Easter Island

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Easter Island, or in Spanish, the Isla de Pascua, is an overseas territory of the South American first-world nation of Chile. I had high expectations.

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First thing first – Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi isn’t generally available anywhere, and so you must head to the library during the day to get a code, so you get to use the internet even after it closes! #tips

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The island wasn’t particularly big, and was quite out of the way. Aeroplanes are basically the only transportation available, and it’s a solid six hours to fly there from Santiago de Chile.

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The moais are everywhere on the island, but mostly outside of the main town (the only real town on the island), apart from like three of them. They were meant to protect the residents by looking at them, turning their back on the angry seas.

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Hong Kong is apparently 9702 miles away from the island.

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Since 1-2 days would be more than enough to see all the statues, one may also get on day tours/half-day tours to see other scenic beauties, including the mountains and the craters and other archaeological sites.

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Many of them were destroyed, persumably due to warfare between the residents back then, as a result of a lack of food. They all used to have creepy eyes – the eyes were the “souls”.

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Numerous, on the other hand, simply got left on various slopes oweing to unknown reasons.

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Easter Island was an independent country, until the British encouraged the Chileans an annex it. The Chileans basically tricked the ruler into submitting to their rule.

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Yes, they were all supposed to have a hat, too.

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It was incredibly windy, and sometimes rainy. At least because of that there weren’t really mosquitoes.

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Magnetic stone or something.

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Everything was expensive, by the way.

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One of the lakes as a result of a volcanic eruption. Some ceremonies are still performed there.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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The historical, tidy city of Melbourne is by far my favourite Aussie city.

Once again, it’s possible that I was simply easily impressed back then, but I really liked its historical buildings. And the fact that it’s so incredibly to navigate. A extraordinarily well-planned metropolis.

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That’s in spite of the little hiccup: I went out clubbing and unfortunately my friend there couldn’t be with me as he was doing his exams, so I just went alone. 

I was, like I am now, rather awkward in clubs and didn’t exactly do anything other than looking at people from afar. Some older guy was hitting me up, even telling me his hotel room number. I didn’t say no, I was undecided. But I guess I didn’t respond much to his advances so he gave up in the end.

Then I had to wait a while before going back to my room as there was a fire alarm in the middle of the night. At least I wasn’t sleeping.

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The park was basically British. Big empty spaces unlike those in the Pearl of the East.

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I think I was on a monument or something. Honestly don’t remember.

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There’s a free tram going around the historic centre, another reason why I loved it.

Byron Bay, Australia

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Byron Bay is what you may called oriental Australia – it’s the easternmost point of the Australian mainland (it has got some dependencies, including one called Christmas Island, further east).

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A lovely lighthouse. Generally-speaking, it’s a good getaway although there may not be much to do.

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Supposedly, one may be able to spot a whale or two from here. I didn’t. Still worth going though, especially since someone drove me there.

Beyond Brisbane, Queensland

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I’ve also been to Cairns, by the way. But I don’t have pictures.

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Whales!!! My first time seeing a whale!!!

They didn’t jump too high and I couldn’t take very good photos of them, but there were loads of them.

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Before going, I was worried perhaps I wouldn’t be able to spot any, but my hostess told me she had never actually heard of anyone who failed to spot a whale on a trip.

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And it’s true! They were everywhere. Parents with children and quite friendly, too!

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And not too far from Brisbane city.

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Brisbane is also close to numerous national parks such as this – Springbrook.

I was soooo excited seeing the rainbow with the waterfall I just rushed to get a photo.

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This might have been a part of Gold Coast? Not sure. Gold Coast is overrated anyway.

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Redcliffe. If my memory serves me right, this was the third landing point after Hobart and Sydney for white people in Australia, I think

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I’m on a HIGHWAY TO HELL

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Or rather, a canal of a sort. It’s marvellous in person.

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The northernmost point of Rainbow Beach, Sunshine Coast, Greater Brisbane. Surprisingly liberating to be running around this.

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It’s called Rainbow Beach for a reason. They don’t hold up though – don’t wash them and do put them in a separate bag if you’re planning to take one home!

