JMH #2 // Newtown, books, cake, and karaoke

Day two!

I had to go to school in the morning, actually, so brought HN along too! She was surely surprised, because she came from a... uhm, quite different school. In more ways than one.

Also gave her a shout-out on assembly.

Anyway, it was just for the presentation of my IBO medal (after 5 months), which was fun and just a nice little thing to do. It was the last day I'd be at school this year, and fingers crossed I encouraged more students to get into science.

The only thing that I hope to achieve is that perhaps, just maybe, something I say will encourage a student to discover their love for science or biology, or for anything. If I can do that, then it'll be worth it. The Olympiads were such an incredible experience and there's really no way for me to express it in words. I only hope that more people will give it a go and try, because it changes you.

I also managed to successfully execute my best segue ever. "A shoutout to my friend HN, who's from NZ. I met her at IBO, and she's coming down here to visit me in Sydney. Just goes to show that the IBOs are a wonderful experience, and you make friends for life that you keep in contact with."

ANYWAY. Enough about that. On to the actual story.

So, HN got bitten by a mosquito on her leg, and because she's allergic, we had to quickly leg it to the closest pharmacy to purchase some anti-histamine cream. So thus we went to Stocklands to purchase some.

We also then went to Woolies (Woolworths) because why not! And we purchased some yoghurt.

Did you know that Woolies doesn't give you spoons at the check-out?! That's insane! Ridiculous. Unbohlievable.

So we stood with a dilemma. How to eat these yoghurts. I suggested using the lids, but it was clear it wouldn't fit in. Thus, I logically concluded to purchase spoons. HN then proceeded to say "If this was NZ, we'd just open the packet and take spoons".

But anyway, we ended up purchasing spoons. It was only after that my friend, RA (I think) suggested we could have folded the foil into the shape of a spoon and used it. Oh well. You can never have enough... plastic spoons... (?)

The yoghurt was good though. So good. Would buy again.


Anyway, then we went to Newtown where we met up with my friend, EH, and we went thrift shopping and just generally walking around the street.

Though, it wasn't really thrift shopping. Because it was a weekday, there were very few thrift stores open.
I had to use all my strength to resist buying clothes, because I'm going overseas soon (which means a lot of shopping. A lot.)

What a thug

We then went to various book stores around the area. First it was just a standard book store.

Later on, EH (who's familiar with the area), brought us to Goulds Bookstore, which is a second-hand book-store.

It's absolutely massive. I'm not joking. I would estimate at least a few 100,000 books in that two-story building. Every shelf is stuffed to the brim with books. I don't even know where they put any more books that they get (there is literally almost no more room for more books)

I. Loved. This. Place.

This was like a dream come true. Just walking deeper and deeper into the store, with the busy hustle of the road and people fading away. Brushing your fingers on the books that have been untouched for months or years.

Just gazing upon all these books that I've never even seen. It was like a goldmine. It was truly sensational.

On a light-noted and slightly humorous side-note, I found it entertaining that the 'Teenage' section was just one shelf and it was full (legit, full) of the Twilight series.

Juxtaposing to it, however, right below was the '8-12 years old' section which was filled with such a massive variety of books.

I wonder. I also laughed and thought it was worth a photo.

I also stumbled across this sexist book and it piqued my curiosity and prompted some thoughts so I took a picture of it.

Interesting how seemingly this is acceptable to be placed in a book store. I really believe it shouldn't. Dictating what it means to be socially accepted as a 'man' in my opinion is uncalled for and unnecessary, just as how it's not acceptable to have a book with 'How to be a woman' that conforms to all of society's sexist beliefs of women not being able to do science, maths, and belonging in the kitchen to make sandwiches.

But now's not the time for a rant. I just don't think this book should be there. And it got me thinking. So I thought I'd share! Just my opinion.

Anyway, back on a better note!

After a good 20 minutes, I discovered that they had labels to a lot of the upper aisles, ranging in many, many topics.

I hustled my way over to the 'Science' area. Man. Oh boy. I haven't felt so alive in so long.
It was funny because I figured that if I stayed in that aisle for long enough, eventually, my Biology friend HN would find herself there as well. After about 15 minutes, I look up and I find her standing there browsing the books in that aisle as I had expected. I laughed.

