Sydney, day two.


It’s my second day in Sydney, and I have good news and bad news.

Good news: I finally warmed up enough to brave the cold bathroom for a shower. With that plus the sleep, I’m feeling much more human.

Bad news: I am once again suffering from asymmetrical chipmunk syndrome.

Allow me to explain. I had my wisdom teeth taken out about a month ago, and everything went great until about two weeks out, when the bottom left socket got really swollen again and started oozing (sorry; nobody likes the word ‘ooze’). Being the microbiome-obsessed girl I am, I wanted to avoid antibiotics like the plague, so I pulled out all the natural remedy stops: salt water rinses, raw garlic on the inflamed gum (don’t recommend; feels like pouring battery acid on an open wound), bentonite clay, activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut oil…everything. Unfortunately the raw garlic actually did burn my gum (imagine that!), but the swelling and oozing went away, and after my gum healed, I was fine. Hurray for crunchy home remedies! I win! Who needs antibiotics?

Well, fast forward two weeks. I think the flying and jet lag took a toll on my immune system, and towards the end of the day yesterday, I could feel my gum getting sore again. I just knew when I went to bed last night that this morning, my mouth would be swollen again, and sure enough: chipmunk cheek. Bummer.

No, I don't have food in my mouth. Just standing there with a normal expression. Quite swollen, huh?

No, I don’t have food in my mouth. Just standing there with a normal expression. Quite swollen, huh?

Anyway, I finally had a shower, and I walked down to a cute little café at the end of the street to get breakfast with Hannah. We got scrambled eggs with potatoes and chorizo in a spicy tomato sauce, and it came with gluten free toast. I also got a side of bacon. The food was amazing, although the bacon was way different from American bacon! Not crispy in the least; more like ham, I guess. Still tasty though. I wish I had taken a picture of it; maybe I’ll just go back and get the same thing tomorrow morning 😉


It was great getting to talk with Hannah. She’s dealt with some health issues as well, and we had a lot in common as far as experimenting with diet, having food suck up way too much of our lives, and finally reaching a balance with it. She’s gluten free as well, but she eats most other things.

We also have a common interest in music and art, although she’s actually pursuing art as a career. She plays clarinet and is learning guitar (which is why there was a guitar in the room).

And when she heard about my swollen gum, guess what was the first thing she suggested? Raw garlic. BOOM. She also suggested Manuka honey, which I thought was a great idea, and we figured we’d try to find some later. Always fun to find  fellow alternative medicine advocates!

After breakfast, I figured I’d finally go for a walk and explore the area some. Buz told me about an underground plaza about 10 minutes down the road, and she thought they might have a phone store where I could get a SIM card.

The weather was nice (probably mid-60s) and sunny, so the walk felt good. I made it to the underground plaza, and although I didn’t get a SIM card, I did find a little vitamin shop that had Manuka honey. Unfortunately it was $75 for a tiny jar (yikes!!), so I asked the lady there what she would recommend for my gum situation. We settled on this throat spray that contains manuka honey, clove oil (another great antimicrobial), and bee propolis, and I’ve been spraying it on my gum and swishing it around in my mouth all day, in addition to doing salt water rinses. Fingers crossed!

Snazzy manuka-propolis-clove spray

Snazzy manuka-propolis-clove spray

I started feeling really tired and a bit feverish on the way back, probably because of my mouth. Then I started feeling really sad and bummed because I was feeling tired and feverish. I decided to take it easy for the rest of the day, to increase my chances of not getting sick. When I got back, I actually practiced guitar for a while, which was very relaxing and felt really good. It was like a little taste of home, too, since it’s a familiar activity. So happy that Hannah plays so I could borrow her guitar!

And now I’m at the park laying on a towel in the sun, writing this blog post. This park is just down the street from the house I’m staying in, and it’s so pretty!


Park selfie

Park selfie

I absolutely love the trees in Sydney; they’re much more tropical-looking, and there are also lots of these huge trees with really white, smooth bark. There’s a picture of one at the top of this post; I think they might be eucalyptus trees.

The birds are also really funny. Birds here are much bigger than they are in NC, and more colorful. There are lots of huge pigeons too, although I don’t know if they’re actually pigeons or if they just look like pigeons. (Later discovery: they’re definitely pigeons.) But they all sound so different from our birds! The birds that hang out near the house I’m staying in sound like a cross between children whining, sheep, and those little tube things that make ‘wahhh’ sounds when you flip them over.

These things, in case my eloquent description didn't do it for you

These things, in case my eloquent description didn’t do it for you

They also respond to each others’ screeches, so it sounds like they’re arguing over who’s the most obnoxious. It’s so great.

One of the big pigeons just walked up right next to my computer.

I don't have a lot of experience with pigeons, so maybe they're just normal-sized pigeons that seem big to me. I needed a banana for scale

I don’t have a lot of experience with pigeons, so maybe they’re just normal-sized pigeons that seem big to me. I needed a banana for scale

Also, people are playing rugby everywhere.

I’m kind of bummed I haven’t gotten to explore more, but I don’t want to tire myself out and get sick. I think I’m going to go make lunch now; more later!

It is now two days later, and I’m catching up on blog posts. I did indeed make lunch, which actually took up most of the rest of the afternoon. I decided to just cook up all of my beef and all the veggies I bought into one massive stir-fry, but the stove here doesn’t really get hot, especially when you keep adding frozen veggies to the pan, so it took quite awhile to cook. It was really good though, and now I have leftovers for the rest of the time I’m here. Perfect!

Massive stir-fry

Massive stir-fry

I also decided to go ahead and bake my potatoes and squash, so I’d have food on hand. When I went to turn on the oven, I was very confused for a second until I realized the temperatures were in Celsius. It’ll be nice when I have a feel for the metric system!

When the girls got home, everyone was intrigued by the squash (or pumpkin, as they call it). Apparently they don’t typically roast entire halves of butternut squashes. And now I have a new way to impress Australians: roast half of a butternut squash. I’m going to be so popular.

Some of us decided to watch a movie (it was about wrestling; actually pretty good though!), and then Hannah (Hash), the other Hannah (Hanjoy) and her boyfriend, and their friend Nish and I walked to a Mexican place to get dinner. I had already eaten massive amounts of stir-fry, so I didn’t get anything, but it was a really neat place with outdoor seating and colorful pillows and blankets everywhere. The funny thing is, I had always heard that it’s really difficult to find Mexican food in Australia, so it was ironic that I went to a Mexican place so early in my trip! Nish told me that Mexican food definitely isn’t as common here though, and that even if you can find Mexican food, it doesn’t compare to Mexican food in America. One of them actually said to me, “this doesn’t compare at all to Chipotle, does it? Holding one of their burritos is like holding a newborn baby, they’re so huge!” I guess Chipotle has reached worldwide notoriety for the hugeness of their burritos.

Speaking of Chipotle, watch this video. It’s great.

It was a really fun group of people, and we laughed a lot. I didn’t know what they were talking about some of the time, because I don’t know their friends and their inside jokes and everything, but I never felt excluded; so far, everyone I’ve met has been extremely inclusive. So even though I hadn’t had the best morning, I definitely ended the day on a high note! And of course, I requested a picture before we left.


2 Thoughts on “Sydney, day two.

  1. All the years working in dentistry (35++) the only home remedy for oral problems that I have heard of is warm salt water rinses, be careful with what you try. Let me know when it gets better, if you begin to get a fever please go to the dentist or MD there. Hope it gets better quickly.

    • Thanks Aunt Dee! It’s much better today 🙂 The swelling is gone, and it’s only a little sore. I think it’ll be completely back to normal by tomorrow!


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