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Sunshine Coast still.

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My favourite animal!

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Don’t go into the water! Apparently it’s awfully deep and that in itself isn’t a problem – the sharks that could be hiding real close to the beach are!

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A wild koala bear appears! There were some wild kangaroos too.

Stradbroke Island.

Weed Town Nimbin, NSW, Australia

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Two dead blonds I guess referred to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Marilyn Monroe (shouldn’t they be blondes though?), but I can’t figure which three songs the sign was referring to – “Candle In The Wind 1997”, “Candle In The Wind”, and “Your Song”, perhaps? Though the original CITW was a massive flop so I don’t get why it was even included.

Anyways…In this town that surely pleases The Queen of Pop Madonna, you get to see loads of people selling marijuana. Actual weeds, cookies, and all that. Everyone tries to sell you stuff.

I didn’t try anything though. All in all just a hippie town.

Brisbane, Australia

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As a part of my undergraduate teacher-training course, the government paid for the tuition, air-tickets, accommodation, cultural activities, and food for two months at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Life down under wasn’t particularly exciting, what’s with the café closing at 3pm and the terrible public transportation, but Aus was definitely a place where I thought I could retire in.

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This post is about the city proper – Greater Brisbane includes to the south the world-famous Gold Coast and to the north Sunshine Coast, and lays the claim to be the largest city in the world. But let’s not. They aren’t all the same city.

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Downtown Brisbane was just like any other colonial town, with numerous European buildings.

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It’s not really that different from Hong Kong, both being former British colonies. And of course there’s the fact that Australia is an immigrant country with lots and lots of orientals. (I think Cantonese is actually the second-most spoken first language in the country.)

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I may be biased in a way, or rather, ignorant. Even though I had been to many places by that point, it was mainly still usually around oriental Asia, and so the few European buildings in Brisbane (where I’ve been a few years prior, actually) might have looked better to me than they would now.

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A dinosaur in their museum. I’ve always liked casts like this.

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When you’re talking about Australia, of course you have to talk about its unique animals. Kangaroos are undeniably the most famous.

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It’s sort of a petting zoo, and so they weren’t dangerous. I heard they could be if they were wild. Also, I did approach slowly and wasn’t standing tall.

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Very friendly bunch indeed.

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Joey, I’m so sorry; oh-woah-woah can you hear me

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The Devil!

I don’t have a photo for it, but they have something called the butch turkey or something. They are everywhere and quite annoying. Apparently protected.

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This was one of those times when you took a photo with some nobody and then they ended up being very famous. At the time, I thought I was just channelling the Princess of Pop Britney Spears at the Grammy’s; little did I know I was taking a picture with country-pop songstress Taylor Swift, the woman who managed to move over a million copies in their first week for three records straight!

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One unique thing about Brisbane is the fact that boats are a part of its public transportation system.

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And they also created an artificial beach for some reason.

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You may know Australia to be a huge country, but do you know their cigarette butts are proportionally even bigger?

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They like coffee so much they drink TARDISes of them. Totally addicted.

The university left much to be desired, by the way. One of the lecturers was trying to sell me creationism (which he called “intelligent design”). It was awkward.

I had an interesting experience though. I still can’t recall what actually happened, but my alarm didn’t sound and I woke up late. It was raining the night before, thus I slipped and fell on wooden ground before going to the other house for breakfast. I still can’t remember anything, but apparently I was walking towards the wrong direction, a classmate grabbed me to our coach (we were going on a school visit), and I kept asking everyone if I could just follow them for the rest of the day. In the end, they found me way too erratic and sent me to the hospital.

I had a concussion. The first thing I can recall is seeing one of my other lecturers next to my bed, asking if I realize one of the other classmates had run away. I didn’t, of course, since I wasn’t exactly conscious despite the fact that I was walking around with them. It turned out a girl ran off to New Zealand with her boyfriend without telling either university! And she stayed there for nine days before coming back. She was sent home right away.

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From the peak of Brisbane.