The books here were so untouched. The one below is actually already 'cleaned'. I already blew on the book to blow off a good portion of the dust, and yet it still looked like this.

Also, some had mould, from what HN told me.
But the quality of some of the books was great! Basically untouched! And the hardcovers were in good condition. There were some which were poorer quality, but the prices ranged to account for that.

I'm definitely going to go back sometime next year to purchase books in preparation for University, depending on what course I'm accepted into.

Also found this interesting book about how to teach science in schools.

I think some teachers don't actually abide by these rules, even today in the 21st century. You'd think some of these things are quite primitive rules but it's interesting to realise that a lot of teachers don't follow the practice.

"Minds are thus kept open" A lot of people need to read this.
Anyway, we then went more book shopping in other stores, and before we headed off, we visited a infamous cake store.

Apparently the watermelon cake is quite a something. So HN and I forced open our wallets and poured out $7.50 to purchase this one slice of cake (after queuing up for a good 10 minutes).

It. Was. So. Worth. It.

People underestimate the power of watermelon cake. I had one for my birthday and it was absolutely delishhhhh (another slang word I picked up from HN). This one was absolutely gorgeous. Would recommend.

Black Star Pastry's infamous watermelon cake. Newtown.
"The cake that everyone gets"
Anyway, it's hard to describe the taste because I'm not a developed foodie, so let's just leave it at the verdict "Was worth it."

Also passed this cute sign in a cafe just outside the station.

Friend HN
Then we headed off to Kinokuniya, met up with some other friends (JL, AT, VA, RA, PT, KS) and went to karaoke + dinner at Mizuya.

I didn't take many photos because it was dark and karaoke isn't the most exciting thing.

The only photo I took is of this drink (green tea) that I absolutely love, and I basically order everytime I'm at Mizuya.

It looks really strange (the milo looks deceivingly like dirt, which puts people off), but it tastes absolutely heavenly, especially for green tea/matcha lovers like myself.

The lighting is strange because I used my iPhone flashlight to illuminate it.
Anyway, that's about it for the day. We then did end up going to Crazy Wings and N2 before heading off home.

Just a quick few 'haul' photos:

I purchased this book. It's called 'Information is Beautiful' by David McCandless. It looks so great and interesting. I bought it at a bookstore (not the second-hand one)

I'm a sucker for aesthetically pleasing books and simplistic diagrams showing information.
I have weird things that I like.
HN also presented me with some chocolate, some of which is exclusive to NZ. The middle two are only foundin NZ.

For those who don't know, Whittaker's is a very famous NZ chocolate brand. Although we can purchase it here in Australia too, the middle two flavours (the brown and pink wrapping) are limited edition versions only found in NZ, I've heard.

The one of the left is the L&P collaboration with Whittaker's. L&P is a famous NZ soft-drink (a kind of lemonade), and they worked together with Whittaker's to produce this bar of chocolate that is lemonade flavoured.
Absolutely no kidding, it tastes and smells like lemonade. They even put popping candy in it to mimic the carbonated effect. It was delish.

The one on the right is the Griffin's Cookie Bear Hundreds and Thousands Biscuit blend with Whittakers, where they did a similar thing to L&P and collaborated to produce this limited edition block of chocolate.
It's pink coloured, and has biscuit pieces in it with hundreds and thousands. I really liked it as well, actually. Ate a fair few pieces in one go.

I'm a fan of chocolate, for those who don't know, and so I will happily consume any unless it's mint, chilli, or tastes gross (I am captain obvious). What I'm trying to say is that these two blocks were so good and I really enjoyed trying them. Worth a try.

One last thing my friend also gifted to me was a cylinder of eclairs. The tin is twistable, so you can change the costume of the kiwis (so cute), and it's actually also a money-collector (once you eat all the eclairs).

The point is that I'll use it as a save-up jar to put money aside to fund my travel trip to NZ (which I'm hoping to undergo next year). It was a really cute present and a nice momento :') Better start saving soon!

If only travel wasn't so exxi (more slang)

Anyway, it was a really nice day. I enjoyed Newtown a lot, and karaoke was fun, although more 'normal' than expected. Meeting/catching up with my friends was really great as well, and they all enjoyed meeting HN.

Singing was also fun.

Anyway, it's getting late and I've exhausted out my fingers and mental working power to type up this post. More to come soon.



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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.