easy when it is as hot as it is here) Well at least some exercise, but I still hate the Sydney public transport system. Apart from that I have nothing to complain about.

The time before Christmas was in some ways similar to the one in Austria, for example everybody is stressed to get all the presents for friends and family and buying stuff they don't need nor the people who the presents are for. Some of them even buy Christmas trees (the same as us, not palm trees). But there was no snow. Alright I can't remember the last Christmas in Vienna with snow, but there wasn't just the snow missing, it was/is HOT! Very hot. T-shirt-, ice cream-, beach-hot.

But still. People try to make up the same Christmas as in the northern hemisphere when they are decorating their houses with lights (some streets looked like Las Vegas at night) or some of them even the public buses (I think that was really cute, because the driver did it himself just for fun without getting paid for it) or when they are singing Christmas Carols together (together means: 10.000 people) in the domain (a park).

Of course Rotary didn't forget Christmas either. We had a wonderful harbour cruise on November the 29th with all the exchange students and the counsellors. We had a great day on a boat going in circles with a good view.

On the 24th there was no celebrating at all. On the 25th I spent the day with Barry at his place and in the evening we went to my counsellor’s Mike and Carol Morgan. On the way to them we got a flat tire and we were stuck for one and a half hours on the freeway waiting for the service. Now I finally know how easy it is to change a wheel.

A few days after Christmas we celebrated New Years Eve. My host family had a party with 20-ish people because we have a good view of the fireworks from here. Some streets around Cremorne were closed from 5 o'clock onwards because so many people came to see the fireworks at those places.

I had nice December, I hope all of you did too.
7.1.09 02:57


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